It wasn't until I first went to boarding
school that I found out Okanya didn't invent the cotton reel
tractor. I was either six or probably seven and everyone at the school was
terribly white in that well fed way.
We slept in
dormitories. We were disciplined with a slipper and sometimes a cane. We ate at long tables. And every morning we would have to
polish our shoes. These things sound ordinary enough. But I
will say that from an early age I always enjoyed prison escape stories.
When the holidays came, I showed Okanya the school
Atlas. Pointed to a map of the world. He thought I was teasing
him, because England was so small relative to the size of Africa.
Sometimes I wonder at the illusions I maintain in my
world. Those false things which I insist are true. Those
true things which I insist are false.