An African childhood

I spent most of my childhood in Africa, from 1959 to 1970. First in West Africa, then, after a brief Dutch interlude, we went to Kenya, East Africa, in 1967. Kenya’s independence was quite recent: December 1963. The first president was Mzee (old man) Jomo Kenyatta, the leader of the Independence movement. For us kids,…

The sailboat

The little bird looked at the sea.  It looked so small. As if a single gust of wind could make it tumble into the water. It was perching on the longest branch of a tree, by the seashore. The end of the branch reached a few above the water. From the window the little bird…

The Valley

Let me tell you about a place, unique, so unique, a place where Man was born, where rivers hide under the earth, their path only marked by the rows of acacias that run on the ground, a place lost between the clouds, so white, so white, and the sky, so blue, so blue, that you…

The interview

Hi everyone. I hope your summer has been bright and happy. I did take a break from blogging. Though I collected a good bit of material for future posts. I was honoured to be interviewed by Yvette at Priorhouse. She has a wonderful blog and did a great job at interviewing yours truly. Allow me…

F.R.E.E.D.O.M.

F is for Fighting R is for Resistance E is for Enlightenment E is for Entitlement D is for Don’t give up O is for Overcome… (We shall…) M is for My life, My choices. I am a child of the 50’s, raised in the 60’s and 70’s. Born in India (Pakistan) after the Partition.…

I had a house in Africa*

I had a house in Africa… Not “a farm at the foot of the Ngong hills”, as Karen Blixen, though I did go to the hills later. (“But that, Best Beloved” is another story.) It was a simple house by the West African sea. A concrete jetty pointing North. The sun rose every day to…

Warriors

“We were warriors once. “We lived in the desert, by the Red sea and the Gulf of Aden. Or so the white man calls them. “All the tribes feared us, the Amharinya, the Tigrinya, the Erythreans, the Somali. We were warriors. We were the Danakils. “To marry the young maiden of our choice we had…

The high tide of the Equinox

The Sea covered most of the black rocks in front of the house by the Sea. Far, far away, the grey waves merged with the leaden sky. The Land was bracing, waiting for the final assault. The trees moaned in the howling Wind. The rocks shook under the crashing waves. The time had come. The…

The importance of wearing a mask

There still seems to be some debate about wearing a mask or not during the current pandemic. Blatantly ignoring the fact that cultures where masks are routinely worn in public seem to have fared – much – better. Singapore? Japan? Korea? Adversaries of wearing a mask appear to all be rednecks of various hues. All…

An African childhood. Part 5*

My sister and I spent most of our childhood in Africa, West and East, from 1959 to 1971 with a brief interlude in Amsterdam. What you learn as a child stays with you always. Above: munching elephant in Uganda, Murchison Falls, source of the Nile, 1969. White rhinos, Uganda, 1969. The term “white” is a…