When you sit on a bench in Main Mall (short story) – Siyanda Mohutsiwa (@SiyandaWrites)

I would like to share the opening paragraph of the story with you:

When you sit on a bench at Main Mall, Gaborone, you will see many things: two girls in matching tops holding hands, their faces turned to each other to trade girlish whispers; a woman bowing down to hand her grandchild a juice-box, his face glistening under six layers of Vaseline; a stall occupied by an unoccupied woman, her wares hanging on the wires beneath her shade.

Such a  familiar scene. One could be sitting in downtown Pietermaritzburg (my hood – shout out!), downtown Jozi, downtown Anywheresville.

Siyanda takes us beautifully through that opening scene, more people enter in from stage right and stage left, and centre and each person and piece of new information just adds richer layers of the vibrancy that is people and places and spaces we move through. Then the crescendo during the lunch time rush of  women in their two-piece suits getting a hot meal from the mama in the container, of taxi drivers whistling and cat calling, of the euphoria of being able to stretch your legs and rest for an hour.

Siyanda

Then it settles down as people move off and away and get back home, to the cubicles, to load another taxi. But we get a beautiful sense of someone who has been watching this whole chaotic scene unfold, someone who appreciated the sounds, the songs, the clutter, the hustle, the bustle along with us, the reader. This person allowed us a privileged glimpse into the snapshot of a city centre at it’s brightest.

A story to relish. Beautiful Siyanda! Thank you.

-Babongile Z

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