Whether it is by a bedside, watching and waiting; or on township street on the way home with a little brother; or on a perilous migrant journey; the urban heights of capitalism that can bring one low; or a train journey with a stranger; from Harare, to Nairobi, from Sudan to France, from England to Namibia, stories will always find stories.
Perchance it is through an activist’s manifesto from a South African writer; or a remembrance from a Swazi ex-journalist and researcher; or the realisation of the true intimacy of medicine from an American nurse—the truth still holds: stories will try to find other stories.
Say what you want about the bearer of rumours and to the slaves of alcohol but they know more than most about the strange way stories gravitate towards each other, rumour and intrigue pulling them towards each other in a strange dance of seen and heard. What about the drag of making sentences rhyme? Or the curious realisation and experience of two motions of time—one spinning, one standing still? That is how it goes: a stories pause and speed up time. But always, inevitably, thankfully, they always find other stories. From the present to the future. Right down to the embalming of the past.
At dusk and dawn, too, when one stands sentry duty, watching and waiting for the light. Or in the macabre horror of being nameless and faceless in the work place. Also, in the dry dock, with a beached metal behemoth waiting for repairs, its rusted hulk, crevices, and crannies bearing the scars and clutter of numerous journeys out at sea. Here, too, stories will always cluster together.
And so it goes, on and on. Stories calling out to other stories. Across time. Across space. By the firelight of a wilderness camp. At supper, around a crowded table. On the bus ride home, on a small touchscreen. In the shopping aisles, when trolleys bump against each other. Or at the kapana stand, with gossip and rumour hot and fresh off the fire. Stories will always call out to more stories.
And every once in a while, stories will find an audience.
This is the second issue of Doek!
A Namibian literary magazine.
Rémy Ngamije is a Rwandan-born Namibian short story writer, essayist, columnist, poet, photographer, and the author of The Eternal Audience Of One (Blackbird Books, 2019). He also writes for brainwavez.org, a writing collective based in South Africa. His short stories have appeared in Litro Magazine, AFREADA, The Johannesburg Review of Books, The Amistad, The Kalahari Review, American Chordata, Doek!, Azure, Sultan’s Seal, and New Contrast. His poetry has been anthologised in My Heart In Your Hands: Poems From Namibia (forthcoming from UNAM Press, 2020).
He is the editor-in-chief of Namibia’s first literary magazine: Doek!