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The Disco Bash (Short Story)


It was the late 90’s to the early side of the 2000’s, the era of faded jeans, the Walkman paving way for the disc man and the trend of jazzy youth “luxing” in Freetown. One of the features in hailing from a family filled with older brothers and cousins is their knack of grilling, teasing and being initiated into a rite of never ending stories.

In the rare times I was granted permission to be in -“The Stronghold” as my brothers called their bedroom, I sat on the floor with folded feet and stared at them in awe and drank in every details as they conversed. I was a very curious kid, let me don’t euphemize, I was a very “congosa pikin”, and so when I was barred entry I found ways to eavesdrop.

Boy, the stories I heard! Let me tell you about the Disco Bash.

My brother, let’s call him Max had been in party prepping mode for a month. Trips to the barbershop with him returning doo rag donned to protect his waves, brand new Reebok Pump sneakers straight from the box and my dad’s Hugo Boss cologne suddenly going missing.

Dash card, cash box and neighborhood Sunday cleaning, Max left no stone unturned to raise funds.

Finally, the D-Day dawned, from what I could piece together from the narrative, the party kicked off with a bang. DJ Sonny was on location at Rumors Night Club swinging and the ladies came through in droves.

Then, the generator made a rumbling noise and went out. It was no trouble, a mechanic was handy, he sorted the electrical issue in no time to rousing cheers from the crowd and went home, assured his work was done.

Freetown had many rival social club sects back the who vied for premier relevance. Apparently, one of these groups had been plotting and planning to topple my brother’s sect.

The generator which had been marked as the weak link was first smoothly disconnected, then a big boom box tape recorder had recorded it’s sound and put on a repeat loop, whilst the generator was carted away. So when the lights went out again, all assumed it was just another electrical issue, it was sheer shock as my brother and his friends arrived at the backyard to see an old beaten down boom box at top volume bleating out generator noise.

Bad luck, they say come in series never single.

The ECOMOG located around the vicinity had been notified by a tip off (probably from the rival group) or rather just by the aggrieved crowd loudly venting at their party being cut short. It was after curfew hours after all, so when the ECOMOG breezed in with their vehicles, it was fleeing time as the palpable fear and possibility of the notorious soldier dubbed Evil Spirit amongst the Nigeria officers sent many flying as if their feet were those of Hermes.

My brother was never known for his athleticism; he was amongst the few caught.

His best friend -Sugarmouth Joe was selected to be the speaker when the soldiers enquired why they were out. Joe was a celebrated smooth talker and a lady’s man. By now, it was almost dawn and as Joe went ahead to make sign language and writing on the dusty earth, my brother and his cohorts knew they were royally in the deep end, because if Joe took the deaf and dumb route, it sure was trouble.

They took the belting that came in stride, and they were all dropped off at their various points later on in the day.

Max of course told a different story why he stayed away so long from home.

I later knew the real story because of my eavesdropping exploits.

Of course I could not just let this go, I noticed Max was very slow in sitting down, and a slight spasm of pain flickered on his face whenever his bum touched a chair.

I chose those specific moments to go “Vroom, Vroom, Ecomog day kam, I am a Disco dancer” and he would chase me across the room, but I always fled from his grasp.

Max was never a good sprinter.

THE END

NB

* Luxing was a slang in Krio in the 90’s that translates to define a well dressed individual.

*Congosa Pikin is a phrase in Krio that translates to an extremely inquisitive and stubborn kids.

#Conundrum

Freetown Night Life by Dominique Fofanah
Freetown Night Life by Dominique Fofanah
#books, #Conundrum, #earth, #KamandaKoroma, #love, #poem, #poetry, #sierra-leone, Uncategorized

Nostalgia


These days,

I am increasingly fueled by a raging desire to overprice depressed thoughts.

Or get lost in the flow of books in the jungle of Amazon.

Nothing seems real,

E-books? They leave me thirsty

I miss the smell of pages,

with their wrinkled edges,

and the torn covers that tells me it’s earlier readers validate its dopeness.

I miss it all.

 

#Conundrum

#Conundrum, #love, #poem, #poetry, #sierra-leone, #sierra-leone literature, #the human-condition, Blogging

WordSmiths


York, Sierra Leone. Photography by Nadia Assad

I’m a thief just a peg lower than Robin,
donning a hood Issa Kabbah never unveiled.

Poaching feelings across minds and giving them wings.

Letting them fly to the welcoming hands of estranged lovers
to use as weapons,
in status’ shade wars.

Subliminal yet direct.

Quotes coated in Quixote bravery

Memes Galore.

But then what are we if not mercenaries?

A La God, Allah Messengers to the masses.

What of those in homes whose only solace reside in our words,
and in these moments feel connected to a larger hive that understands the deep pits of depression that internet clout chasers skim over.

We give you passion.

We dish you joy.

And mash your wins to look back on the L’s you took that left you shook.

Of beautiful sunsets and wild romance.

Discreet flings and getting turned down in love at your first advance

In denial of the face of pain and shedding Nile long tears,
and losing loved ones in this mortal world.
We stand by you with all the memories.

For we are dealers.

We peddle and walk the corners of your lives.

We deal in feelings.

The real trap lords, WordBangers.

So when next you see me and remark.

‘You don’t look like a poet’

I’ll smile and reply,

‘What do human feelings look like’?

#Conundrum

#Conundrum, #KamandaKoroma, #landmark, #love, #poem, #poetry, #sierra-leone, #sierra-leone literature, #SierraLeone, #the human-condition, #thoughts, Blogger, Blogging

Blogging from Sierra Leone: The ‘Why’.


