Dancing News from Zimbabwe

I'm really enjoying Petina Gappah's collection An Elegy for Easterly--and what follows shows one of the reasons why.

from "The Mupandawana Dancing Champion"
in An Elegy for Easterly
Petina Gappah

Fame is an elastic concept, especially in a place like this, where we all know the smells of one another's armpits. Mupandawana, full name Gutu-Mupandawana Growth Point, is bigger than a village but it is not yet a town. I have become convinced that the government calls Mupandawana a growth point merely to divert us from the reality of our present squalor with optimistic predictions about our booming future. As it is not even a townlet, a townling, or half a fraction of a town, there was much rejoicing at the recent ground-breaking ceremony for a new row of Blair toilets when the district commissioner share with us his vision of town status for Mupandawana by the year 2065.


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