Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Friday, December 28, 2012

"The Rich People's School" by Lauri Kubuitsile Project 196 Botswana

"The Rich People's School" by Lauri Kubuitsile (2007, 9 pages)

Project 196

Country 9 of 196
Week Two
Lauri Kubuitsile

  1. Georgia 
  2. Canada
  3. U. S. A.
  4. The Republic of Korea
  5. Antigua and Barbuda 
  6. Haiti
  7. Trinidad and Tobago 
  8. Ukraine
  9. Cameroon
  10. Botswana
f you are an author and want to represent your country, please contact me.  If you want to do a guest post on your favorite story for the feature please contact me also.  

If you are a publisher that has an anthology that is done in the 196 spirit, please contact me as I will be spotlighting appropriate collections.  

At first I thought I was setting myself an impossible task but a bit of research has made me optimistic  that I can find a short story from all 196 countries in the world.   I feel this part of the project will be completed.   In a much more challenging perhaps impossible project, I also hope to publish on my blog a contemporary short story from an author from each of the 196 countries.  

I have now completed five percent of phase one of Project 196.  I expect it to be pretty easy to find short stories from about 75 percent of the countries but I do expect to find a story from each of the 196 countries.

"The Rich People's School" by Lauri Kubuitsile is a wonderful story about the life of a young girl from Botswana whose life was totally changed when her mother married an American and left her daughter in the hands of her own mother so she could move to America.   She required the man agree to send enough money to her family every month so they could live and so her daughter could attend "The Rich People's School".   I know exactly what this means as the public schools here are terrible and if a child is to have any real hope of success they have to go to a "Rich Person's School".   I acknowledge that my three teenager daughters all go to such a school .

The American, we do not know what he was doing in Botswana said he could not live in a dry backward desert.  He tells the woman, who he met there it seems but we do not know how, that if she loves him she will move to America with him.   She asks him "What about Slyvia" and he tells her "No, a black Sylvia wouldn't do in a family that would be toffee-colored brown.  Sylvia could stay with her Gran, she won't mind, it will be better for her".  

Sylvia is enrolled in the Rich People's School.   The other students spot her as someone from a poor family, maybe the slums, and they mock her so much she hates the new school.   I do not want to tell more of the story as I want first time readers to enjoy the gentle wisdom of the Grandmother as much as I did.  Do not be too quick to judge the mother.   I really liked this story a lot

Author Data

Lauri Kubuitsile is a writer living in the Tswapong Hills of Botswana. Her short stories have appeared in New Contrasts, AuthorAfrica 2007 and Mslexia, among others. She has one published novella entitled The Fatal Payout(Macmillan 2005). Besides writing fiction, she is a freelancer for Botswana's only daily private newspaper, Mmegi, and writes educational material including radio lessons and is currently working on a series of textbooks. She is married with two teenage children. 

You can read another of her short stories "Dandelion Wishers" here

You can learn more about her work on her blog, Thoughts from Botswana

Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. It gained its independence from the U.K. in 1966 while remaining within the Commonwealth.  It is one of themost sparsely populated countries in Africa with just over two million residents.  The official languages are English and Setswana.  Seventy percent of the country is part of the Kalahari Desert.  It is considered to have a strong tradition of representative democracy.   

I also want to recommend that anyone who takes a multicultural approach to understanding the world to study the offerings and thoughts on the webpage of the publisher of the anthology in which I read this story, One World, New Internationalist. New Internationalist is strongly devoted to global justice and does all it can to provide its readers with the truth.  I have been following their webpage, which is more than just a wonderful collection of publications, ever since July 2010 when I began to blog on the Caine Prize stories, which they publish in anthology form.

New Internationalist can be found here.


Suko said...

Botswana intrigues me, and this story sounds quite interesting as well.
Best of luck with this project!

Shittu F. said...

I think, I'll get myself this Book. Are they in stores in Nigeria?

Mel u said...

Suko-getting to learn a bit about the literary cultures of many countries is proving fascinating

Shittu F-I have no odea what is in the book stores in Nigeria, sorry-thanks for your visit