There are millions of narratives online about people and their stories, mostly as strangers without meeting each other we connect with these experiences as we find ourselves relating to them. The intricate nature of human existence is the simple truth that in our differences we notice familiar things that brings us to the earthy truth that we are but just a singular race.

Every human has a story to tell and it’s no wonder in this day and age why blogging holds such a strong allure. Strangely the idea to create a blog to post my poems, articles and ramblings came not from me , but from my cousin, Ibrahim Jalloh (R I P).I had shared a piece via WhatsApp to him and after reading, he remarked that it would be a great idea to have a platform to air out my writings.

In his words he said, ”Kamanda, you have to save your writings and keep them so that they can be a moment in time when you had these thoughts. After all, even if no one reads them, they will always live”. These words rang true, Ibrahim always did have a penchant to say the rights things in a modest way.

Naturally I had some misgivings about the whole idea out of fear of internet trolls and another from the insecure idea that I thought my writings weren’t good enough. I slept on his advice. Several days later I set up a WordPress account and the rest as they say is history.

Blogging from Sierra Leone is not an easy feat. For starters, the internet penetration in the country is relatively low, and the data charges are somehow steep. Less than 10% of Sierra Leone’s approximately 7 million citizens utilize any social media tool and of that number the vast majority use Facebook and the cross platform app WhatsApp the most.

The reality is if you intend to tell the Sierra Leonean story via blogging, you come to terms with the stark truth that your countrymen will most likely not be a huge chunk of your audience. This realization alone is enough to deter many, I have known many fellow writers who started off writing on WordPress or Blogspot only to abandon it due to lack of instantaneous followers. Some chose to stick to Facebook blogging with the same recycled audience and recycled feedback.

I was tempted to take the easy route, but I did not. It dawned on me slowly that it would be better to grow an organic following from complete strangers and also from people I knew who would click my WordPress blog link to let my writing speak for itself. I held the firm belief that if I had to evolve from the cocoon of familiarity of the usual audience feedback that my Facebook posts garnered, I would be stuck in an endless loop, and what I craved was growth along with a bigger platform to tell my stories.

It has been almost two years now and I am approaching 500 followers. Through it all I have learnt some vital lessons. Blogging like any art form requires dedication. You have to put in the work to connect with your audience. The sooner you realise that the quality of your content will boost or reduce the feedback you get, the wiser you will become.

There is nothing I appreciate more than the feedback from readers and fellow bloggers, every comment or a like indicates that someone, somewhere took their time to read what I had to offer and leave a response. On some days as a dabbling writer that is the only thing we require, it’s less about a thirst for the spotlight and more about appreciation that comes with understanding. Blogging brings you closer with the art of others that gives you the necessary push that also stimulates the growth of your own art.

I can say without an iota of doubt that my writing has improved because I have encountered sound writers on this WordPress platform who have directly or indirectly influenced me with their brilliance and simplicity in tackling complex issues.

Blogging instills in you the confidence to air out what you have been stifling. The relief that such an outlet offers is priceless. To tackle the social ills of a nation on a broad expanse of issues and proffer solutions. Every complimentary feedback I receive motivates me to do more and tell our stories.

To every other Sierra Leonean blogger out there, keep doing you. Tell your story.

I will keep on blogging and sharing my experiences, as a voice from the western side of my continent, and let our stories be part of the album of the playlist of the myriad online stories written by people from around the globe.

In the words of Marco Koroma,

“Impact is greater than clout”.

#Conundrum

#Conundrum, #KamandaKoroma, #love, #poem, #poetry, #sierra-leone, #sierra-leone literature, #thoughts, Depression

Mind Trip.


A paper plane for your crashed thoughts?

Pennies are too heavy

Would your heart lift and take wings if I put a price on it.

Unload this burden on me, like a feathered quill in the hands of a composer crafting his last symphony.

Lonely balconies hold secrets of days when the mind leaped over the rails a thousand times.

Mournful gaze sailing to the moody sunset.

The chaos of peace
And calm in turmoil.

I’ll extend a hand to you

as a testament to show I’m always here for you.

I promise not to say the right things,

I’ll just hug you tightly with the embrace of my beating heart

and these words from my pen and let you know that you’re not alone.

#Conundrum

#KamandaKoroma, #love, #lust, #nature, #poem, #poetry, #sierra-leone, #sierra-leone literature, #the human-condition

Shades of Love


Photography by Kamanda Koroma, “Leicester Peak“.

Listen; even if rainbows were to forget to postlude storms; or sunsets the profane cains

of days; or dew to wash away

the sins of flowers when dawn

breathes upon us; or the dead

to ascend into the promised Heavens

I will never forget to bathe you

With these three words; banal they may seem, but they are yours from the deepest parts of me; the shadowed, the unseen, the scared, the fragile, the flawed;

I love you…

The type of love that’s reclusive
but appreciates the outdoor freedom of open affections

Chit chat and toothy smiles, small talk and long walks in shady alleys and bright lanes

Why tilt the scale when it balances the unresolved emotions and unspoken words like afro combo at mardi gras?

Take my hand and let’s fly across the memoirs of lovebirds in bourbon street;

sip on the intoxication of these three words..

“I love you”

…and I’ll tell you I love you till the words die on my lips

Till they cave inside of my chest and crumble like sandcastles inside of my belly

Till they fade from my breath, and my throat is hoarse from their use

Till my voice breaks at the thought and my tongue can no longer form the words.

Till they wane from memory and dissolve into stardust.

But until then. Until then;

I love you.

#VF

#Conundrum

#TMA