Not that there are a lot of passports to go around. A lot of the time, refugees become so because they do not have the documentation needed to prove that they belong to something, to a government somewhere. It’s funny how little pieces of paper – money, IDs, passports – become so important when you don’t have them. But who is thinking of carrying a passport when you’re running away to save your life?
Author Abigail Arunga
We get to the field and watch the boys a little. Because we like games, we quickly pick up the rules. We start shouting tips from the side of the field. We have favourites. Scola’s brother, of course, and others. After a few weeks, someone gets tired of us stealing the ball and shouting so much and asks us if we want to play, since we know so much about it. We’re in!
He had moved in before I knew it. I had a small bedsitter. He had problems with his landlord. I liked him well enough. It wasn’t rocket science. Once again, I didn’t think it was a big deal for him to move in. I mean, this was Nairobi, right? I knew my mother wouldn’t approve, so I didn’t tell her, because I am a big girl. I send her money, after all, don’t I? That was enough.
The day he arrived at the centre, there were no saxophones to play. Observing his crestfallen face, the music teacher quickly suggested that Mandla try his hand at the trumpet he had in his car. Mandla remembers thinking – a trumpet? What am I going to do with a trumpet? It only has three buttons! But these buttons were his only options, because if he didn’t take up the trumpet, he would have to wait for another six months for a saxophone to be available. Above all, the love was for music, regardless of where it was coming from. And so, he took the trumpet from the boot, wiped it down, and begun his musical journey.