My beloved DeqoI’m writing this letter to inform you that we are having a conversation as Afrikan bloggers for a whole month. On day 13 of the challenge we are writing about one notable African personality I would love to meet and probably the reason.
The challenge I had when I saw this was my issues with personality cultures. My mind was clear that I don’t have great persons I crave to meet. Yes, I was so sure at the moment of this. Why? I am an ardent student of African history and the history of oppressive regimes. So my little knowledge as of now is showing me that human are a few inches away from corruption. By corruption I am speaking of something more than how it is known in current discourses that is bribing and other little stomach-filling scandals. I mean corruption as a stray from the ideal values of whatever we claim to be representative of. I think I am aware how this personality culture is abused mainly by those who are on positions of power and influence. Think of the cult that revered around that old dictator you wiped tears on his sad and lonely looking portrait. I like your compassion even unto those who have succumbed and turned agents of the devil.
So I cracked my head since day 1 of the challenge. History as I read and witnessed is marred with images of people betrayed by the people they danced to, listened to, ran to, and supported. Some have been their mentors, political leaders, parents, pastors friends just to mention a few. I contemplated skipping the day until you crossed your name crossed my mind. Thinking of you on this day saved my skin.
I want to meet a young soul that feels freer and truer in thinking they are family less with ‘no grandmother, no aunt, no cousins, no grandfathers, no step siblings, no half-uncles. Deqo the echos in your memory are shared by many where I come from, ‘Whore’s child, whore’s child, whore’s child’ p.69. It is my wish that my readers and those who follow up your story lead in the campaign to notice the humanity in you and anyone like you or your mother, to learn from you what you are capable of in the transformation of this monstrous jungle under the sun.
Okay I love your whole story for what it represents. Think of the story you heard about your mother. A bruised girl who refused to say her name to the nurses at the refugee camp. She refused to give you a name either. I am sorry she had to leave you but I think now that I will see you after what I have been told of you, you now understand the forces that pushed her into this abandoning. That defiance of leaving the world you: a soul that crafted ways to maneuver through the many violent rivers of ruthlessness. I like the question that the old and young at the camp had no answers on what is and what constitutes a whore. I know a lot of us has know answer to this question.
But much interest is for you to tell me in your own words what was that different look from China and Nasra was like to you measuring it against the self-righteous looks you have seen before and after them… Nasra the whore as people label her was probably the first person to shed tears for your situation. I want you to tell me how it felt. How was the feeling when Nasra smiled at that question you posed ‘Are you a whore?’ p.80. I don’t have the freedom in this world to openly ask these questions Deqo. Suppose I gather the courage the people look at me with moral eyes meant to condemn. They don’t have answers to such questions and they don’t have the boldness to say they don’t have answers.
Deqo I want to meet you and hear from you what made you transcend beyond the stereotypical ideals on people like and went on to show how more adventurous, kind and compassionate you can be. I want to know how you guarded your soul to remain humane as you defied your tormentor Milgo, on the claim that ‘A full stomach and a good night’s sleep were necessary to make people kind’ by helping your former savior Kawsar and attempted within the limits of your powers to give decency to that man on the dining table of the vicious dogs by giving him a grave. You did all this with no roof to hide your little self.
I want to see you because even though you failed to thank Kawsar when you waited for her as she was taken to prison that day she saved you, you did so at a moment she was just an invalid.
I want to see you and know more of your secret trick ‘the power to be invisible’. I want to master that invisibility when faced with danger but I also want the world to know that in you is the heart and character they go in search of in worship houses and schools.
I like your bravery to challenge religious but not yet spiritual beings who pride in rites and ceremonies, pretense and the watchful eye of man rather than catering for the needs of humanity. You did that to the two men on the fire when you told them as they dared to chase you: ‘Man, be a Muslim. Let me get warm and then I’ll leave him’ p.55. When one of them dared to grab your thigh you skillfully jumped away and told him, ‘Oof! Go grab your father, you disgusting old lizard’ p.55.
Your trials and bravery, I think are the ones that pushed Rabbit to realise and proclaim ‘Let the end be soon, there are only so many injustices a man can stand before he despairs’ p.56. Don’t you think you pushed him to the limits of his thoughts.
Deqo I nearly cried when I heard how you sold fruits at the market, looked for a school boy to buy you some tea, kicked the one who fooled you. Such wits to see through criminals and the courage to kick them hard in the stomach those who might have escaped your watchful examination.
Deqo I love how you eavesdrop to Nasra and China’s conversations on love bites and its scandals. Honestly, I am moved by such stories. I think they form the core of those acts Humankind doesn’t want to talk of.
Like me you sometimes find pleasure in seeing ‘arrogant people’ ‘are forced to see how little they really matter’ p,66. My troubled soul like yours sometimes feel ‘a small charge of satisfaction’ when Humankind is trapped in its pride and senseless wisdom.
Deqo, my fellow bloggers and readers don’t know how you made me laugh during this conversation you had with a policewoman whilst in prison: ‘Jaalle, Jaalle! Comrade, Comrade//Comrade Policeman with the hennaed fingers and black koofiyaad, we need cups here.’ I like the fun and subtle command in your voice to authority or symbols of authority.
In our world people are struggling with the moral or amoral question of abortion, femicide and suicide. Allow me to ask them word to word the questions you had in your little head after the conversation with Nasra ‘If she is a whore then China must be too, so why had she kept her child? It it wasn’t necessary to abandon him then why had her own mother abandoned her?
Your story is intriguing and has so many existential question but a friend of mine was moved by your thoughts in or of Nasra’s room. The question is also causing things in my blood. You said in your mind ‘Whores live well.‘ (emphasis from the original text) p.83.
I want to meet you to see such a wonderful, courageous and amicable human being who have seen a lot in a world where humanity has lost its soul to war, greedy, ego, intolerance and pretense. I love your endurance and determination which is shown for example on page as recorded by the stalker narrating whatever happened to you.
I have so much to say of you, but the chief recorder of your story will charge me of plagiarism because I don’t have better words of my own to say why I want to meet you. Afrobloggers are not harsh in their judgments. They will understand my position in choosing you as that personality I crave to meet.
Yours with love
This is a half story about Deqo. She is a novel citizen from Nadifa Mohamed’s the Orchard of Lost Souls. She is not alone in this story but she got me. She is not the only fascinating character in there but she left me thinking. The ideals she represents are sexy to anyone who is attracted to the lowly in society. She is motivating in a way that is not personal but communal. She left me yearning for the enrichment of humanity. Read of her and the other women at the messy of the postcolonial war in the now dysfunctional Somali Republic.
5 thoughts on “A letter to Deqo”
How you bring Deqo to life!!!
Finally you sign off with a name, was this because to truly pay homage to Deqo you had find yourself, not just The Advocate or CEO but your very soul.
Perhaps nobody really knows anything but we pretend we aren’t lost while we figure out who we are like a the city waking up after a long night of sleep….
But first, we survive the night
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Hahaha the letter writing left me in less control so yeah I guess the homage left that illusion where I had to identify myself with the name on my identity documents
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Ahhh, the advocate has a name!
Was given a name and Deqo did things to make the advocate sign off with the name he grew up using
“I mean corruption as a stray from the ideal values of whatever we claim to be representative of.”
That is very true and scary. Meaning we are all corrupt whenever we go against our own values. The bar is too high.