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Anna's Song

By Austin Kaluba (Zambia)


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Anna’s song

Hi , Jane Njeri. jambo ndugu. I hope you are fine.
can’t believe five years have gone since you left. One of
my friends said you were in Kisumu.

By the way, I have somehow reconciled with my former
husband Mr Robinson. We meet from time to time though we do
not live together. I still use his name for prestige and for
papers….you know.

Jane, I know you are bitter for being deported
but I feel it is the Lord ( I am a believer by the way)
who saved you from this life of shame. The business
is now hard for us old women. As you know this malaya
business is only good for young women.

The Police are also clamping down on the trade and so many
brothels have been closed. Oh you  remember the Kenyan
woman who used to run  brothels in Soho.. Mrs
Osborne…yes Mrs Osborne, that is her name, the one who
was married to some Whiteman,. She was caught and her
name appeared in all the Papers. What surprised the
Bazungus was not her trade which is not news here but
the money she made. Imagine £2 million !

I was in Manchester when I heard that you had been
arrested and taken to Dover. I prayed for you the all
night and cried like a child.

Jane…life is hard and strange..I thought I had escaped
life in Majengo but I have entered another Majengo
that eats at your soul.

It is strange Jane.. all the same I have got used to life
here. It is Africa which will be strange to me if I
was to come back. How many years have I been here..I
used to celebrate birthdays but the last birthday made
me realise that I have aged. I am 50! Just like that.
Luckily, these Bazungus are strange people. I have a
few clients who like black flesh even that of an old
woman like me.

There is this old man, Father Sean O’Donoghue. He enjoys
being whipped and he cries out like a child calling out my
name ‘Do it Anna , you black bitch !’ ‘whip me bitch!
You can’t believe what
madness these white people have. And imagine this same
man conducting Mass on Sunday using the same
blasphemous  mouth to say Ave Maria.
Oh I wish God could strike him down with lightining
like he used to do in the Old testament. I have never
met a man who has such a dirty mouth like Sean. It is
men like him who are delaying the coming of the Son of

You remember the brothel called Dirty Dick in East
London. We used to go there together..remember. There is
this white man we have nicknamed CCTV who pays a fortune
just to see women naked without sleeping with them.
What happened last night when I went there was worse than
what people used to do in Sodom and Gomorrah. If I had
something else to do to make the kind of money I am making,
I would stop.

Some of my friends have stopped selling their bodies
and are doing care work. I used to call care work
dirty but I am not the right person to call any work
dirty because I have seen dirtier things in life.
I pray for forgiveness. Is it not Jesus who forgave
that prostitute in the Bible. I will write you later.
Keep on praying and don’t come back here. Kwaheri


Anna Gachiru.

591 words.

Swahili words

1.    jambo ndugu-Hi friend.
2.    Malaya-Prostitute
3.    Bazungus-Whitemen
4.    Majengo-slum
5.    Kwaheri ndugu-Goodbye friend.

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