Heart of Africa

In Africa, rules were spoken words. There was the wild and there was the gods. Anything could happen, Anything, if you take it too far.


1. The Dance

I was in love with her. I knew it was love, because I have been feeling this way for a long time when I see her. Pa said when you can't take your eyes off a girl for a long time, you probably love her. And when your heart starts skipping beats when you see her, then it's definitely love. I've been feeling all that ever since I saw this girl. And it's been 3 months now. She was probably a year or two younger than me. I was just seventeen and in love.

I watched her as she danced in the village arena. A huge crowd was watching as the maidens swayed to the beats of the talking drum. My heart was skipping even faster than the drums. Her hair was so long and dark. She had it parted in two and braided. And she beautified it with coral beads. Her waist was so tiny, and her bossom...

Akura! I was jolted back to reality as I heard my mother call my name.


Ma! Over here!

My mom squeezed her way through the crowd towards me.

Mr Jaja' daughter is dancing tonight. Have you seen her? She asked breathlessly.

No Ma. Which of his daughters?

The unmarried one. She said shooting me a surprised look.

I know the dance is for unmarried girls Ma. But I thought he had two unmarried daughters?

The other one has someone already interested in her. She will soon be married if things go well. They decided she won't dance tonight.

It will go well, things always seems to go well. I muttered. Truth is, I can't recognize his daughters. Infact, I can't recognize any other girls ever since I saw this angel. There she was still swaying and thumping her feet at the soil.

Who are you looking at? Ma asked as she glanced at the crowd.

Everyone Ma. Everyone of them is good looking.

They are. Ma agreed. This season is seeing more pretty girls than last time.

The Mara dance was a cultural and seasonal dance. Usually towards the end of summer and spring time. But most of the dancers prefer the summer season. It was for young girls and unmarried young adults.

Have you seen your brother? Ma asked.

No. I think he is somewhere in the crowd.

I'm going to find him and make sure he is watching? Ma replied as she darted off.

I could understand why Ma was so interested in us watching the dance. That's how most men in our village get to choose their future brides. But it wasn't just the dance I was interested in, it was the girl. And I had to know her.


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