We have come so far. Further than we thought we could; further, even than we dared to dream. It can be admitted: we hoped to come this far, but we did not always believe. Always, on this strange journey there was doubt and numerous opportunities to quit.
And now that we are here, why go on?
Why not stop?
Surely it would be easier to be still, to let what is become what was. No more struggle, no more striving. Just silence.
But even as we contemplate stopping we move on.
Komesho, the Oshiwambo word, is both instruction and motivation: forward, carry on.
We know the easy way out will always be there.
So we tell stories of captive boys and unwinged bipeds; compose odes to childhood dogs; sing praise songs for things lost; and move our souls to the rhythms and dictates of soil dances from Kaokoland, Badagry, and Amhra as we fight with the coloniality of shadows. We write about motherhood and women who are deeper than we could ever know. We, the princes of rain, stop and listen when the land speaks because the dust was here first.
From the salsa capital of the world to the unrest in the nebula (once, twice, and thrice again), we find encouragement in our past: in each submission pool, sometimes deep, sometimes shallow; in every ambitious and determined storyteller, from here and there; in the efforts of all the editors who continue to hold space and make time for writers, poets, and visual artists; and the support of every reader, home and abroad, near and far. Every little bit we make, we share it with family.
In the simple act of saying “come, let me tell you a story” we find hope for the future.
We say to you, just like we tell ourselves: however fast you go, however slow you travel, however far you have come, however far you have left to go, carry on.
This is Doek!—a literary magazine from Namibia.
Rémy is a Rwandan-born Namibian writer and photographer. He is the founder, chairperson, and artministrator of Doek, an independent arts organisation in Namibia supporting the literary arts. He is also the editor-in-chief of Doek! Literary Magazine.
His debut novel The Eternal Audience Of One was first published in South Africa by Blackbird Books and is available worldwide from Scout Press (S&S). His work has appeared in The Johannesburg Review of Books, Brainwavez, American Chordata, Lolwe, and Granta, among others, with more forthcoming in numerous publications. He won the Africa Regional Prize of the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. He was shortlisted for the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing in 2020 and 2021 and was also longlisted and shortlisted for the 2020 and 2021 Afritondo Short Story Prizes respectively. In 2019 he was shortlisted for Best Original Fiction by Stack Magazines.