Take a look around at your small corner of the world and appreciate your challenges and how you rose to meet them. And then cast your vision and dreams further afield to the pavement offices of car guards and their unrecognised labour, the traffic jams, the crowded offices, the homely homes, the parks, the green and lush forests with trees that are much better alive and standing (that humans seem to prefer them dead), the beaches, the sunsets, and the hidden images from Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Zaire, North and West Africa and think about all that is happening in the world right now.
Take a moment and take it all in. It feels like seamless poetry–waiting to happen: the tragedy–the years that will blur, washing over us like saltwater over rock, smoothing the struggles, losses, and sadenesses until they emerge as new truths.
We have been told many times: anything you want in this world, you must grab yourself.
Does this apply to revolution? To rest? To peace?
We think it does.
This is why we resist the urge to stay right here, in the stillness, where you and I have always been standing.
Instead we commit to untangling the complex choices we have to make for the world that is and the one that is to come. And should the decisions we make render us alone, we embrace solitude because in solitude you see everything for what it is, not what you want it to be.
To everyone in the struggle we say: “Stay strong.”
And if you cannot stay strong: “Stay.”
Here, hold hands. From this moment to the next, we shall walk. Slowly.
One foot in front of the other. From the tips of our pens today to the visions and dreams of tomorrow, we shall build. Slowly.
From our unusual griefs to our unexpected happinesses, we shall journey. Surely.
From the river to the sea, we shall make our crossing. Together.
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.