A child’s sweet burden


Sugar cane Robert Chisanga



There were many incidences when life should have told me that I had no leading role to play, and yet as you will see from my story, there hardly ever was another player under the spotlight. I was singularly different. Being different was like owning an empty space, a kind of internal bush clearing that defined me, that separated me from the common forest pulse. Being a child in that lonely metaphorical bush clearing of obscurity and self-assumed alienation, I was forced to find my own drum to beat. In a strange way, I was happy – in the end familiarity breeds comfortability.

Children carry a lot of the adult burden: rules, restrictions, societal likes and dislikes; all shifting cargoes that tax their free-spirited little shoulders, and for which they are given little credit or respect. I know this: Acclaim was not given for my great mythological battles singlehandedly lost and won.

This book is as a result of a swelling urge within me to question the realness of that bush clearing within me, and my never-ending awareness of it throughout my childhood. It was my quirk, my tic; a pang of hidden knowingness; an urgency of spaced being within me.

Allan Taylor, author, Luanshya musings


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