Everyone is African

The Greyhound coach had made a scheduled stop in Pittsburgh. KwƐƐku was en route to Philadelphia. While standing in line to get some snacks for the rest of the journey — with very little time in-between waiting and boarding the next bus— an American man who stood ahead of KwƐƐku noticed two books in his left hand and asked politely to know what he was reading. KwƐƐku, who was caught off guard by the question, raised the books to read from the cover page of the one on top. “Capitalism: A Ghost Story by Arundhati Roy” came the words as he read out to the man. Nodding his head, as if he had just learned something profound, the American man asked “Who is he?”

“She”, started KwƐƐku, “is a writer and political analyst”.

The two men acquainted themselves in the line. After paying for their snacks at the counter one after the other, they headed for the waiting area. When the time came they boarded and sat next to each other on the bus. KwƐƐku, as if feeling obliged to talk to the man next to him, said “Jon. KwƐƐku Jon is my full name”. The man shook his hand and said “pleasure to meet you sir, I’m Thirteen”.

“I am an artist, what do you do?”

“My wife tells me I do too many things” came the reply. The two men laughed.

They both felt the vibration in their seats as the driver revved the engine about to pull out of the bus station. As the bus came into motion KwƐƐku noticed Thirteen pulling out a book from a bag he had tucked under his seat. The book bore the title “Everyone is African”.


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