Grace Chirima’s hard black boots crunched on the frozen ground below her. Breathing clouds of steam, she clutched her coat tighter about her as she walked through the shortcut next to the old church. At least it wasn’t raining today. I wonder what the weather is like back home today, she pondered. Would the tomatoes be ready to pick yet? It would still be a little longer before the mealies could be harvested. All the children would want to carry the watering cans, because it would mean that they could splash a little water on each other when Mhamha wasn’t looking. On hot days it was worth the risk of getting a scolding.
This story has been selected for the StoryTime anthology African Roar 2011, please go to the African Roar site for more info.
Longing for Home was written by Hajira Amla.
Copyright © Hajira Amla 2010.
Hajira Amla lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has had all sorts of interesting job titles; including musician, journalist, newspaper sub-editor, radio news anchor, and PRO. Born in England, she spent two years in the Seychelles before moving to South Africa in 1993.
Her own colourful past is a constant reminder to her that truth is stranger than fiction. She is afraid that if she ever published her memoirs, the Universe may suddenly collapse into a black hole. However, she has decided she is rather fond of chocolate and small furry animals, so the Earth is safe - for now.
Her writing often reflects the stark realities of life in a changing nation and throws a harsh spotlight on the widespread abuse of women and children in South Africa.