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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

"Baking the National Cake" - A Short Story by Hilda Twongyeirwe (2023, translated from Runyankole)

You can read "Baking the National Cake"' on the website of Words Without Borders

Information About Women in Translation Month - August, 2017

Short stories I have read so far for Women In Translation Month - August, 2017

  1. "Happy New Year" by Ajaat Cour - Translated from Punjabi
  2. "The Floating Forest" by Natsuo Kirino- Translated from Japanese
  3. " A Home Near the Sea" by Kamala Das - Translated from Malayalam
  4. "Maria" by Dacia Maraini- Translated from Italian
  5. "Zletka" by Maja Hrgovic - Translated from Croatian
  6. "Arshingar" by Jharna Raham - Translated from Bengali
  7. "Tsipke" by Salomea Perl - Translated from Yiddish
  8. "Mother" by Urmilaw Pawar - Translated from Marathi
  9. "My Creator, My Creation" by Tiina Raevaara - Translated from Finnish
  10. "Cast Offs" by Wajida Tabassum - Translated from Urdu
  11. It's All Up to You" by Slywia Chutnik - Translated from Polish
  12. "Covert Joy" by Clarice Lispector- Translated from Portuguese 
  13. "The Daughter, The Wife, and the Mother" by Arupa Kilita - Translated from Assam
  14. "Red Glow of the New Moon" by Kundanika Kapadia - translated from Gujarati
  15. "Breaking Point" by Usha Mahajan- translated from Hindu
  16. "The Gentleman Thief" by Goli Taraghi - translated from Persian
  17. "Spider Web" by Mariana Enriguez- translated from Spanish
  18. "My New Home" by Glaydah Namukasa - translated from Swahil
  19. "Maybe Not Yem" by Etik Juwita - translated from Indonesia 
  20. "Baking the National Cake" by Hilda Twongyeirne - translated from Runyankole, also called Nkore

The Runyankole language, also called Nkore, is a Bantu language spoken by 2.6 million people in South Western Uganda.

"Baking the National Cake" by Hilda Twongyeirwe, from Uganda, centers on David, who has worked for the president of an imagined sub-Sahara country, in office now for twenty five years, automatically winning all elections.  David is the minister to president but his main function is to cover up corruption in the government.  He heard rumors the president may be ready to retire and their is speculation who he will pick to succeed him.  David feels he is qualified but fears a totally idiotic VP will be put in place.  I will let the Twongyeirwe tell the story a bit:

"The accountability report he is working on could cost the country billions if he does not handle it well. In fact, donors have already warned of an economic war if the government does not provide proper accountability. But who cares? For twenty-five years David has faithfully worked for the Republic of Kabira. For twenty-five years he has cared about nothing but the image of Kabira, first as a member of Parliament, then Minister for Public Service, and now Minister for Presidency. But what do the president and his vice-president do? Trot the globe, while he, David, does his work and also takes care of covering their tracks. They leave for two-day conferences and stay away for weeks. It is David that ensures that the accounts are balanced to include the nonofficial days.
Part of this accountability included one of the VP’s recent trips on government business. The VP took his mistress on a shopping spree in London. When it was discovered that all her expenses were paid for by taxpayers' money, David was asked to quickly dispel the rumor by creating a ghost minister who supposedly traveled with the VP. David told them it was not easy, but they thought it was all a joke. Now everything was back on his desk. Even when The Eye reported that the president's maternal aunt had used the presidential jet to attend her daughter’s wedding in France, it was David that accounted for that trip. They seemed to think he was a magician."

This is a fun story, a quick enjoyable read.

Hilda Twongyeirwe
Hilda Twongyeirwe, born in Kacerere near Lake Bunyonyi, is a mother of three. For ten years, she taught English language and literature in secondary school before she retired to do development work in 2003. She is an editor and a published author of short stories and poetry, and a recipient of a Certificate of Recognition (2008) from the National Book Trust of Uganda for her children’s book, Fina the Dancer. She is currently the coordinator of FEMRITE, an organization she participated in founding in 1995. She has edited fiction and creative nonfiction works, the most recent ones being I Dare to Say: African Women Share Their Stories of Hope and Survival (2012) and Taboo? Voices of Women on Female Genital Mutilation (2013). From Words Without Borders 

Mel u

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