The Shorttales Club
The Man from Kawo
On this episode of The Shorttales Club, Oz & friends read a story that was recently shortlisted for the Hafsat Abdulwaheed Women Short Story Prize. It was written by Blessing Aliyu Tarfa and titled, The Man from Kawo.
Blessing Tarfa is a writer. She’s a pioneer fellow of the 2018 YELF Creative Writing Fellowship. She is also an educationist interested in researching education continuity in emergency situations. Tarfa is a Shaper with the Abuja Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum.
Blessing’s passion lies in education and Children’s Literature. In 2020, she won the Wakini Kuria Children’s Prize for Literature. Blessing can be found reading a book, attempting to write one, watering her plants, swimming or simply marvelling at her unfinished manuscripts.
Who is the Man from Kawo
This is a man who is always on the road, prowling, either to or from Kawo. One day he lost his pet cat, which sends him searching desperately for her on his bicycle. The story evolves with each retelling.
Blessing tells a riveting tale of a family living under the weight of their daughter’s blindness. We see how this dictates their lives; in the morning after they wake, how everything they do revolves around Eman, their daughter and the dedication with which she is raised.
Eman’s mother worries her daughter would not be seen as a ‘normal child’ so she spends valuable hours teaching her the shape of colours, the parts of her body, braille and every other thing that comes to mind. Eman’s father is the playful one, weaving stories under the evening sky, playing catch with her and putting her to bed at night.
There is no doubt that The Man from Kawo is a story that will remain with us for a while to come. It is a story of pain, trials, tribulations and comeuppance. Oz & friends hope you learn something from it.
You can find other stories by the author in the links provided below.
https://www.writersspace.net/sophie-what-do-you-say-2020-wakini-prize-winner-by-blessing Sophie What do you Say? - A children’s story
If you’ve enjoyed our chat and would like to continue the discussion, kindly follow us on Twitter and Instagram @shorttalesclub to share your opinions.
See you next time!
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8. End of Season One11:36Welcome to the end of season one. You are listening to "The Shorttales Club," where we read, think and discuss short stories we love.Join us as we take a look back at some of the stories we've covered on The Shorttales Club.The Madman by Chinua AchebeThe Necklace by Guy de Maupassant This Man by KasimmaWe Will Talk About Other Things Instead by Deborah Oluniran AdeniyiThe Man from Kawo by Blessing TarfaCaterer, Caterer by Pemi AgudaCall Her No One written by Frances OgambaSee you SoonWe hope you've enjoyed our discussions and won't hesitate to read up on the stories. Listen to the episodes and tell us if you agree with our thoughts or not.
7. Call Her No One by Frances Ogamba47:41On this episode, Oz and Friends eagerly share their opinions on a story titled “Call Her No One.” Written by Frances Ogamba and published in 2021 by CRAFT literary magazine, the tale comes with a content warning: Human Trafficking. It is a story that talks about multiple forms of abuse. Statutory rape, human trafficking and possible kidnapping are some of the themes explored in Call Her No One.Narrated using the first person technique, Frances’ protagonist, Nne, tells a haunting tale that will grip you and won’t let go. Nne speaks in a disturbingly passive tone, as if she is outside of her body and experiencing everything happening to her like a third party watching it. Habiba hosts the episode and is the only one that doesn’t fall under the infamous Daniel’s spell. On the other hand, Debby is his biggest fan. Daniel, though an enabler in this horrid scene, impresses Oz with his efficiency.We are urged to call her no one as even the name Nne is