Mongo Beti, God bless his soul, is that amazing writer that no one reads. Sad because he writes the most off-the-wall, entertaining stories.

Take today’s feature for example—a 1956 novel titled The Poor Christ of Bomba set in 1930s southern Cameroon.

It’s the strange story about how 200 girls in a Christian missionary boarding house contracted syphilis thanks to their lecherous male custodians.

Right in the middle of this bizarre tale, Beti places a sex scene of a Reverend Father’s apprentice having sex for the first time. Kinky, right?

Well, the only problem is that our dear Denis does not know the difference between a vagina and a swamp—or pretends not to— meaning that dude has no clue what is about to go down.

Prepare yourself for the most hilarious, chaotic, and pathetic sexual encounter ever.  Denis crying. Catherine consoling him one minute and calling him an idiot the next amidst caresses, thigh massages, and Denis calling on God to witness that his virginity was “forcibly” taken.

It’s a titillating hot mess. You’ll love it!

 Any way, I better stop talking and let you get on with it.

Enjoy!

Purple-Sexe-magazine-october-1998

It was last night, and I suspected nothing. I was simply lying on my bed and I was worried about the Reverend Father who was down with fever on account of that accident on the river. I thought with terror of all the water he had vomited on the river bank. I suspected nothing. I couldn’t know. And she knocked at my door. Before I could get up to see who it was, she was inside, because I’d forgotten to push the bolt. Oh, I should have suspect then! She was in my room. Before I could say anything she struck a match and said: “Aren’t you asleep? Ah, I’ve caught you thinking about girls, you little wretch!”

I said nothing. I was too surprised. By the brief flare of the match, I saw her white combination, her naked throat, her breasts which swelled out, her garment just where the shoulder-straps began.

Already she was sitting on my bed. The match had gone out and it was once again quite dark in my room. I was propped up on my left elbow. In the angle of  my stomach and my legs I felt the pressure of her almost naked back. Then she slightly rubbed herself against my thighs, moving her bottom to and fro. And I stayed there resting on my elbow, saying nothing because I was too astonished.

I had never been so close to a girl. And I began to be afraid. My heart was beating with a terrible violence and with each beat the blood mounted to my head like a river in spate and made me shake. A devilish tom-tom was pounding in my ears, sirens were screaming in my skull. It sounded as if an aeroplane was loose in there. That girl had unloosed all the cacophony of hell in my head. Why didn’t I take warning in time, my God? Oh, that girl…I should have watched out. It would have been better to run out of the room. I still wonder what kept me there.

All this time the bottom of her naked body was there in the pit of my stomach. The bottom of her back which she kept moving to and fro. Once, I moved towards the wall to get away from her touch, but she moved too and I felt her there again more acutely than before.

She said: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can’t go to sleep. And neither can you, it seems.

I said nothing and she gave a deep laugh. I heard her laughing in little chuckles.

She said again: “Go on you priest, you! Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? A fine little man like you playing at priests. What an idea!”

I said nothing. I stayed resting there on my left elbow. She pushed still harder against me, wriggling her hips.

I was helpless with all that racket in my head: bells clanged away wildly as if it were a day of consecration for a new church; the aeroplane engine which was revving up for take-off; the sirens singing in chorus for some unknown festival, and that accursed tom-tom. Now there were xylophones as well. And that machine which made my whole chest tremble as if I were in a train or riding a lorry on a road torn by the rains.

My throat was dry.

She said again: “Why don’t you say something? What’s wrong with you?”

Three times I wetted my lips, and I managed to say: “this is my room, not Zachariah’s. I came here because it was too stuffy in the other house, but it’s my room…”

I noticed that my voice was doing tremolos like the new Vicar when he’s singing the Mass.

She laughed and said: “Do you think I’m going to eat you?”

I felt sweat pouring all over me, on my brow, my hair, my arms, my stomach, my back. I was shivering with fright…No, I wasn’t afraid; I must have been hot, because I was sweating…Agh! I can’t say now whether I was cold or hot. I was sweating great drops and at the same time I was shivering as if I’d slept out in the rain. My chest was bursting.

My sex was worrying me, because it wanted to stand up, like it does at dawn when the doves are singing. But there wasn’t room for it to stand up; that girl Catherine was pressing against me so hard.

Suddenly I wanted to piss! I felt certain that if my sex, struggling to stand up, went on butting against that girl’s naked back, I would finish up wetting my bed. However, I had taken a piss before going to bed.

She lighted a match and looked at me. Then she asked: “Why are you so scared?”

I was ashamed.

“Who told you I’m scared?” I stammered.

