“Are their thoughts bullets? As long as their thoughts don’t take food off my plate or the roof off my house……. I don’t care what they think.”Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Manchester Happened is officially my third book of short stories this year, so I think it’s high time I recant my previous statement about disliking shorts cause obviously I can’t get enough of them.
My first reaction after finishing Manchester Happened was one of shock and utter disbelief. I could not believe that my dumbass had slept on the genius that is Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. This book is nothing short of divine. Before I get into that, Let’s have a look at the blurb
If there’s one thing the characters in Jennifer Makumbi’s stories know, it’s how to field an uncomfortable question.
‘Let me buy you a cup of tea…what are you doing in England?’
‘Do these children of yours speak any Luganda?’
‘Did you know that man Idi Amin?’
But perhaps the most difficult question of all is the one they ask themselves: ‘You mean this is England?’
Told with empathy, humor, and compassion, these vibrant, kaleidoscopic stories re-imagine the journey of Ugandans who choose to make England their home. Weaving between Manchester and Kampala, this dazzling collection will captivate anyone who has ever wondered what it means to truly belong.
Manchester Happened is a collection of 12 stories that center on Ugandans in the Diaspora. Immediately you get sucked into the lives of diverse characters and the peculiar problems they face home and abroad. With the mastery of a maestro, the author is able to infuse empathy, humor and deliver compassionate stories of the journey of Ugandans who choose to make England their home.
I loved all these stories but the two that stood out for me were Let’s tell this Story Properly and Memoirs of a Namaaso.
In memoirs of a Namaaso, We view the world through the eyes of a Ugandan Stray (yes a dog….crazy right!!!) who through a series of unfortunate events gets an unexpected lift to England. We are invited into the bizarre but exciting reality of a dog’s journey to domestication in a Foreign Land. Like who does this!!! there was no way in a million years that I would have thought that a story about a dog (nkita…. ooo!) would move me to tears. gosh, I’m still tearing up!!!
In the second story, Let’s tell this story properly; A wife returns to Uganda to bury her husband only to have a rude awakening, She is the other woman. I felt this story in my gut, gush the anger was on a 100 but Nnam bodied the whole situation, she handled his family members like a boss.
I loved this collection of stories and I’m currently on the lookout for an I Love Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi T-Shirt. Please help a Sister out.