not really hers. We do not see enough of her home, her family or who she was beyond the life she was forced to live after getting impregnated while in senior secondary. Instead, Frances focuses on the birth of her child, and another and another, even as her ‘aunt’ wasted no time in selling them off before they are a week old.There is little that anyone could have done to save Nne from it all as she is conveniently, the perfect victim. With no family who cared enough about her, it was easy for the ‘aunt’ to spirit her away to Port Harcourt where she knows no one and no one would come looking. You ask yourself, how she gets repeatedly pregnant, well, this is where the infamous Daniel comes in. Seven days in every month, he visits Nne until she is confirmed pregnant. He does his job with a fastidiousness that can be envied. During the act, he religiously avoids all eye contact, leaving no room for any further intimacy between him and Nne, then departing as soon as he is done.Listen to the episode to find out what happens with the babies and what fate has in store for Nne. Or follow the link below to read the story.https://www.craftliterary.com/2021/03/05/call-her-no-one-frances-ogamba/
6. Caterer, Caterer by Pemi Aguda56:13On the sixth episode of The Shorttales Club, Oz and Friends read and discuss the short story, “Caterer, Caterer” written by Pemi Aguda. It is a story centered around a 'caterer' just like the title suggests, however, unlike what comes to mind when you hear the word, this is one meal you’d prefer to skip.A Mixed PotIt's not everyday a good samaritan strolls into your life to help ease off some of your burdens. When this person also happens to be your pastor, you welcome him and his gifts with open arms. This was the case of the people living in the community Pemi described. Their pastor had bought the local Grammar School a generator, distributed foodstuff to members of the community and built a new Church - the tallest building in town. It was a monument that drew eyes to the sky, a constant reminder of God’s rule over the heavens. Pastor Pascal was God-sent.So it was a thing worthy to be celebrated when our caterer was called in to cook for the Church’s opening ceremony. More so since her chief rival, Iya Sadiq, was the one to recommend her, after having to travel out of town for a family emergency. Caterer, Caterer is the winner of the 2015 Writivism Short Story Prize.If you’ve enjoyed our chat and would like to continue the discussion, kindly follow us on Twitter and Instagram @shorttalesclub to share your opinions. Also, you can find “Caterer, Caterer” on Amazon using the affiliate link provided in our show notes. Doing so would greatly help the podcast grow. Thanks in advance and see you next time.
4. We Will Talk About Other Things Instead by Deborah Oluniran47:16When a woman wakes up to find a baby she has no recollection of having lying beside her, you just know you’re in for some drama. That’s just the opening of Deborah Oluniran’s short story titled “We Will Talk About Other Things Instead,” so imagine the twists and turns the author has for you.In this episode of The Shorttales Club, Cryptte takes the helm to lead AbdulHanan, Fresh and Oz into the fractured mind of our protagonist. Does she discover whose baby it is? Is it secretly hers? Is it some sort of setup? Go read the story to find out or listen to the spoiler filled episode to determine what sort of story you’re getting yourself into.Oz suspiciously takes the back seat in this one as our merry band of bedroom critics take things much more seriously than usual. The episode is chock-full of insight, speculation and personal experiences that will likely leave you afraid and thoughtful too.https://linktr.ee/deborah_oluniran?subscribe For more stories from Deborah Oluniran, follow the link above and don’t forget to leave a review for The Shorttales Club so more people can enjoy this episode as well.See you next time.
