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"I can only tell you things that happened as I saw them, and what the rest was about only Africa knows." – Oom Schalk Lourens

man-eating lion

Man-eating lion

The ndumba was not hunting as it normally would—the beast had already nabbed a couple of people and was likely to target more. Maybe it was hungry.  The boy wondered if a lion had a big enough stomach to hold an entire human—maybe a child but surely not a grown man, like dad or like Chesiwe.

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Woman wielding Asagai

The tour guide versus the history teacher (war at The Tower!)

So Miss Priss proceeds to regale about Buckingham Palace and patronises the kids with babyish questions, like “Do you know who lives here?” Sick of being treated like morons from darkest Africa, the Saheti kids decide to take the guide for a ride: “Yes! This is BECKingham Palace and David Beckham lives here”. And of course everyone finds this quite funny except for the horrified Miss Priss…

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The neighbours

Kensington Chronicles #6: Kate & ‘the nextdoors’

I’d sneak into her garden by climbing over the low stone wall that separated our houses, then, using the Jasmine bush that flourished against the front of her house as a physical shield; I’d peer into the lounge window, my eyes barely making it to the glass, to catch a glimpse of my pal.  I mean, why just knock on the door when ‘walking to the neighbours’ could be turned into a game of espionage?

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Orange Grove Hill looking up towards Berea off Louis Botha Ave

A journey down Louis Botha

I’d roll by with my window down in anticipation of the familiar greeting “Hullo Mees Unives!”. With his winning smile and smooth talking, I have no doubt that in another life my friendly pedlar would have made not only a fabulous pageant judge but an excellent salesman in  a corporate conglomeration. In this life his office was the pavement and his clients were surly drivers on the way to somewhere.

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