Half of a yellown sun

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  • Publié le : 2 novembre 2010
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The scene is set in the early 1960s.‘The kitchen and bathroom will have to be cleaned today.’‘Yes, sah.’ Master got up quickly and went into the study. Ugwu’s confused fear made his eyelidsquiver.Would Master send him home because he did not speak English well, did not know the strangeplaces Master named? Master came back with a wide piece of paper that he unfolded and laid out5on the diningtable, pushing aside books and magazines. He pointed with his pen. ‘This is our world, although the people who drew this map decided to put their own land on topof ours. There is no top or bottom, yousee.’Master picked up the paper and folded it, so that one edge touched the other, leaving a hollowbetween. ‘Our world is round, it never ends. Nee anya, this is all water, the seas and oceans,and10here’s Europe and here’s our own continent, Africa, and the Congo is in the middle. Farther uphere is Nigeria, and Nsukka1 is here, in the south-east, this is where we are.’ He tapped with hispen. ‘Yes,sah.’‘Did you go to school?’15‘Standard two2, sah. But I learn everything fast.’‘Standard two? How long ago?’‘Many years now, sah. But I learn everything very fast!’‘Why did you stop school?’‘Myfather’s crops3 failed, sah.’20Master nodded slowly. ‘Why didn’t your father find somebody to lend him your school fees4?’‘Sah?’‘Your father should have borrowed!’ Master snapped, and then, in English,‘Education is apriority! How can we resist exploitation if we don’t have the tools to understand exploitation?’‘Yes, sah!’ Ugwu nodded vigorously. He was determined to appear as alert as he could,25becauseof the wild shine that had appeared in Master’s eyes. ‘I will enrol you in the staff primary school,’ Master said, still tapping on the piece of paperwith his pen. Ugwu’s aunty had told him that ifhe served well for a few years, Master would send him tocommercial school where he would learn typing and shorthand. She had mentioned the staff30primary school, but only to tell him that it was...
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