“Who told me! Why anyone can see you’re dying of fear!”

“Please go back to your room, I beg you! For the love of God, leave me alone.”

“Be quite, you little fool. Father might hear you. Supposed he finds you here with a girl. What will you say then, eh?” And I kept quiet.

Later, I said: “Zacharia will be back soon. What will he think? Please go away…”

“Listen, you fool, Zacharia isn’t coming. He’s sleeping somewhere else tonight. And if he comes, I’ll say we were talking together. You see, I was right when I said you were scared? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself.

I could do no more and gave up.

I lay down on my back and she lay close beside me. She turned her back to me. Then suddenly she turned towards me and I stayed still. The need to piss, which had left me for a moment, came rushing back.

My sex stood up again, but this time it stood under my nightshirt and was quite free. These jolts were shaking me like a lorry again. For a moment my desire to piss diminished and I said to her: “What are you doing? What is it you want.”

I didn’t really want her to go away anymore. I was curious. I preferred her strange and perhaps sinful movements to anything she might say to me. But at the same time it seemed to me proper to speak to her roughly and adopt a high tone.

All at once I burst into sobs. I really don’t know why. I wept little stifled sobs. My God, You are witness that I cried, that I didn’t want to do it. It’s all her fault. You know it. I didn’t mean any harm. It was she who came into my room when I was thinking of nothing but the poor Father. I wasn’t thinking about girls. My God, it was all her fault. You are witness.

I wept, and she passed her arm under my head and said: “Don’t cry my fine little man. A fine little man like you doesn’t cry.”

She stroked my cheek and said: ” I’m your sweetheart. You know that. So then…”

“I’m not crying,” I sputtered.

I wiped my tears with my right hand, and I found her own hand on my cheek. Our hands mingled finger to finger. She said to me: “You aren’t crying now, are you?”

I said nothing.

She said it was a good thing that I had stopped, because a fine young man like myself should never cry. What was I thinking of? Had I ever in my life seen a fine young man cry? I hated her talking to me like that but I didn’t tell her so.

I didn’t feel her hand sliding under my nightshirt, but I trembled when she touched me. I wondered what she was after, but I didn’t really suspect anything because it had never happened to me before.

Oh if only I’d known what she was doing I would certainly have taken care. But I didn’t know and that’s what ruined me.

How sweetly she smelt, Catherine! She smelt so sweet and her firm breast was pushing against my left arm. For a moment I thought of turning against the wall, but I didn’t know what she was doing and so I stayed where I was. And her hand went gliding and caressing down my side and it was cool like a snake. I trembled all over and she laughed at it. I had almost stopped breathing and there was no more noise in my head. Only I felt again a crazy desire to piss.

She tickled me; I laughed despite myself. Oh God, You are witness that if I laughed it was despite myself! I laughed when she tickled me and she told me not to make such a noise or someone might hear us.

She began to tickle me without stoping, and I had to hold myself in, in all senses, so as not to laugh. But she kept on and I said: “Catherine, stop it, please!”

She gently squeezed my fingers. She was once more stretched out on the bed.

She said to me: “Turn towards me and lie on your side.”

But I didn’t, and she said: “Don’t be afraid, little idiot. I won’t do you any harm. I won’t tickle you again. You’ll see, this will be very nice.

I turned towards her, not knowing what she was about. Ah, if I had know what she was about, my God, you are witness that I wouldn’t have turned. If only I had known!

I turned towards her. I felt her hand glide gently like a snake towards my belly, then on my thigh, then on my leg, down to the sole of my foot. She moved it on the other leg, climbing slowly up, then on to the thigh, then…but she didn’t get back to my belly. I felt her hand squeeze between my thighs and she grabbed hold of my sex!

I trembled all over and Catherine hissed: “Don’t play the fool! Keep still.”

I did’t stir: I didn’t know where I was. I let her do as she wished. My sex was standing right up now and Catherine pressed it and I felt queer. Catherine squeezed me up against her and I could hardly breathe. I felt her hard breast against my chest and my mouth was against her cheek. We were both puffing like mad. I was beside myself and she went on squeezing my sex, which was swollen unbelievably and was now as hard as a piece of wood.

There was no more noise in my head, but the need to piss had come back. It flooded me. It rushed upon me most terribly and I said to Catherine: “Let go! Let me go. I’m going to piss.”

She took me in her arms; I thought she was going to pass me over her, but she rolled over on to her back and pushed me against her. She opened her legs and once more grab hold of my sex.

And all at once my sex disappeared!

