The True Story of Banga/Tishi

by Michelle Angwenyi

Who are you, I asked myself.

I don’t know, Banga replied.

It was a Tuesday, We were listening to Dobet Gnahoré.

We were on Hyena Hill.

Later we were saying something about how we were not just with the lions there.

And something about the music our parents would listen to.

And something about the places our parents would go.

And something about the people our parents had become.

And there, I found Tishi in his childhood. So happy at fifteen minutes to four, crying because he finally could, fifteen minutes from our hometime, crying because he was finally allowed in himself.

He was slowly stepping outside of Banga and other things that I couldn’t separate from myself. 

How much can you grow in a day? Half a day? We were old men now. As burnt and as cold as the comets that came and could say, “…and then we saw the sun!” for just a few moments in their hundred-year lives.

And how do I say it? There’s no way to describe that thing so massive and endless and infinite between us, and how it resided within the narrowness of space, of time. 

And how we fit two of us in there for only one Tuesday.

But somehow we were still not close enough. Even in that small space. Even in that small time. and if you, like me, have experienced the varying amounts of time from one Tuesday to the next, 

you know it would come to an end in fifteen minutes.

So there we were, dusty and half-dead,

And I remember dear Banga, poor Banga, asking about time, telling about time, asking what the time was, asking how much time he had left. 

And knowing all forms of death coming from the idea that some people are lesser than others are.

I dare you to think about it, Suicide.

I dare you to think about it, Parasite.

I dare you to think about it, Banga.

My hands clasping around his neck, tighter, tighter. Ending together in prayer.

Dear God, I just might kill someone. I hope that Tishi lives, I hope he escapes from this body in time. So that we may go home together.

Michelle Angwenyi

Michelle Angwenyi is studying Molecular Biology at Yale University and will be graduating in 2016. She blogs at , and would one day like to live in an unknown place in Laikipia.