Friday, August 30, 2013

An Announcement (And a Mini Post At The Very End)

Today I woke up to some depressing news; 41 people had died in a grisly bus accident. Before I continue, am I the only one who pictures a big brown bear every time a newsman says the word grisly? You know, like a (grizzly) bear was driving and then it lost control and then there was an accident, or a bear jumped onto the highway and scared the driver off it…. 

Umm... I think I'm lost

Anyway, not to make light of the matter, I wondered what happened, what single action led to the loss of 41 lives, men, women, children, each with a story, a story that had suddenly come to an end and for some, had just started. I mulled over the incident as I rolled about in my bed, and no matter how I looked at it, how I romanticized it, how I thought of the stories therein, the sad fact was 41 people had died.

This story will probably make it onto the front page. It will be announced in bold, a few pictures splashed about, and the whole country will think about this accident, and the lives lost, and we will mourn together, because it will be our loss. But wait, what about the story on page 11 about the child abandoned by its mother (and father), or the drunk who hacked his family then hanged himself on an old sad tree, or the poor child suffering from diabetes who will finally get free insulin. What of these stories, stories that will never make it to the headlines and will therefore not be given the same attention as the bus story. This is sad.

A few weeks back I got a call, and I was asked to be part of a team that would highlight these stories, stories that will probably never be acknowledged except by the few, patient enough to take some time between the headline and the sports news. So this team will highlight these stories in a series of posts called Small Fates. This project was started by writer TejuCole who highlighted these ignored stories in his tweets.

The aim, for me, will be to go past the story itself and try and bring out something deeper from the incident, while trying as much as possible to stay true to the narrative, some good old creative nonfiction.

I will post the first one on Monday, and I will do so until the Story Moja Hay Festival, on the 19th of September. This will be a chance for us to appreciate these small fates that go unnoticed, and for us to appreciate life, including the small insignificant nuances that make up the big picture.
The tag used will be #SmallFatesKe.

Oh, I’ll be posting the small fates on this blog, as well as and my Facebook Page (Ras Mengesha) which you should like and share, or something bad will happen to the little puppy you saw last week and swore it was the most adorable thing in the world.

p.s. There have been rumors going around that the blog is dead. Really? A blog primarily on zombies dead? Ha!

One more thing, I feel like I owe you a blog post (you know, the usual Mengesha’s Colors post) so here’s a mini version, think of it as a bonus for old times’ sake:

My best friend is a writer, and like most writers, she spends a lot of time lost in her head and such times often bring out instances of sheer brilliance. So last night she called me and told me she had a new blog post. I asked her what it was on and she said it was a dumb post that even had a disclaimer because of how silly it was. I insisted that she let me know what exactly it was on so that I knew what exactly to expect. Here’s the conversation:

Her: So I posted something on my blog.
Me: Oh cool! What’s it on? (I hoped it was something close to this: )
Her: It’s a conversation between me and Gath.
Me: Oh sweet, is it like Sunset Company?
Her: Like what?
Me: Sunset Company, the movie where Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones engage in some philosophical conversation on existentialism and choice…
Her: Oh, ya, almost…
Me: Almost?
Her: Ya, it’s a conversation…
Me: Philosophical?
Her: Not exactly…
Me: Okay, what’s it about?
Her: Well… It’s about brown rice…
Me: Say again?
Her: It’s about brown rice…
Me: Okay, what about brown rice?  
Her: Well, you see how our mums…
Her: Hallo? Hallo? Ras? Are you there?

What the...

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