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ANNA'S SONG

 

By Austin Kaluba

Sunday, June 13, 2010. 

 

Hi , Jane Njeri. jambo ndugu! I hope you are fine? Can't believe five years have gone since you left. One of my friends said you were in Kisumu.

By the way, I have somehow reconciled with my former husband Mr Robinson. We meet from time to time though we do not live together. I still use his name for prestige and for papers, you know.

 Jane, I know you are bitter for being deported but I feel it is the Lord ( I am a believer by the way), who saved you from this life of shame. The business is now hard for us old women. As you know this malaya business is only good for young women.

 The Police are also clamping down on the trade and so many brothels have been closed. Oh, you  remember the Kenyan woman who used to run  brothels in Soho - Mrs Osborne. Yes, Mrs Osborne, that is her name - the one who was married to some Whiteman. She was caught and her name appeared in all the papers. What surprised the Bazungus was not her trade which is not news here but the money she made. Imagine £2 million!

I was in Manchester when I heard that you had been arrested and taken to Dover. I prayed for you the all night and cried like a child.

Jane, life is hard and strange. I thought I had escaped life in Majengo but I have entered another Majengo that eats at your soul.

It is strange Jane; all the same I have got used to life here. It is Africa which will be strange to me if I was to come back. How many years have I been here. I used to celebrate birthdays but the last birthday made me realise that I have aged. I am 50! Just like that.

Luckily, these Bazungus are strange people. I have a few clients who like black flesh even that of an old woman like me.

There is this old man, Father Sean O'Donoghue. He enjoys being whipped and he cries out like a child calling out my name 'Do it Anna,  you black bitch! Whip me, bitch!

You can't believe what madness these white people have. And imagine this same man conducting Mass on Sunday using the same blasphemous  mouth to say Ave Maria.

Oh, I wish God could strike him down with lightning like he used to do in the Old testament. I have never met a man who has such a dirty mouth like Sean. It is men like him who are delaying the coming of the Son of Man.

You remember the brothel called Dirty Dick in East London. We used to go there together, remember? There is this white man we have nicknamed CCTV who pays a fortune just to see women naked without sleeping with them.

What happened last night when I went there was worse than what people used to do in Sodom and Gomorrah. If I had something else to do to make the kind of money I am making, I would stop.

Some of my friends have stopped selling their bodies and are doing care work. I used to call care work dirty but I am not the right person to call any work dirty because I have seen dirtier things in life.

I pray for forgiveness. Is it not Jesus who forgave that prostitute in the Bible. I will write you later. Keep on praying and don't come back here. Kwaheri ndugu.

 Yours,

Anna Gachiru.

 

Austin Kaluba is a short story writer studying creative writing at Oxford University. His short stories have appeared in online and print publications, including the UK-based black newspaper, The Voice.

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