They sayed she had gotted a white mans education. She had climbed the jet and flied across the ocean to read abroad. They sayed she had a big house in the big town of Meru. A big house and big car like a Prado that all the rich people driving in town. They sayed she had one children. A boy children that go to big school for rich people. They sayed she had a law degree but all she did was obey the orders of the wardens and pray. She prayed a lot. Some of the times she used to cry small small when she was praying. Some of the times she would kneel down but not that many times. The wardens would beat us when we showed funny behavior. Mange never showed funny behavior. Mange toed the line.

They sayed Mange was in remand. No one knowing what Mange had done to enter prison, not even Kanini whose elephant ears could hear anything in the whole kambi. Every weekend we sitted at the water tank during lunch break and listened to Kanini tell lies about why Mange was in prison.

“I met a chokoraa who saying she burn down the school of her son because they beat him badly.”

“I hear she stole a lot of money from the gavament is why she is rich. Is true!”

Every evening after supper we sitted at the water tank with toothpicks from the bush fence laughing as Kanini prayed like Mange in comedian voice to make us laugh.

“Oh God I pray to you to help me because I am living in bad condition and I am missing my big house.”

Every morning we sitted at the water tank drinking porridge and oiling our legs with soap and listening to Kanini talk with her loud voice.

“I was telled she was a spy for Niageria and she gotted caught.”


“Is true! Si me am telling you!”

We would laugh and start oiling our hands and continue to listen to Kanini because she bring us sigalets. If Mange ever hear us, she never say anything. Mange just did her duties and prayed.