12 June 2011

Understanding English by Ola Awonubi

London 1964

At first he thought the cold winds were going to snatch his heart out of his body. Nothing he had heard or read had prepared him for this. His favourite books on England eulogised about log fires, and crimson cheeked families drinking wine and eating lots of meat whilst singing hearty choruses. The cold was just a backdrop to all these stories - this cold that went deep into the parts a thousand jumpers and heavy coats could not keep warm.

This story has been selected for the annual StoryTime anthology African Roar 2012, please go to the African Roar site for more info.

Understanding English was written by Ola Awonubi.

Copyright Ola Awonubi 2011.

Ola Awonubi lives and works in London. She spent three years taking intermediate and advanced writing courses at the Centerprise Literature Development project in Hackney before studying for an MA in Creative writing and Imaginative Practice in 2009.

In 2008 her short story The Pink House, won first prize in the National words of colour competition and another short story of hers The Go-slow Journey, won the first prize in the fiction category for Wasafiri’s New writing prize 2009. Some of her short stories feature in African writing, Authortrek, YouWrite and Naijastories.

She is currently working on a collection of short stories based on the African experience, and a novel – a cross cultural romance that explores the social, political, cultural, and historical, ties that bind and divide the cultures.


Bess Obarotimi said...

Awww, nice. I like it Ola. A lovely love story!!!

Favoured Girl said...

Enjoyed reading this. Well done!

tbafs said...

Nice story, Ola. Well done!

Heavenly Treasures Ministries said...

Another interesting read Ola. Keep up the writing, what a blessing...

Bunmi said...

Thanks so much. I'm so glad that you found it intresting. I wrote this story based on some of the stories I had heard from my parents and their friends. Made me do a bit of research and reading into the era and I tried to capture that in this piece. 1960s London - The music, the fashions, the socio/political tempo of the time. Looking at it now I see a love story at the heart of it. Maybe I might expand on that. Again I would like to thank everyone for their encouraging comments.

altheakale said...

I also enjoyed your story,well researched to fit a specific time, but timeless.

Myne Whitman said...

I think you did get the atmosphere right. I enjoyed reading.

minakshi said...

ola , i think you've got the nuances so well- esp that bit-quote," early morning greetings to the English were not appreciated.." Also, the differences in socio - cultures. Yup, Beautiful. keep on writing.
Best of luck. minakshi (mina laksh)

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