Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Torrential Storm by Wada Goitsemang

Here is the second story from the Mahube submissions on the theme of "water". This is from our WABO member, Wada Goitsemang.

A Torrential Storm

I look out the window, it’s raining. It has been raining for three days now. They have grown tired of the falling rain and so have I. They murmur with sad toned voices, ''It’s bad, it’s bad.''

When I was a child, I loved the rain. It settled the dust, each falling drop brought down dust in one heavy pounce. I remember running into the rain and spreading my arms out with a freedom only childhood innocence and imagination could allow. I remember wondering where rain came from, and if the earth could ever be soaked up with rain the way a sponge gets soaked sometimes. I brushed the thought away the moment I saw rain butterflies. I would run after them and sing,''Rain rain, butterfly.'' I loved the freedom they seemed to possess.

That was then. My joy has been washed down by the rain. I am no longer who I used to be. We sit opposite each other. A foreboding silence killing every attempt to spark conversation. Our last 'discussion' was about rain. Whose god had allowed the rain to fall? My people had been in church petitioning, fasting, praying for the rain. His people had gone to the mountains, they had danced to the god of water. Who had more power?

Our son, lying in bed, sick with a high fever was dying. The new doctor, whom they said knew everything, said nothing could be done. They said that when he said so it was best to prepare for the funeral. I told them, God was smarter than him, he would not allow my son to die, he could not.

The basin of water that was prayed for by the priest would heal my son. It had to. The bottle of anointed water had to. My husband said, his father's gods were angry. We had to perform the ritual of cleansing. Our son should be taken by the riverside at night to be cleansed in the waters. I could not say a word to him, did he want to kill our son?

I could not understand how in the world we got here. Once, two years ago, water had united us. He had washed my hands and I, his; a symbol of how we would always take care of each other. We had been blessed with a son. Now it seemed I was washing my own hands, him his. He had fathered a son. I had mothered a son. Rain had poured to bless the union, rain now poured to mock it. Was this torrential storm ever going to have a rainbow at the end? We needed to be saved from the flood.
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Bio: Wada Goitsemang is a 24 year female currently pursuing a science based medical course but whose first love is the arts. She writes poetry and short stories in her spare time. Her work has a tinge of rural Botswana since she was raised in a rural place and later moved to the city in pursuit of her degree. Her background enables her to bring a rich cultural background to her work which allows her to relate to Batswana in both rural and urban places. Her work also reflects the religious influences that have impacted on her. She was originally raised in an African traditional religious family, to seeing her family embrace Christianity and having schooled in a Catholic school at the prime of her youth led to the consolidation of her moral and religious values.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Brand Botswana to be at AGM!!

Brand Botswana will be at our AGM this Saturday to talk to writers about opportunities that are available for Batswana writers to be part of the 'Our Pride, Your Destination". Do not miss out on this chance to find out more about Brand Botswana's vision for the literary arts.

Remember the AGM is this Saturday at 2 pm in Gaborone at Maruapula School.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

WABO AGM- Let's All Attend!!

Clear your schedule for Saturday the 19th of May. WABO will be holding their annual general meeting in Gaborone at Maruapula School at 2 pm. Everyone is invited. Besides going through reports for the past executive committee, a new executive will be voted in. It's important we have good attendance. Any questions contact: botswanawriters@gmail.com.

See you there!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Window Pains by Boleng J. Bolokwe

(As promised, some of our members who submitted for Mahube have agreed to have their work showcased on our blog. Here is our first short story)

Window Pains

This is what a bar should be: murmuring clinks and loud smoke signalling passers-by to join the hush and get out of the rain. The piano music meandered through the sound of pitter-patter and people. In the inescapable lull of old friends, lovers differed and delivered dreams and breaking hearts, gazes collide.

They said, “As far as lovers go, I am cocaine. You will need me. And I will break you. Tasting of desire, as do you. But I have mastered my highs – the itch barely recognisable. And you have barely scratched the surface. Sleep if you will, for I am the boogieman of your most desired nightmares. A dark dream as deep as the bone, warm as the flesh and steadfast as touch – feel me.”

She heard him well. Katherine Mokotedi watched the corner of this mysterious mouth rise to form a lazy half-smile. Thunder boomed. The crashing skies continued to drum as she swept back her hair, cascading her golden brown braids over the fawn fall of her shoulders as she undid the ribbon that held her do in place. Her cheeks reddened through mocha skin as she caught sight of the cerise lace peeking through her soaked grey tee. The stains, old and new, were barely seen under the quenched cotton. Her embarrassment didn’t keep her from admiring the striped black and crimson cups holding her breasts. She had cut the sleeves of the top and neatly tucked the hem in above the pockets of her washed out charcoal jeans. The white greyed and black receded, a sign of age. Her black pumps looked new, pristine in their gleam.

Her features, youthful and almost childlike, belied a sensuality that smouldered as she rolled her shoulders against the gaping door’s breeze. She heaved deeply, twice, catching the scents of carbonara and coffee, and raised the t-shirt that clung to her chest with each breath. Her figure could not help but draw murmurs. She adjusted the sling of her bag so her folded arms could cover her chest if only for a moment.

She held no regrets for visiting the restaurant on this rainy day. It broke the spell of monotony that surrounded her routine. The fans twirled lazily overhead, as the burnt orange walls warmed the room to its Casablancan character. An informed smile of tile, spread sophisticatedly across the tables, made the mosaic of her entrance complete.

