By the time Brutus stabbed me, Mukoma had already left to fight with the Mhere boys. Earlier in the morning, at home, he had told me that he just wanted to hear my English, and to see if I had the right gestures for it, adding that he was not interested in the prize-winning ceremony that would follow the big performance, nor did he care about meeting my teachers to discuss my progress. I don’t think when he left I had finished dying because even before Mark Anthony arrived on the scene, half the audience had left the play and had gone to watch Mukoma’s fight. At first, I had no idea what was happening, until Miss Mukaro, the teacher who had directed the performance, signaled Mark Anthony, acted by Chari, to stop talking, walked to where I lay dead and whispered, “Caesar, your big brother.” I sprung up and looked where Mukoma had been standing and saw that he was gone…
**** so goes the first paragraph of my favourite story in Emmanuel Sigauke’s
forthcoming collection of short stories. Right from the first line, you get
hooked and the story races with you in its jaws. I like the concept of ‘a fight
inside the insides of the fight’ used in that story. Emmanuel Sigauke may not
admit now, but when it finally comes out, this collection of short stories
tentatively called ‘Mukoma stories’ is going to be his major project to date.
He has been at this script for years now and I think he is close to releasing
it…. The stories revolve around a teenage boy and the escapades of his roguish
elder brother (mukoma). The boy has had to become a thinker and not a boy, in
order to survive because mukoma is as unpredictable as his mortar mouth. These
pieces come very close to the skin, akin to the short stories of Marechera,
Chinodya and Naipaul. Manu, let go! You have an extremely exciting script. (Kwachirere,
14 August 2010)
Thank you VaChirere for these encouraging words. I
am now sitting back, since the manuscript is now in the hands of an editor.
Hopefully they will like it. But you are right, I care so much about these
stories...and it was almost hard to let go...
I couldn't agree more with Chirere. I've seen bits
and pieces of the project here and there, and I await with a restless hunger.
That narrator... so alive and raw and stunning in his naivety and sometimes
hard circumstances, and the writer's voice just on the right note and
effortless. Either way you are drawn in, and I know we are in trouble when the