Saturday, 22 December 2007

One of my short stories

More than a Thousand Miles from Home

“There is a wave of stupidity that crosses the regions in the tropics” he explained,

as he drew an invisible line in the air that demarcated the north temperate zones from the

tropics. His cheeks that usually looked bulbous, now had a flat appearance as he

enlightened the listeners on the backwardness of Africa, most especially Nigeria. “All

third world countries have the same brand of stupidity” he said with a grin on his face.

Josephine, whose new pride was being married to him, could not agree more. She placed

her arms that had the color of white chocolate over his shoulders, and for a moment, she

thanked Jesus that her white mother had insisted on leaving Jamaica. The thought of her

walking the streets of Kingston, because of her father’s love for his home gave her mixed

feelings. These mixed feelings bordered between victory in living the west and

amusement of what she would have turned out to be if she lived in Jamaica. She

loved his ebullience that sparked as he spoke of his homeland, Nigeria. He smiled as

Josephine winked at him. He knew what she was thinking in her head. He was convinced

that her adoration for him resonated in her head like a John Legend song. And that gave

him more drive to speak on, as he waved his arms and described to the listeners who were

all Canadian, of the corruptness of his people. He also did not forget to mention the

several cultures that were just evidence of his people’s foolishness.

The Canadians had enjoyed his rant. And one of them had remarked how

theatrical he looked, as he gestured and raised his voice. They were surprised to see him

speak so loudly and unrestrained. The Canadians had never seen so much passion in him,

except when he spoke about the new projects that had potentials for huge profit. May ,

the only female among the Canadians giggled flirtatiously as she commented on how he

spoke badly of his homeland. While, the males laughed loudly as they stood under a tent

peeking at him, the Nigerian and Josephine. May laughed harder almost spilling the

Alexander Keith’s beer on her denim pants, as she remarked on his trying to separate

himself from the stupidity he claimed his people had. One of the males, who was drunk

and had temporarily lost the Canadian politeness, stated that Africans were undoubtedly

primitive but the Nigerian man did not need to state to obvious to them. Their hysterical

laughter slowly dimmed as they all agreed to themselves that what the Nigerian man had

said only proved that guilty notion they had of Africa.

Soon he and Josephine walked up to the Canadians who were about to leave the

artificial palm-leaved tent that stood mismatched in between two tall buildings. He

looked up at the fourth floor of the building, with his eyes focused on the room where his

office was located. A smile was stamped on his face as he spoke to the Canadians.

“The sculpture is beautiful, and what remarkable detail it has” May said, trying to

conceal the guilt she felt on mocking the Nigerian and his homeland. He looked up to the

sculpture that was hung on the wall to give the tent a wild and more African look. He then

smiled briefly at May and turned again to see the sculpture ,which was a replica of a Yoruba

bronze head. The hollow eyes and metallic luster of the bronze head reminded him of his history
classes back in Nigeria. A black framed picture of him sitting in a class and listening to a

lecture on the lost wax-casting process, formed in his head. He could remember his

teacher describe this technique of creating bronze sculptures from wax, brass and clay.

These sculptures that were intricate in their structure and creation techniques that date back to

the 6th and 12th century had intrigued his teenage and impressionable mind. Slowly, the black

framed picture faded in his head. He turned away from the bronze sculpture and continued his

conversation with his Canadian friends.

10 comments:

CATWALQ a.k.a LAGBA-JESS said...

Is he crazy?

And I am amazed he remembered the technology described by his teacher used to create the bronze head...and that was ancient art...

Africans have issues, yes. But we are not stupid. Have never been. Misguided, divided, yes. Stupid, never....

Nice story though

CresceNet said...

Gostei muito desse post e seu blog é muito interessante, vou passar por aqui sempre =) Depois dá uma passada lá no meu site, que é sobre o CresceNet, espero que goste. O endereço dele é http://www.provedorcrescenet.com . Um abraço.

Atutupoyoyo said...

Some good material there mate but could do with some tighter editing. Metaphors like “her arms that had the color of white chocolate over his shoulders” could do with truncating into something like “her arms the color of white chocolate”

The pacing is good but I will say again – paragraphs. I counted at least half a dozen instances that would have benefited from a paragraph.

You kept referring to the Canadians as “the Canadians”. Why not replace this in some parts with some other pronouns? E.g. the audience, his captive listeners, etc

The subject matter is very good and I like the way you play off the ideas and opinions of the speaker against the Canadians. The Canadians for me represent a wider worldview of Africa’s image in Western society.

Afolabi said...

thanks atutu, I appreciate your comments. Bring em coming on my future posts. You know I actually tried putting in paragraphs but I think the blog template does not allow paragraphs. Still, thanks again

Ms. Catwalq said...

atutu; class teacher

Cutieee said...

Sorry but I disagree with Atutu, sometimes writing should just be simple and un-fussy. His criticism in my view is too technical for a short and simple story. Just be yourself, I've personally had enough of all the technical(laborious in my view) writing featuring in a lot of today's Nigerian blogs!

“her arms that had the color of white chocolate over his shoulders” I actually liked that metaphor in it's entirety because it made me consider the contrast that existed in thier relationship.

There's always room for improvement but I don't think this needed all the criticisms Atutu decided to shower it with.

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