3. This Man by Kasimma57:16In this episode of The Shorttales Club, we talk about an interesting story written by Kasimma and titled This Man.Kasimma is an Igbo term meaning most beautiful. She is an alumni of Chimamanda Adichie's Creative Writing Workshop, the Short Story Day Africa workshop, the International Writing Program, and others.She's been a writer-in-residence, in artists' residencies across Africa, Asia, and Europe. Her works appear or are forthcoming in The Book Smuggler's Den, Jellyfish Review, Kiwetu Journal, Orbis Journal, and Afreecan Read.Halloween Comes EarlyThis Man is a story about this man. It takes the reader on a journey of discovery. At first, you meet This Man who you think is just another regular man like you and I, only to later find out that he is actually attending his own funeral. Then you realise that everyone he’s communicated with up till then is a spirit.This Man gets a befitting burial. His family tick all the boxes and his spirit is welcomed into the land of his ancestors. And here, the story gets interesting. The narrator is a spirit who has almost given up hope of ever being reunited with their ancestors. We see their deaths, their families, we see victims of war and we see these spirits, wandering, restlessly, impatiently, waiting for someone to find their bodies and send them off.This Man is a story that brings to mind the matter of free will. Habiba is of the opinion that if spirits can influence our thoughts and actions and we don't even know which thoughts and actions they're influencing then, do we even have free will? People are already bothered about the matter of faith and destiny. And then you add ghosts that can make one do something that they do not want to do. It is creepy.Peter, our resident Ndi Igbo, helped us to translate most of the words we didn’t understand, sharing insights into the Igbo culture and what it means to bury our dead properly. He talked about how our ancestors intercede for us here on earth and how this relationship is tied to our efforts in remembering and celebrating them after their deaths.In essence, no one wants to be forgotten even after we die. We all want to be remembered fondly by the people we leave behind. So what happens when those people have not even acknowledged our passing, much less do something to immortalise us? You get vengeful spirits.Cryptte believes This Man is a social commentary. How else do you explain the ridiculousness of some of our leaders’ decisions. Is it not easier to blame it all on vengeful spirits who are angry at us for failing to give them a befitting burial? Yet Another ThursdayIf you enjoyed our chat and would like to continue the discussion, kindly follow us on Twitter and Instagram @shorttalesclub to share your opinions. Also, you can find other works by the author on Amazon using the affiliate links provided in our show notes. Doing so would greatly help the podcast grow. Thanks in advance and see you next time.https://amzn.to/3TYUoFE All Shades of Iberibe by Kasimmahttps://amzn.to/3Nece5j Coco [Theatrical Version]Theme song Island Music by Jarico https://soundcloud.com/jaricomusic
2. The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant52:28They say you can’t beat the classics and in this episode of The Shorttales Club, Oz & friends find themselves in one that sends them to Paris, France. It is the close of the 19th century and Mathilde Loisel is desperate to attend a grand ball, but only if she can bedazzle all in attendance like a diamond.The crew is joined by Peter and Fresh, spicing things up quite nicely. Hanan takes things personal and Habiba disagrees with him wholeheartedly, while Oz is left speechless with Cryptte ever cackling in the background. It’s a wild one.Enjoy the show!Grab a copy of the book here - https://www.amazon.com/Necklace-Guy-Maupassant/dp/1568461933*Theme song: Island Music by Jarico*
1. The Madman by Chinua Achebe38:45Hello story lovers! It’s the first episode of The Shorttales Club and joining our host Oz are Cryptte, Habiba and AbdulHanan. Together they discuss Chinua Achebe’s short story titled The Madman. As the name suggests, it covers mental health, madness attributed to jazz and other forms of Nigerian superstitious beliefs. #shortstories #africanstories #onlinebookclub #ayamba #theshorttalesclubWelcome to The Shorttales Club, a place where I and my friends read, think and discuss short stories that we find fun and interesting. Please note that this is a spoiler-filled show as we cannot be held accountable for our frenzied excitement. Seriously, we really can't help ourselves. Other than that, enjoy the show.The Madman was first published in The Insider in 1971, several years ago. But then, as the name implies, the mad man, we'd wonder what’s going to happen, whether we are going to be learning about a mad man or not so mad, mad man, you know, anyway.According to Cryptte, we’re all mad, while Habiba gives us some insight and AbdulHanan shares his personal experiences. It’s a loaded episode and one that should have you thinking deeply, wherever you are.The Madman is a part of Chinua Achebe’s collection of stories named Girls at War. You can grab yourself a copy via the link below. Doing so will greatly help the show as we earn from any purchases you make. https://amzn.to/3BURqfg Thank you for your support.*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases
Trailer00:36Hello story lovers.My name is Oz. On the Shorttales Club, my friends and I, a bunch of bedroom critics, will be sharing our opinions on short tales we've read. It's going to be a conversation about the things we love or loathe about these stories. So, if you're interested in listening to us read, think, and discuss short tales, do join us on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month, as we bring this new podcast your way. The Shorttales Club is an Ayamba LitCast production that you can tune into on iTunes, Spotify and everywhere else you listen to your podcast.See you in September.