And Catherine was moving herself on the bed, to and fro, to and fro, without stopping…I was plunged into a swamp and at the same time a fire was raging in my belly. Catherine took my buttocks in her hands and jerked herself about on the bed. She bit my cheek and her firm breast were thrust into me. And always that terrible desire to piss…Now I couldn’t hold it any longer. I said as much to Catherine.

“Piss then! What the hell are you waiting for,”

At that moment I saw that my sex was not cut off, but that it alone was plunged in the swamp, like a foot, while all the rest of me was outside. But it was an odd swamp, which sometimes tightened and sometimes relaxed and the need to piss came and went in rhythm with it.

“Good God! Piss, come on and piss! What are you waiting for?” said Catherine.

“In a minute, in a minute!” I said.

And I was terribly ashamed. I even said to her at one moment: “Perhaps it would be better if I went and pissed outside. I don’t like doing it in the bed.”

Catherine was cross and said: “Idiot!”

Then I felt the need to piss passing away quickly like when one frightens a child. Catherine again took my buttocks in her hand and began to move herself about. I was beginning to get tired.

She whispered: “Move! Move like this!”

And I moved. Now I did everything she told me, I was so tired. All the same I moved a certain number of times.

A little snake, a very tiny snake uncurled itself from my spine; without haste, it detached itself and moved its coils through my loins; it thrust itself gently. It glided timidly and furtively into my belly. What I felt know was not the need to piss, but to die. I was going to die!…It was a terrible feeling. I wanted to cry out; I believe I did cry out a little. I felt Catherine’s hand on my mouth.

Catherine was heaving about wildly…I felt myself contracted in a spasm of ultimate agony.

I cannot say what happened afterwards. I think I must have slept, but I am not certain. And perhaps I had really died and been revived by a miracle. Before her death, my mother told me of people who had died and come to life again a few moments later. She said it was important that they didn’t stay dead for too long, otherwise they could never get back again. Perhaps that’s what’s happened to me. I really died, and I came to life again a moment later. By a miracle!

And when I awoke Catherine had disappeared. The bed was wet beneath me as if I had pissed in it and I had an itchy feeling all round my sex. It was all scaly, soft and sad. I felt it for a long time. I wondered what had happened, and then I fell asleep again.

***************

Want to read more? Click HERE to buy a used copy of Poor Christ of Bomba for less than a dollar.

Post Image: Purple Sexe magazine, october 1998 Via Manufactoriel

Tags: , , , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

2 Responses to “The Longest and Most Ridiculous Sex Scene in an African Novel” Subscribe

  1. nkiacha atemnkeng 2014/11/04 at 17:02 #

    Great to see you posting about my compatriot. His novels are studied in Cameroon and francophone Africa. I have not read “Le pauvre Christ de Bomba” yet but I have and read two other novels of his which my aunts studied in high school, his debut “Ville Cruelle” which he published at 28 and “Mission Terminee” about a boy called Medza who fails his exams but still receives a hero’s welcome when he returns to the village as a great a academic

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ben Okri’s Rocket-Sex Scene Wins Him Bad Sex Award! | Brittle Paper - 2014/12/04

    […] Salih’s Seasons of Migration to the North {HERE} or Mongo Beti’s Poor Christ of Bomba {HERE}. But in general, reading a sex scene in an African novel can be as bad as watching Nollywood […]

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

The Three African Books on The NYT 100 Notable Books of 2016 List

ibrahim-abubakar-morland-3

The New York Times has released its prestigious 100 Notable Books of the Year list, and there are only three […]

Adichie Talks Dior, Paris, and Her Fashion Week Experience in New Interview with Elle.com

ibrahim-abubakar-morland-1

In October, Adichie sat front row at a Christian Dior fashion show in Paris and watched models strutting the run way […]

Adichie, Selasi, Teju Cole, and Others Share their Favorite 2016 Books

ibrahim-abubakar-morland-2

2016 is coming to an end and, as is their tradition, The Guardian UK has asked some of the globe’s top […]

The New Yorker Profiles Kenyan Online Bookseller Magunga Williams

magunga-williams-new-yorker

A LITTLE over a week ago, The New Yorker ran a story on Magunga Williams, Kenyan bookstore owner and blogger, […]

Life after Ake Festival Is a Drab Thing | By Ogbu Godwin Ikechukwu | A Memoir

Copy-of-Chinese

…but the powerful memories of Ake Festival, like a good old film, come at me, and I am too weak […]

Shortlist Announced for the 2016 Morland Writing Scholarship

ibrahim-abubakar-morland

Three months ago, we announced that The Miles Morland Foundation was accepting applications for a writer’s scholarship. The shortlist for […]