iewi: models in a store window (ladies)

So I'm making a superhero-kinda story and it's set in a fake African country called Kambike. I kinda wrote something about the history last night, so I'll post it here. Enjoy the half-edited semi-incoherent writing.

I sit by the window overlooking Kimbuntema, which used to be called Victoria. I know this through the stories of my grandparents, who were alive during the Falling Apart and the First Gathering Together. My father's parents had chosen to flee Ng'oma across the lakes to Mbuaga, while my mother's parents lived in what was then known as Victoria, so close to freedom, and yet prevented from reaching it.

I live in Victoria, though it is now called Kimbuntema, through the rampant nationalism of Kondo Bo Mombutama, who is now known by what those closest to him had always called him: Patrick Mombutama. I was thankfully born after his terrible regime, and I was born into a new country that was ready to start again after a century nearly of false starts and regressions.

My country, Kambike, is not a perfect country. Many would claim it is one of the worst countries to live in on the planet. I will tell you that for many here, it is. I have the opportunity to leave, and I know that if I take it, I will always nostalgically remember Kambike, my mother.

Many agree with me. There are many Kambikeans who live in other countries, like Sanyatia, America, and so many more. They say that at least eight million Kambikeans tried to leave the Two Kambikes during Mombutama's regime, but that of those, at least one out of every twenty was killed.

My family was not one of the ones that left. My father's parents came back from Mbuaga to the Second Kambike: what used to be known as the Kondo-Yale Free State. There, at least, it wasn't so horrible as what was happening here.

Mombutama was a born executioner, my grandfather tells me, and a sociopath as well. My grandmother tells me she watched carefully every soldier and every policeman who walked down the street, fearing they would rape her, or arrest her, or kidnap her children, or kill her.

Mombutama's regime would most accurately be called an nepotism, or an oligarchy. I can't remember which. In it, there was so much blood shed. For diamonds, for gold, for uranium. In the name of wiping the face of the Whites from our country, in the name of patriotism. It was, in reality, senseless violence. Mombutama's men hurt and killed whomever they chose.

Mombutama authorized a law in 1976 that would become the base for almost all of these killings. It was called something along the lines of the Patriotism Act. It authorized the police to use deadly force when they thought it prudent. It took the right to a trial away from some. And the worst of all, it authorized, with a judge's approval, the use of capital punishment against those who weren't patriotic enough.

It was the last clause that was the most frightening, but it was the first clause that the majority of killings occurred under. They killed all who stood in their way. Journalists, terrorists, rioters. So much blood shed. And no justice.

It would take any person eons to recover from such injuries as those inflicted by colonialism, the short-lived but cruel Empire of the Biké, the Falling Apart, and the Two Kambikes. But we expect a country, a country made of millions of people, to be done with it as soon as the dictator is deposed. That's what I think is wrong with Kambike. We as a collective community suffer from PTSD.

But no matter what I think is wrong, life here is not what we hoped. The government, while not condoning random acts of violence, still is corrupt. A popular saying here is that it takes three bribes to get to school: one to the policeman who pulled you over, one to the driver who backed his car into yours, and one for the headmaster, for the privilege of going to school. It is audacious to those who are not from around here, but is close to the truth for those who are.

There are, of course, good people here. Not all headmasters require bribes, and some policemen refused to be bribed. But we are a poor country, and we are a country with problems.

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February 2016

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