by KC Manuel

The chalk writings leap off the face of the blackboard which received a paint job 
that nudiustertian morning. The blackboard, always in a continuous mode of data collection like a government database, is as rigid as the education we procure. Although bound to a state of 
deletion and depletion, the chalk reincarnates into a chain of dunes at the foot of the blackboard, clogging the teacher’s gullet and painting her black hands white on its way down. Through 
inculcation, she belts the mnemonic now earworm: ”Z for Zebra”, and coughs maniacally.


Mother warned me not to trust anyone when crossing the road, not even the yellow, green, red 
and amber colours of the traffic lights, but the white stripes on the black bitumen because the 
way these colours kiss my frail feet is like an entire street holding my hand to safety.



History has it that at first the black on the Kenyan flag wasn’t accompanied by white. On asking 
why, the teacher says I’m old enough to know that a complete day is the binary of daylight and 
darkness. The added white fimbriation turned the black and red and green into a pout. The 
minimalist white wears its new identity – peace – like an undeserved medallion. The black, 
always as rigid as the education we procure, doesn’t even acquire something as simple as 
pertinacity for a new identity. It’s so insecure of the white that a shield and two spears have to be ingrained in the flag, for why would they be needed where there’s peace?
My screenplay was returned unread because it had little white space. But how else could I have
told this Biblical epic when this way was my only way of making sense of the world around me?
The Bible is open to interpretation like a poem. It’s a scope you can only see through in a split-
second and strike its meaning like gold from the earth’s underbelly. As I muse over my loss, the
major plot points play in the theatre of my hazy headspace: Jesus comes back on earth as a zebra.
As He reincarnates into the Father, He flays and His skin carpeted on the road leading to the
judgement square. Some people step on the white spaces. Some people step on the black spaces.
Others, bound for glory, walk with their heads held high, heedless of the ground graced by the
union of two beautiful colours people deem to be odd, but still revelling in the power of this



KC Manuel is an emerging Kenyan poet and writer, and student at Kibabii University. His works have appeared in The Kalahari Review. His piece, ‘The Rough Ride Home’, was shortlisted for the Igby Prize For Nonfiction. More than anything else, he reveres moonlit nights and twilights. If he’s not writing, he’s thinking about what to write next.
I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER by Kariuki wa Nyamu

I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER by Kariuki wa Nyamu


by Kariuki wa Nyamu

I’ll always remember
admiring your gorgeous eyes
embracing warmness of your character;
Enjoying we charm of our friendship
Me, cuddling you; you, tickling my fancy
Eating we lovely jokes for breakfast
as lie we on the couch
Me, soft-twisting your arm on lawn
You and I mental-screening our tomorrow
in a family, an envy of many
reiterating that I wouldn’t make vows I’d break
Yes, I’ll always remember
You in my world, me in yours


I’ll always remember
the days I’d write myriad love epistles
to your cheerful heart
those that lived with me for years
My mouth unable to confess terms
unable to delete lovely pages from mind
unable to shed leaves of pleasure from heart
My soul never exhausted of carrying love’s load
Yes, I’ll always remember
storing tanks of relentless love, 
Keeping it intact in my mind, heart and soul
in honour of the most irresistibly gorgeous lady I’ve ever met
Yes, I’ll always remember
You in my world, me in yours
I’ll always remember
often reminding you how you opaque all 
Me, reassuring you that
no simile or metaphor befits your comparison
I’ll always remember
vowing that my heart will hold you dearest
till End of Time
hence I’ll love, and cherish you my morning star
since the walls of my heart
over and over again testify power of our solid love
as flames of love remain ever on
reminding us we’re meant be one love
forever and ever!


Kariuki wa Nyamu is a passionate Kenyan poet, radio playwright, editor, translator, literary critic and educator. In 2012, he was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Arts (honours) with Education, English Language and Literature of Makerere University, Uganda. He has won creative writing competitions at school, university and national level. Apart from poetry and radio plays, he also writes film scripts, short stories, satirical essays and fiction for Children.

His poetry is published widely both in print and online, such as in A Thousand Voices Rising, Boda Boda Anthem and Other Poems, Best New African Poets 2015 Anthology, Jalada Africa, Praxis Magazine, The Wagon Magazine, Poetry Potion, Experimental Writing: Volume 1, Africa Vs Latin America Anthology, Best New African Poets 2016 Anthology, and also forthcoming in Multi-Verse: Kenyan Poetry in English Since 2003, among others. He is presently pursuing a Master’s in Literature at Kenyatta University, Kenya.  Poetry is certainly his territory.

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