Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Helon_Habila5

With the Nigerian football team, The Super Eagles, soaring to the semi-finals in the 2016 Olympics, it is only fitting that we draw your attention to this gorgeous little story penned by Helon Habila.

The story is featured in a new writing project called ADDA launched by Commonwealth Writers. It is titled “Beautiful” and takes a historical and somewhat nostalgic look at the state of professional football in Nigeria.

Read Habila’s story as you cheer the team all the way to the gold medal!

There are two ways to enter Ajegunle: from the front, past the noisy market and the frenetic traffic facing the store-front displays of clothes and household wares; or from the back by boat over the dirty, shit-lined lagoon separating the ghetto from the Apapa Industrial neighborhood. I decide to go over the Lagoon. This access is closest to my office at Vanguard newspaper, about two bus stops away. Here you measure distance in bus stops, not in minutes or hours, because a ten-minute bus ride could end up taking over an hour. Like this one.

Our bus is hardly moving in the deafening, chock-a-block traffic that has something almost apocalyptic about it. God, if you get me safely out of this traffic, I’ll never sin again.

I sit next to a fat lady who is eating corn on the cob with one hand, and with the other she holds a sack of groceries in her lap. She appears oblivious to the intolerable heat that is oppressing everyone else in the overcrowded bus. The danfo bus is cramped and smells of sweat and armpit and hair oil and food and, as if that isn’t punishment enough, loud Fuji music blares out from a speaker located somewhere above, or below, but it feels like it’s coming from deep inside my skull.

I am next to the open window. The lady is crushing me. I try to make myself smaller. I think thin. I turn my nose to the window for air only to find my view blocked by a sachet of water being thrust into my face by a hawker. Another hawker, a scrawny girl selling gala meat-rolls shoves the first hawker away and tries to push the pack of gala through the window.

Read more HERE.

 

***********

Photo by Jide Alakija via wikipedia

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.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Photos | Leila Aboulela Launches New Novel at the Lahore Lit Festival

Leila Aboulela

The seventh annual Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) took place from Feb. 22 to 24 at the Alhamra Arts Center, Mall […]

A Place is Illuminated in and by Absence | Emmanuel Iduma & Kọlá Túbọ̀sún in Conversation

Emmanuel Iduma and Kola Tubosun

Emmanuel Iduma is the author of two books, Farad/A Sound of Things to Come (2012) and A Stranger’s Pose (2018). […]

#PoetryTalk | Different Poems Travel Different Routes | Interview with Toyin Adewale-Gabriel

Toyin Adewale-Gabriel

Toyin Adewale-Gabriel is a Nigerian poet, short story writer, literary critic and activist. She was cofounder and coordinator for several […]

Here is How to Join Netflix and Triggerfish’s All-African Team of Female Writers

Desert 1200 x 630 (1)

You may have heard the news about Netflix picking up Malenga Mulendema’s Mama K’s Team 4, an animation story about […]

Netflix Acquires Mama K’s Team 4, A Futuristic Animation Series Set in Zambia

Desert 1200 x 630

Netflix has acquired rights to stream Mama K’s Team 4. An animation series set in a futuristic Lusaka, the story chronicles […]

Semicolon | Azeeza Adeowu | Fiction

Typewriter 1200 x 630

  Whenever I see a semicolon while reading a book, I remember Hadiza. I remember her eyes and her mind, […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.