You shared a desk with the two most jovial girls in the class, Njeri and Atieno. They asked whether they could touch your soft skin. You said with pride, “Sawa sawa, it’s alright.” You too admired them, Njeri, with brown teeth, and Atieno, the plump dark skinned. You were getting along with them, except when you talked about which region had the greatest heroes in Kenya; you will say North Eastern — which you haven’t seen — while Njeri repeatedly sang Central, and Atieno shouted Nyanza. It is then that Njeri opened the aging pamphlet she had inherited from her grandfather and showed you the pictures of Kimathi and Kenyatta. With passion and dedication, Atieno explained how Achieng and Jaramogi were far greater heroes than any other Kenyan. They laughed until their ribs hurt when you mentioned Sambul Abdi Ibrahim, Abdi Ogle, and Omar Shurie.
This story was selected for African Roar 2013.
'The Faces of Fate' was written by Abdulghani Sheikh Hassan.
Copyright © Abdulghani Sheikh Hassan 2012.
Abdulghani Sheikh Hassan was Born in Garissa District, Kenya in 1985. Educated from Bour-algy Primary (2000) and Garissa High (2004) before joining Islamic University in Uganda for a Degree in Education Arts where he studied English/Literature (graduated 2010). Taught at Iftin Girls' Secondary school, between 2007 and 2009, while studying, and then briefly from January to July 2010. At Iftin he is remembered as the enthusiastic journalism and drama clubs patron. He is now a humanitarian aid worker. Some of his poems are published online by the Kenyan poets lounge. He also runs a personal blog: My Voice, My Freedom where he posts poems on daily life encounters. Abdulghani's passion to write was ignited by writers such as Ezakiel Mphalele, Alex La Guma, Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi, Ngugi wa Thing'o, Francis Imbuga and Sam Kahiga. He is currently working on a novel The Ideal, and a poetry collection Childhood Memory and other poems.