Project Description

Taffi Nyawanza

Taffi Nyawanza is originally from Zimbabwe. He is a human rights lawyer and writer. He is a National Flash Flood Best of the Net 2020 nominee. His short fiction has appeared in various  places, including Afritondo Journal; PerHappened mag, Kreaxxxion Review, Lumiere, Time to Breathe Journal, Untitled: Voices Journal, Kalahari Journal, the National Flash Fiction Journal, Palewell Press and MIROnline. His manuscript of short stories was shortlisted by The St. Lawrence Book Award 2020. He was on the Exiled Writers Ink 2020 programme and published a chapbook with them titled ‘The Men Who Have No Knees’.  His website is and his twitter handle is @tnyawanz

The choice

He came in stealth
In the cover of an obsidian night
Outside the wind howled
And shivered the roof
And he swift as a black panther
His jugulation just as powerful

My sister’s husband
The father of her multiple catholic babies
They who communicated in yelps
and screams and tantrums

They needed their mother to have help
That my Accra youthfulness could lend
To endless household chores

The change of pongy nappy
The feed of multiple mouths
The wash of piled crockery
The endless baby whispering
So my sister could draw back
From tortured precipice
And nightly howls
Of her post-partum moods

But the big husband was sullen
Deep in his corner sofa and football
And fufu which he shouted for
I imagined I was unwelcome
Another fresh arrival from African
Another refugee mouth to feed
Another load on his o’burdened pocket
I who was not even of his people

But it was not sullenness
It was contemplation
It was assessment
It was analysis
Of cost and benefit
Of his dastardly meticulous plan

And deciding one night
that the omens were auspicious
And the fleeting pleasure of now
worth the affliction of the morrow
He deployed his plan
And thrust in me like an incubus

He was cocksure
Of his wife’s tortured complicity
And sure enough she mumbled
‘Don’t report him,
he will only go to jail
We have four children
And no income of my own’.

So I’m here and there
In this desiccated city
Waiting for when he comes again
But this time I’m ready for the bastard.