It is not a fiction we are used to like those authored by African writers; Ngugi wa Thiongo, Chinua Achebe, Ole Soyinka and other you know.. not, it is real life experience;
"It was a Wednesday, December 6, 1983. A friend and I had just finished a frugal lunch in a shed next to a butchery in Mbabane, Swaziland, opposite the Swazi Observer newspaper. We had bought meat from the butchery, roasted it, and then eaten it with hard porridge. It was a popular place where people would meet for a midday meal and chat. I had just lunched with a Kenyan friend, John Cartridge, who had been in Swaziland for several days, stranded.
His version of how he ended in this predicament was not entirely coherent, though it sounded circumstantial. He said he had been working in Lesotho, another Southern African kingdom, as a motor mechanic and businessman. Cartridge even boasted of having repaired the official car of King Moshoeshoe II, the Lesotho monarch who died in 1996.
He said he was stranded because his passport had been impounded by a local hotel where he and a Malawian business associate had failed to pay their bills from a previous visit. Rumour had it that Cartridge’s passport had indeed been impounded by the hotel, but only after a business deal with the hotel turned sour.
Cartridge and his partner had apparently tried to sell petrol economisers to the hotel’s manager. As it turned out, the economisers proved quite useless to the manager and, according to some sources, he then decided to keep Cartridge’s passport in the hope of recovering his money. Cartridge strenuously denied this claim.
Whatever the truth, it was because Cartridge’s passport had been impounded that he was unable to proceed home. It was at this time that I first got to know him, through another Kenyan expatriate who was then working with Posts and Telecommunications as an accountant in Mbabane. I had come to Swaziland from Nairobi in April 1983 to seek refuge after a spate of arrests in Tanzania, my home country, in January.
Julius Nyerere’s government was arresting people it accused of dissension. I considered myself unsafe in Nairobi because of the proximity of Tanzania and because of threats I had received before the Kenyan authorities transferred me to Thika Refugee Reception Centre. A benign German Catholic church minister at Thika town had given me 4200 Kenya shillings,.......(text attached)"