25 October 2009

Uncle Jeffrey by Murenga Joseph Chikowero

Willie fingered the small packet in his side pocket. He had opened it several times these past three days to look over the small pink tablets inside but each time, he had suppressed the urge to throw two of those pink things down the throat. Perhaps this Viagra business was really meant for old white men who live in cold places and could really damage a tropical African like him in the long run. And what if he became one of those users who ended up with a stubborn erection for more than 24 hours? An erection was the very thing he dearly wanted but who wanted a permanent erection, especially over this Christmas holiday at his parents’ rural home? And what in God’s good name was keeping his doctor from making that call?

This story has been selected for the StoryTime anthology African Roar 2011, please go to the African Roar site for more info.

Uncle Jeffrey was written by Murenga Joseph Chikowero.

Copyright Murenga Joseph Chikowero 2009.

Murenga Joseph ChikoweroMurenga Joseph Chikowero is a descendant of great Chief Chiwashira of whom many legends are told. Joseph was born in 1977 at the peak of the war in Mhondoro-Ngezi, Zimbabwe. Because of the intensity of the armed conflict, his family temporarily relocated to Harare’s Geneva Section of Highfield high density suburb where his father worked for a cotton ginnery.

He attended schools in both Mhondoro-Ngezi and Guruve in the extreme north of the country. He credits his interest in the power of the word, whether written or spoken, to his Grades 3-6 teacher, Mrs. Ncube. Later, he moved to Harare for high school.

At the University of Zimbabwe, Joseph had the unique opportunity of working with talented writer-scholar-philosophers such as the famed T.K. Tsodzo, Anthony Chennells, Maurice Vambe, Tim McLoughlin and Memory Chirere, among others. He graduated with an Honours degree in English before finishing an MA in English in 2002.

He taught Literature in English and English Language in high school and worked for the private media before joining the Zimbabwe Open University, teaching English and Communication studies.

Presently, Joseph is in the US where he is studying for a PhD in African Literature and Film at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Among a host of influences, Joseph cites Dambudzo Marechera, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Phaswane Mpe as a key sources of inspiration.

Joseph has a novel in progress which explores growing up in the 80s and 90s in Zimbabwe. His stories seek to pry open the silences of Zimbabwe’s post-independence history and the place of the individual and her community in what is often a violent situation. He believes there is enough talent in the ‘lost generation’ that was displaced by various forces in Zimbabwe’s recent past to produce the new Dambudzo Marechera.

Joseph can be contacted at chikowero@gmail.com


Masimba Musodza said...

Fantastic, gripping! I like the ending, especially as the realisation that he didn't need to take anything for his little problem-it was all in the mind!

Murenga Joseph Chikowero said...

Thanks, Masimba. I appreciate.

Myne Whitman said...

This was a long story but it kept my attention. Good story telling skills well done.

Miss Definitely Maybe said...

Wow if only i could be half this good a writer....... lovely story could actually visualise sekuru jeffrey and madhuve.

Anengiyefa said...

I enjoyed reading this tremendously. It was long, but I didn't even want it to end. Grest stuff..

Murenga Joseph Chikowero said...

Thanks everyone. The guile and easy wisdom of the rural folks are often pleasantly surprising.

Lucy Ndongwe said...

Wow that was a good piece. I have burnt my pots cause it kept me glued right to the end. Keep the steam rolling..

Abdul Adan said...

A very interesting read. I like it that it was all in his head....a very African story. Will vote for this one too. For AR#2.

Lucy Ndongwe said...

Wow that was a good piece. I have burnt my pots cause it kept me glued right to the end. Keep the steam rolling..

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