life rattle show no. 1329

Presented on THURSDAY, January 23, 2015


hosted by john dunford



"My Friend's Girlfriend"
"Binti Kiziwi"

by Kau Makuei




tonight's Show

On Life Rattle No. 1329, we feature three stories by new Life Rattle writer Kau Makuei.

Kau Monydhot Makuei was born in 1992 in Sudan, now called South Sudan, in the middle of the Second Sudanese Civil War. His family fled to Kenya in the same year. Kau grew up in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and attended school in Eldoret. After graduating from high school, he earned a World University Service of Canada (WUSC) scholarship. Kau worked as a high school teacher in the camp for two years before coming to Canada in 2013.

Kau Makuei Monydhot now lives in Toronto and studies computer science at university, and is still trying to figure out what to pursue.

The writing of Kau Makuei perfectly captures the conflicted feelings of a young teenage boy, especially when it comes to those first awkward attempts at making a romantic connection with a girl. Through straightforward storytelling and terrific turns of phrase, Kau is able to connect the particular to the universal—such as the self-conscious, sometimes inartful first encounters with a prospective partner most humans experience—whether we live in house in the suburbs, an igloo in the arctic, or in a town in Kenya.

In "My Friend's Girlfriend," a young teenage boy has a crush on a friend’s girlfriend, Najma. His friend, William, claims to be madly in love with the girl and that she is madly in love with him. But the girl’s flirtations with the narrator indicate the latter may not be so true.

The narrator in "Binti Kiziwi" is a little older but still a teenager, sits with two male friends, Brian and Kibe, on a hill outside their school, admiring a girl sitting at the bottom. One friend who is always allowed to be the first to approach a new girl, on this day reluctantly cedes the way to our narrator, whose introduction turns rather awkward.

"Troublemaker" centres around a young man who is conflicted about helping his cousin Deng, who he calls brother, sneak back into their home after a night out drinking, and abetting his increasingly out-of-control behaviour. Deng’s latest stunt, involving a phone belonging to Lual, brother of his oldest sister’s husband, brings matters to a violent head.