Tuesday, November 12, 2013

ASIIMWE, Novella by Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva

“Teacher, will we also be studying Islam because according to some world prophets, in the year 2000 when computers will crash, Islam will be the new religion? So, will we also be studying Islam so that we keep with the times?”

The teacher listens with her head tilted towards Dora. She takes long to answer the question but asks Dora to kindly bring the source of the information so that they can have a healthier discussion on that.

The class is in an uproar when the teacher leaves. “Dora, how could you ask that?” Hanifa, a Muslim girl asks. “Hanifa, many people ignore Islam and yet that is your religion. You should be thanking me for standing up for you. Why are we only told about Adam and Eve and Creation, what about Prophet Muhammad?” Dora is now speaking with both her hands on her hip.

“But this is a Christian school and we should only talk about Jesus,” says another girl.

It is getting heated. “Yes, but there are Muslims in the school. Can you imagine how people like Hanifa and Sadat feel if they have to learn about Jesus and yet for them they believe in Prophet Muhammad?” Dora’s voice gets louder each time.

“Wait, who told you we don’t believe in Jesus? In our religion, Jesus is a Prophet and…” Sophie’s voice is cut off as the French teacher walks in. It is one of the new British student teachers.

“Hello, is this Senior One B? Sorry, I’m late. I got a bit lost and then I heard the racket. Is everything all right?” By this time, the entire class is in their seats and quiet. Except for Dora “Hello, my name is Dora Nankunda and I am the class monitor. We were just having a healthy debate on religion but you are very welcome.”

“Thank you.” She writes her name on the blackboard. Mamzelle Francesca. Born and raised in Southampton. Studied a degree in Languages at Southampton University and fluent in French, German and Latin. Likes: Football, reading and catching butterflies Dislikes: Meat, Loud places and too much light

Extract from Asiimwe, novella by Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva

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