29 March 2009

Tamale Blues by Ayesha H. Attah

Of all the places she could be right now, this was the last she’d be caught dead in. In a rickety old bus, sitting next to a hen peeking out of a basket. The State Insurance Bus rattled over a speed bump, making the hen squawk, its head darting in and out of the basket. Nana glared at her uncle who was unperturbed by the commotion, though sweat had gathered on his pink T-shirt, dyeing it red. She sat in the middle seat, which had been lifted five times already for someone to get down to pee, for someone to vomit, for someone’s child to poop...

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

Tamale Blues was written by Ayesha Harruna Attah.

Copyright Ayesha H. Attah 2009.

Ayesha Harruna Attah is a writer and journalist. She has worked as a freelance writer for the Accra Daily Mail, a Ghanaian newspaper, the AFRican Magazine and Yachting Magazine.

Born in Accra, Ghana, Ayesha lived there for 17 years before moving to Massachusetts to study biochemistry at Mount Holyoke College. She also holds an M.S. in magazine journalism from Columbia University.

At the Per Sesh Writer's Workshop, with a fellowship from TrustAfrica, she wrote her first novel, Harmattan Rain. It tells the story of three generations of a family from the independence of Ghana till the late 1990s.


Ivor W. Hartmann said...

Excellent story Ayesha, it really captured not only being in the rural areas (or Kamushas as we Zimbabweans call it), but the innocence of Nana, and the impact of her first near sexual encounter.

Colin Meier said...

Ayesha, that was a subtle and moving story, that did precisely what it needed to do with a minimum of fuss. Very accomplished!
Well done.

Nana Awere Damoah said...

Ayesha, very descriptive, and for someone who has toured the Northern region more than twice, I found it reall vivid!! I loved the dialogues too and found myself laughing at some of the phrases and words, like Akara! Nice one there! I have seen Harmattan Rain in the Silverbird bookshop, and should be getting my copy soon. Cheers.

ImageNations said...

The almost-sexual scene reminded me of some of the scenes in 'Harmattan Rain'. Lovely write...perhaps you could expand it into a full-length novel.

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