“Welcome to CafĂ© 41,” greeted her waiter. His composed air brought her back from the stranger’s eyes and she turned her back on him and faced the waiter. Finally able to deal with her situation, she asked to be shown to the restroom. Her hands, absorbed in their acrobatics with her lighter, were lightly bandaged. Their delicate movements changed as her nose distinguished the dishes wafting from his crisp cotton shirt.

She faced the milling crowd, careful to avoid another ocular altercation with the handsome stranger in the smoker’s section. He seemed to have other plans.

“Excuse me,” he called after Katherine. He spotted the slowly spilling contents of her bag. His hand flashed forward, thumping firm buttocks as he kept a pair of blown glass bookends from meeting their doom. His smile persisted as his eyes closed in disbelief and his head shook as he muttered, “Sorry... But it was glass or ass.”
She couldn’t help but chuckle lightly and the surrounding staff and patrons chorused in. Kate removed her satchel from her shoulder and placed it in front of this new face. Catching the name of her waiter off his name tag she asked, “Leroy, don’t you think that someone who’s already familiar with my fanny…”

“Excuse me. But who says fanny?” Boyish charm added to his appeal. He still wore the same lazy smile that met her at the door. He motioned for her to sit next to him.

“I do.” She was an easy going girl, but could barely believe how easy he made approaching him.

“Tell me your name.”

The throb and thump of traffic and trickling rain were loud enough to muffle any further conversation to any onlooker. In fact, each table was dressed in intimate conversation, scantily clad in strangers’ sights. The curtain of rain lazily separated the street and the eatery. He looked to his right.

She began to be troubled by the fact that there were so many supposed adults here in their suits, twiddling the keys to their toys. But she wanted to be somewhere new. The group that troubled her particularly was the group of four executive-looking black men to her left. Voyeurism, thinly veiled in vulgarity, is often a trait shared by modern African men. Plenty, if not all, joined in the ogling overtures. Against the grain of femininity, she expressed her dislike of the display by men her father’s age. She had come here for the food not to be a meat puppet.

She gave them a withering look which was responded to by in-seat shuffling and the man-child chatter of her being ‘not that pretty’.

“My name is Bill,” he said as he undid the three remaining buttons revealing his red v-neck tee and the buckle securing his stonewashed skinny jeans, he stood and draped the warm black cardigan around Kate’s shoulders. “And as long as we’re here, would you tell me your name. And maybe have some coffee?”

The smokers’ section sheltered the two beneath whispering clouds and striking stillness. In rain strewn streaks, they gravitated towards the inevitable. They were a window, clearing as each moment passed.

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Boleng Julius Bolokwe, born October 12th 1991, is a writer inspired by human interaction. His early childhood in Francistown and Gaborone was usually spent neck-deep in books or skipping math lessons to play with his friends. A storyteller by nature, he loves to relay a good yarn to those around him. Most of his teen years were spent in Pretoria where he began to take charge of the emotions building up inside of him. He is oddly mild-mannered and yet, peppered with moments of intensity. And if asked, his biggest fear is a life unlived.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Update on Mahube

The WABO Executive Committee put out calls for submissions of short story, poetry and creative nonfiction around the theme of water for the next issue of Mahube.

Unfortunately we only received submissions from four writers. As such we've made the decision not to publish a print edition of Mahube. Instead we've given the writers who submitted the option of having their work published on this blog. Some have taken us up on this option. In the coming weeks be on the lookout for a new page on this blog highlighting some of our members' writing.

Friday, April 13, 2012

KWANI? Manuscript Project

Batswana writers, do you have an unpublished novel? This is a fantastic opportunity. Kenyan literary magazine, Kwani?, is running a contest for novels for African writers. There are cash prizes for the winners and the chance of publication. This is a one off chance, don't let it pass you by!

(From Kwani? website) "Beyond the foundations laid by Soyinka, Ngugi and Mahfouz, in remembrance of Yambo Ouologuen's pre-colonial quest and Mariam Ba's bending of form, to the urban journeys of Meja Mwangi, the precocious post-everything of Kojo Laing and the musical rhythms of Ahmadou Khrouma. This prize seeks to recognize the possibilities of form in an ongoing genre that has re-emerged in the work of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Alain Mabanckou, The Kwani? Manuscript Project is a conversation, an ill guised attempt at growing its own list. For there is no greater celebration of emergent forms than in publishing our own, thanks to those who have existed before us and helped us believe. We look forward to your submissions

The top 3 manuscripts will be awarded cash prizes:
1st Prize: 300,000 KShs
2nd Prize: 150,000 KShs
3rd Prize: 75,000 KShs

In addition Kwani? will publish manuscripts from across the shortlist and longlist, including the three winning manuscripts, as well as partnering with regional and global agents and publishing houses to create high profile international publication opportunities.

Winners will be announced in December 2012 at the Kwani? Litfest."

For guidelines for submission go HERE.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our New Literary Magazineis Up Online!

The Kalahari Review, operating out of Gaborone, is now up online.Link
They are accepting submissions. Go here to see guidelines.

We wish them all the best and hope that writers in Botswana will send in high quality submissions so as to showcase the work we are doing here. Link