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African Son {Chapter 5} by Jurgen Namupira Troy

Read the previous chapter here.


One hot summer afternoon Masimba took his foldable chair to relax under the enormous Musasa tree. The shade was so cool and spirit calming but his mind could not allow him the rest. He could not escape the thought of the two devils busy devising schemes to skillfully evict him from his land. To think of it that the District Administrator still had the courage to wave at him when he would see him pass in front of his yard.

He continually shook his head and Mrs Tembo had grown to realize that something was wrong with her beloved son. However, she could not tell what was bothering the head of the house.

She limped with caution as to avoid straining her paining leg. Age and the limping leg were taking the best out of her. They had tried the medical practitioners but the money they demanded was too much considering that he also had to send his two sisters to school. So they had to rely on traditional medicines to ease the pain but they were no longer effective.

As she drew closer to him she stretched her hand to his left shoulder. When the cold hand of Mrs Tembo landed on Masimba’s bare shoulders he almost leapt out of his chair with rage. If she had not said a word earlier something not so good could have happened at that moment.

“What is wrong my son?” said Mrs Tembo as she patted Masimba’s.

At this, Masimba’s heart skipped but he came back to life instantly.

Masimba had travelled into another world where his imagination was suspended into the unknown and left physically half conscious. His mother’s voice came across as someone was calling from a distance when she was just there by his side.

“Huh!” Masimba exclaimed as he turned to his mother.

“Oh! Mother it’s you. I had not noticed you, I must have fallen asleep.” He said as he began to wipe his eyes.

“Is everything alright by you my son? You seem so worked up.” Mrs Tembo asked.

“All is well mother. I am just tired and need to rest.”

“Masimba I am your mother and I have experienced more than you think in this life. I know when someone is just tired and when they are bothered.” Mrs Tembo jumped in before Masimba could say anything further. “You can talk to me if there are any grievances troubling your mind.”

Masimba hid his face in his two huge palms and took a deep sigh. He did not know where to start and kept silent for a while. Mrs Tembo unwrapped her chitenge and laid it on the ground as she was ready to hear her son speak.

“Mother this world is evil, do you know that?” said Masimba with tears logging in his eyes but as a man he could not allow them to escape.

“What do you mean Masimba?” his mother responded with yet another question.

“I do not understand if it is what other men come across in their experiences. Firstly, the world separated me from my father and now it wants to separate me from what my father died for…” he paused for a moment.

All this while Mrs Tembo’s head was focused on her clothe as Masimba spoke and all of a sudden she found herself looking straight into his eyes when he paused. For the first time in a long time her pillar had been shaken. The forces of this world had diminished his stoicism. He almost cracked but as a man he could not drop tears. He just contained them within but Mrs Tembo had noticed how touched he was. It was time to play the real mother part once again and revive the strength and courage in her son.

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