Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan

Say You're One of Them

Uwem Akpan

Read the newspapers or watch TV reports to see the problems that Africa faces. Read these short stories and you will experience, along with children, some of the dilemmas and conditions which confront them. This is a journey that will take you well out of your comfort zone - these stories will make your skin prickle.


I woke up with a start that night to the sound of a bike riding into our compound. Another one rode in and stopped, and there were brisk footsteps that got louder as they came around the house, toward the back. Slowly I stood up and looked into the darkness, then went and put my ear to the window. My breath quickened as I imagined them surrounding the house. I thought they were going to ship us to Gabon that night, and I resigned myself to my fate.....I bit my lip when I recognised his voice, knowing we were in for it. I didn't want to meet him again in this life, but there he was, so close to me. It was as if he were already in the room with me, hiding under the bed or sheets, waiting for the right time to hurt us.

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