“Bismillah,” he says, rubbing my shoulder. “No woman needs to be manhandled and that is good news about your friend. I hear you too have good news in your family. Hassan’s wife had a baby boy?”
“What is his name?”
“Hm. Every baby boy in this town is called Osama.”
“What’s wrong with Osama?”
“Nothing, but you would think the man is our sarki barraki the way we carry on.”
He smokes his cigarette. People name their boys Osama to make sure they will grow up fearless. The real Osama is more revered than our sarki barraki. He is so popular here you can’t find an Osama poster to buy anymore. They’re sold out. What did know-it-all Binta have to say about that? That a thousand Osama posters cannot beautify our mud walls.
- Zimbabwean writer, Petina Gappah's story, Something Nice From London, is in the same issue...
“The only good thing about Father’s death,” Peter had said in his careless way, “is that we will not have to put up with his tiresome relations.” We learned soon enough that this prediction was premature. Death does not sever the ties; it binds them ever tighter, for it is in death and its attendant processes that kinship asserts its triumphant claims. He had been lent to us as husband and father, but in death the clan reclaimed him. They buried him in Shurugwi, where we had to travel for hours on uncertain roads to visit his grave. Kinship asserted itself through the funeral rites, in the ceremony to release his spirit, and in the accompanying ceremony of inheritance. His family had even attempted to speak on his behalf. They consulted a diviner who interceded between this world and the next: Father did not rest easy, was his uncompromising verdict. It appeared that the reasons for his discomfort were mainly financial.
- Read on
- Also, read Petina Gappah's review of Tsitsi Damgarembga's new novel, The Book of Not...