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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Memories of the Streets

Mkwepu Street (source: unknown)
I am left with heartache after watching BBC Africa* on heritage buildings demolished in Dar es Salaam. My mum had her dressmaking shop, Karifa, on Mkwepu Street where I spent hours after schooleither doing homework, buying fruits from the vendors, chatting with shopkeepers, giving out coins to the beggars or simply belonging there. In the last three years, I've lived on this street through my imagination, which inspired some scenes in my novel, The Beggar’s Dance. I can't believe the history is disappearing and all I am left with is memories.

I searched further to convince myself maybe the news is untrue, until I saw a photograph* of the entire block gone, and it brought tears to my eyes. I had to walk away from what I was witnessing, go out into the fresh air but the darn tears would not stop. I am hoping that the scenes I have in my novel capture the memories and I am able to do justice to the streets I grew up in.

Now, how am I going to break this news to my mum. Sigh! 

* see links:
Demolished buildings - The Citizen 
Heritage buildings, Dar es Salaam - BBC Africa

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