⌗AtoZ Challenge, 25th April 2020, Vis for a new Venture.

Welcome to my blog Life in Poetry.

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Welcome to the 2020 APRIL A to Z Challenge

Nearly there, Hang On, light at the end of the tunnel.

Quote of the Day :  
If you are Rich, give riches. If you are poor, give your heart out.

African proverb

if you would like to know more about the A to Z Challenge, founded 11 years ago by Arlee Bird at Tossing Out,  read here

for my theme revealed , go here on Blogger

On WordPress, read here 

My Twentieth extract from my novel in progress will appear towards the middle of the novel. Bartolomé is back up North and settling in.

Brief synopsis of plot and characters :

Mathilda, my first main character, is American and lives in New York City. She is a student at NYU where she is preparing a thesis on the origins and developments of African American Music. She is a first person narrator. Her timeframe is 2005. In my previous extracts, Mathilda has travelled to New Orleans, Jekyll Island, Hattiesburg, Florida, Savannah and Cherokee.

Bartolomé, my second main character, is Cameroonian and lives in Yaoundé. He is a professor of Mathematics at the University there. I will be using a third-person narrator for this character from his Point of View. His timeframe is the early ’90’s. In my previous extracts, Bartolomé has made a trip up North for his grand-father’s funeral and decided to leave Yaoundé behind for good. He is settled in Kidissi where he now teaches Primary School classes. Today’s class regroups boys and girls from 9 to 12 years old.

V is for New Venture

Bartolomé is walking up to the case à palabres with skipping and laughing children at his heels. he has come up from the dirt track at the bottom of the hill which skirts the village along the dry riverbed. As he climbs the slope, the children emerge from their huts and fall into line.

Once settled cross-legged on the natte, the children fall silent, expectant. Behind Bartolomé is a small wooden desk on which are laid out exercise books, pencils, chalk sticks and a few books. On a makeshift easel is propped a blackboard.

” Aujourd’hui, nous sommes le 15 September 1992, la St Roland dans le calendrier chrétien. Et nous allons lire des extraits de La Chanson de Roland, une histoire épique écrite au Moyen Âge. Chest la première oeuvre majeure de la culture française. Après un petit encas, on continuera  avec du calcul mental.”

The boys’ and girls’ eyes pop wide open as they listen, eager to be back in school after so long. Bartolomé hands out the exercise books and pencils, a small board to clip their pages on. Each student writes the day and date down on a clean leaf, carefully copying from the blackboard. A new chapter in both Bartolomé’s and these children’s lives.

” Hauts sont les montagnes et très hauts les arbres.

Il y a là quatre blocs de marbres brillants,” reads Salim.

” Very good Salim. Roland is dying among the mountains and an Arab lies nearby, not yet spent from the battle, and observes our hero closely. The story is supposed to take place around 778 when the Emperor Charlemagne travels to Spain to help a Muslim chief who has led a revolt against the Emir of Cordoba,” Bartolomé shows the children an old historical map of Europe with the areas occupied by the Muslim conquerors.

” This is when the Christians were crusading against the Sarrazins, as they called the Muslims, to take back Jerusalem, then in the hands of The Prophet Mohammed’s descendants, and all the territories on the European continent that the Muslims had colonised.”

” Like the French and English colonised Cameroon ?”

” Exactly Salim, and the Germans before them. That’s where our country gets its name Kamerun. Before that we lived in masses of independent kingdoms, that’s why there are so many different languages and cultures in Cameroon, ” he pauses before continuing in a wider vein, ” The history of Humanity was made from battles over land. Your ancestors, the original Africans and Humans left the Rift Valley to seek new hunting grounds and over thousands of years, they made their way all over the Earth. “

” So why isn’t the World populated with Africans ?” asks Aya, a slender girl with bright eyes and high cheekbones.

” You mean why don’t they look like us ? Why aren’t they all black ?” Aya nods repeatedly. ” Well, no one really knows. Climate and the food people ate may have changed their features and their skin, we suppose. The closer the populations stayed to the Equator, the darker their skin became probably, as a natural protection against the sun. But that’s just a theory. We don’t know what humans looked like then, no photographs or drawings. “


Mory Kanté, Guinée Conakry, Yeke-yeke here

                                                  Teri Ya, 1986, here

Epic poem, first manuscript dating back to 12th Century, Bodleien Library Oxford, 

written in Anglo-Normand. Then another version in latin. 

Then multiple translations in Modern French.

fabric market and Mosque, Garoua.

Postcards brought back in 1989.

Traditional Dances on Nigerian Border

Lamido in N’gaoundéré, Chef’s House.

Thank you for stopping by. Hope you are enjoying the A to Z Challenge, I’m late but will finish by Thursday and visit you soon. Take care.

3 thoughts on “⌗AtoZ Challenge, 25th April 2020, Vis for a new Venture.

  1. My mother named me Roland as one of her favourite books growing up in France was La Chanson de Roland. Fortunately, she also have an Uncle Roland so my father agreed. You work in the history well, Susan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Roland for the praise, means a lot as the pitfall with historical fiction is to use a professorial voice too much … boring, bad memories of endless afternoons at school.


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