News and Views on Africa from Africa
Last update: 1 July 2022 h. 10:44
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Action and Contacts (Book Review)

Stories Fly

Stories Fly (Edited by Brenda Cooper) is a collection of a dozen masterfully written short stories by Africans from various diverse countries in the Diaspora.
Rodrick Mukumbira

Writers include new names as well as some established names like Bushi Emecheta, Ama Ate Aidoo and Abdulrazak Gumah. This contemporary anthology makes an interesting reading as it involves the reader to share the emotions and feelings of people who have been displaced from their countries by either economic or political reasons.

Through the writers' individual accounts, one is led through intricate paths of intimate feelings of love stories and family relations, to discover what goes through the individual's mind in various situations, as people try to cope with life far away from home.

The Africans from the Southern of Sahara are mostly referred to as "Darkies" or "Sambos" and if they are from the northern part of the continent, they are feared as incomprehensible "Mohammedans", who can never fit well in the world of Christianity.

Besides the little irritants of racial intolerance and artificial cultural barriers, there is always a feeling of nostalgia that often distract asylum seekers from forging genuine relations.

While almost every story touches on the issue of being seen and thought of as different because of skin colour and the supposed cultural experience, it is perhaps Moses Isegawa's, Abyssinian

Chronicles, that captures these feelings, as his character Mugezi leaves his own country Uganda to go to Europe.

Mugezi feels this estranging magic of uprootedness as soon as he jumps off the plane in a European country. However, during the journey he is brought face to face with reality as he is exposed to how aid intended for Africa is used.

Inside the plane he feels as if that is the best thing that has ever happened to him in many years. He travels first class and he is lavishly supplied with hard drinks. He is discontented that his local

brew has been judged to be not good enough to be bottled and exported when he discovered that its only European liquor that is being served.

Mugezi has been hand picked for a fund rising prop by one of the many organizations, which specialises in soliciting funds for the needy in Africa.

Yet curiously, the organisation seems to be spending lavishly as confirmed by Mugezi's travel arrangements when indeed he is supposed to go and persuade people abroad bout the dire needs of people back home.

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