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Niq Mhlongo

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

In the kingdom of Dr. Nkrumah

We were supposed to have left to the Pan African Literary Forum (PALF) in Ghana on Wednesday, 2nd of July at 17H25. At least that’s what my electronic South African Airways ticket from my sponsor, The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) reflected. Around one in the afternoon, on the departure date, while waiting for the driver (he was arranged by DAC) to contact me about the direction to my home in Chi in Soweto; Siphiwo Mahala, the writer, and one of the leaders of the delegation from the DAC cell phoned me. With that friendly voice of his that sounds like he is hungry and talking under water he said, ‘eish baba, I…I think there is a problem baba…ehhh, ehh, our accommodation had not yet been confirmed in Accra…eish..baba. I think we’ll have to leave tomorrow just to be on the safe side, baba’, he concluded.

Although I was looking forward to the trip on that day, as I was one of the PALF staff members to teach Creative Writing (fiction) with Binyavanga Wainaina, I was happy that the trip had been postponed until the following day. Eintlik, I didn’t mind the fact that I would miss out being called a professor by my students for one day in Ghana. The fact is, the previous night we were in some lala vuka moer party in Soweto’s Chi with my friend Wonderboy. I had slept very late and had forgotten to swallow my malaria pill a day before departure, as per the doctor’s prescription.

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