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Sandy Beach of the Pink Lake

Sandy Beach of the Pink Lake

I sat on the sandy beach of the Pink Lake of Senegal this hot and breezy Friday afternoon, reading Katama Mkangi’s Walenisi. I was on Page 154 starting out on the Seventh Chapter. The pink hues of the water before me kept distracting my mind. I wandered into thought, imagining what Africa would be had she not been colonized. And what emancipation for women would look like on a global scale.

The sky stared at me in meek and soothing blue as if reflecting my fanciful thoughts, blanketing my sight as a lover man on his woman’s huge breasts. Time did not move. Each breath I took felt like a step in front with an inhale and one back when I exhaled.

A few people strolled behind me. I was far away from their world feeling like a space traveller ogling at the earth from Mars. In that moment of notion, I felt a faint rub on my shoulder. My subconscious mind shrugged it off but the pat repeated.

I looked up behind and met this seemingly seven-eight year old cute boy with curly hair and dry lips, olive skin and a note on his hand. His long silky clothe seemed to have hung on his body for a while without washing. In broken English he said,

“Take. Jigéen say I give you dis. Take.”

I later learned “Jigéen” is Wolof for “Woman”. I simply stretched out my hand to receive the note. He bolted away after.

Opening the piece of paper curiously, I was met by these words,

“You Dark Góor sitting by the beach,

Last night in my dream rain come. Big sound from the black sky roared. Me could not sleep at all. My body give sweat and shake. I saw a man’s face appear in the falling water. His mouth pink as the lake and his eyes fire, góor. He look at me like sin wrapped in a cake, góor.

In the morning when I wake up I did not have porridge. I was thinking. I arrive work to cook for the white people in this hotel then when I step out I see the man who came last night. His mouth pink as the lake and his eyes fire. Reading a book alone by the beach. My body shake. My dream followed me to work, góor.

You are a god. It was you. What is your name?”

By this time, my heart beat badly fast like I was getting a sweet heart attack. Terrified, I took an empty glance at the lake then looked back at the direction the boy ran to.

Then I saw you, standing akimbo, gazing in my direction. Then I think I looked at myself, maybe to ascertain it wasn’t some type of illusion. Maybe questioning if I really wanted to walk toward you to ask questions.

Will overwhelmed me.

My feet slapped the sand, note on one hand, book on the other. Time still stood still. Our eyes glued to each other all through. When I was near you broke,

“What did you want to tell me last night, góor?”

I went into a daze.

After a short clumsy silence I said,

“I found you, Mkhana.”

Onyango Otieno

Onyango Otieno is a cultural designer ardent in maximizing the power of storytelling for healing and connection. Onyango believes in the potent spirit of humanity collectively creating safe spaces for interaction, development, business and movement, for a more cohesive world.

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