Monthly Archive October 31, 2018

At A Conference On Literacy & Imagination

Dogood’s only regret was that he was in Cape Town for business, not pleasure. He made his way past the registration desk. It was not as busy as the first day. The ushers in conference uniform: white T-shirts and blue jeans, were there to guide the few guests who reported on the second day of the conference. Three conference organisers were in an animated conversation. One of them furiously turned the pages of the conference program. After a few minutes, she wrote on the whiteboard next to the registration desk. Standing near them with all the worries and impatience of a nation was a participant from Tanzania. As he had registered late, his name was not in the conference program, and he was afraid he might not present. A broad smile wiped out his concerns when he saw his name and the title of his presentation written on the whiteboard.



Choirgirl walked through the entrance of the upmarket cafe.  A male security guard ushered her in. Her blue dress hugged her, revealing curves that are always hidden under the choir uniform. Like a woodpecker, her high heels rhythmically ate away at the café’s tiles. She swayed her hips from left and right as she made her way in the jungle of tables and occupied chairs. She scanned across looking for him, but also as if her nostrils were chasing every aroma in the air. She shifted her heavy handbag to her left hand. She had stuffed two bottles of perfume she bought as she waited to go in; she didn’t want to seem too eager to meet him.

Sermon: A Tale of Two Donkeys

“Our sermon today is based on the story of two donkeys. Yes church, you heard me, donkeys. Hee-haw, hee-haw, hee-haw!” Dogood’s braying was so convincing that some in the congregation looked around for the donkey and the owner of the pet. If he had been out, he would have fooled the real donkeys.

“Donkeys are pets in some places. For some people, donkey meat is a delicacy. Many of us have unwittingly eaten donkey meat. In some places, they are pack animals or beasts of burdens. And in other places, they become circus animals after they are painted to look like zebras. Donkeys are very generous—they can breed with horses and zebras.

Four in One

“Globalization, connectivity, networking and innovation are terms that are bandied everywhere. How much of that is encouraged in our classrooms? We are training learners to pursue disciplinary isolationism. We are sharpening compartmentalized thinkers–people who have to be prompted to turn on specific parts of their brains. I am about to tell you a joke, switch on your creative side of the brain.”

“Yet, all of us, learners, teachers, curriculum developers and all the other stakeholders, are expected to practice multidisciplinary approach to everyday issues. This can be difficult because of the deep chasms created around the subjects. In fact, in some quarters they have been advocating for the scrapping of art subjects. The language teacher says, ‘This is not Science.’ The science teacher says, ‘We don’t focus on small lifeless things like commas and full stops. If I can’t study it under a microscope, I am not interested. By the way, what is the temperature of a joke? What are the pH levels of fiction, songs or paintings?”