“He just lay there motionless. His right hand hang lifelessly from the edge of the bed as a thick steady flow of blood connected his twitching index finger to the cold floor. He could feel his body jerking slightly as life drained from his veins. All the while, his eyes wouldn’t drop their gaze on her. His mouth was dry and he could taste the salty-metallic character of blood and bile. A stream of tear ran down his temple from his right eye. He couldn’t feel any pain yet he knew it was the last stroke. Visions of his life’s memories flashed in his mind’s eye as he struggled to keep his sight fixed on her. He felt hollow and hopelessly sad. He had loved her with his life and this was how it was going to end.
Lexi sat on the floor at the far end of the room with the knife still held in her hand. Her face displayed no emotion. Her big eyes were now beady and she didn’t blink regardless of how much her make-up glazed her eye lids. She couldn’t figure out what she was feeling. This scene had played in her mind over and over again and now the veil between her dreams and reality seems to have been lifted. She couldn’t hold back her tears and sighs each time he choked in his own blood as he struggled to breath out her name…”
I have been trying to figure out if this is the type of book I’d write in order to stamp my mark in this tough world of writing. It’s every writer‘s dream to do a book that will eventually be shot in film. But being from Africa, what are my chances? Who would want to publish me? Would you want to read my book? Have you noticed that as much as we have some of the most talented writers in our continent we still have very few readable books? Much of African writing is paralyzed by the selfish urge of our authors trying to show off their command of language. I have tried time and time again to read African literature only to give up midway. We use English that the English themselves would find hard to understand. Instead of communicate, we obscure and confuse. While we are busy showing off our command of foreign languages, the rest of the world is talking, communicating and entertaining! We believe that sophisticated wording will earn us awards [which it does sometimes]. We still live in a world where we immortalize writers who’s books our future generations will never read. In the end, we shut the world out and we shut ourselves in. What a waste! Don’t get me wrong as I rant. I respect those who paved the way so the world would listen to us but is it wrong to ask that we change with the times? Is it a crime to ask for just one piece of literature that doesn’t feel like solving Rubik’s cube? Let’s do literature that children can read and enjoy. Let’s communicate in a simple manner so that our next generations will be proud to be African.
Have you noticed that Hollywood has run dry and is recycling its content? Every film feels like Déjà vu? Every book you read from the first world feels like a regurgitation of another book written before. As the first world slides into monotony, our history and accounts fade away. Africa is home to the most intriguing stories the world will ever hear. We live in color. We have so much we can talk about. Did you ever read Waris Diries’s Desert Flower? Well don’t just sit there, google it! Get it! We have what it takes to do a good script. All we have to do is just communicate in a manner that is easy to understand. The world is holding its breath waiting for the next big book, film or story from Africa.
When we were young, my father bought us a wall plaque that was a picture of 3 cute kittens shot from a low angle. The inscription below the picture read, “If you do not raise your eyes, you will always think you are at the highest point”. Let’s fight the urge to stun our readers with unnecessary jargon.
This post is dedicated to all of us who dream of becoming celebrated authors someday. Just write and communicate in a manner that we can all understand.
If you ever come across any good African writer that is easy to understand, do alert me.
Last weekend I embarked on a general house cleaning that lasted from saturday till Sunday. I had no choice but to appreciate Carol, the woman who has been my house keeper for 7 years. How she has managed to keep my den neat and fresh with great dedication and consistence still surprises me. I also got to do some filling as fate would have it, I got to learn some very important lessons.
You see when you decide to clean up, you realize how much trash you don’t need. Name it, clothes, books and various other junk. You come across stuff you thought was valuable earlier but now lies useless taking up precious space. Junk. That’s what it is. Yet the process of an object becoming junk is hard to notice. It’s like watching grass grow. Have you ever noticed when re-arranging your documents how much of them you end up throwing away? It’s because now they just don’t make sense. They have become just mere records of done deals and dull reminders of the challenges that nearly killed your hopes in the past. Invoices. Hotel postcards for when you went for holiday with your now ex. Now useless instead of making happy memories. How about the bank statements you nearly framed just because you thought it was the fattest your account would ever get? Now they represent a younger you, when you were broke and humble enough to appreciate the little you had. All in all, there is the junk you get to keep but the largest chunk of it just needs to go.
My lesson? Friends. I think it’s time you trashed your 50/50 friends. They are not good for you and it is clear that they will never be there in your time of need. Go on, tell me that you’ve known them since you were young! Well, people change. Do you have an idea what they think of you? Have they ever proved it? Has anyone ever told you what they say in your absence? Do they rejoice when something good happens to you? More questions. If you had/have a family, would these ‘friends’ take care of it in the event of your demise? No? Would they put you up at theirs if you lost your job? Would they share the ‘little’ they have with you? When was the last time they declared their loyalty to you? You probably don’t have any idea what I’m talking about. I don’t blame you.
In the past one year, I have had to ‘clean up house’. I am still in the process. Results are starting to show. I have fewer worries and I care less. I am happier. I’m still the ‘good guy’ only colder , bolder and more calm inside. I play along to the music of my fake friends, all the while knowing what it means. I will hardly ever go out of my way for them unless of course there’s something in it for me. I’m a businessman. As I have said time and time again, I don’t have enemies in my life, only challenges. And to my true friends, I give my all. I might not make it clear to them but I prove it every now and then. These are the people I would die for. These are the people I would commit a crime for. They know.
So how many friends do you have? I mean seriously. Most chances are, you have none. What you have right now are just acquaintances. Very few people manage to have true friends. It’s time. To shed off the baggage. You have done everything for some of them yet they keep sinking your boat. Talking evil in your absence. Mocking you in your time of difficulty when you need them the most. They join your aggressors when they should be defending your name as you would theirs. You’ve tried hard to do well by them and for them but you’re met with those unsaid words. They go silent when you walk in. In their silence, their hateful whispers tower over your head. How is it that thugs and villains will be true to their friends to the point of making them family, while the rest of us rejoice in drinking and making merry with the hounds that would kill us for a price? I would like you to take a piece of paper and write down 5 friends that you can swear will come through for you when that time comes. 5 that you can die for. Trust me, I feel your pain.
This post is dedicated to my mother. Happy birthday mum. Through you, I’ve learnt the value of loyalty and true friendship. Now that you’re able to read my blog, please remember that my readers are still waiting for your post. I wish they knew how good a writer you are!