Moroccan Children, by Habie Schwarz
...they will smile with anyone...


The man of the house does not stroke his goat as he would his cat or his dog. He has learned not to play with his food. Children do not discriminate. In their innocence they laugh with everyone without a thought for tomorrow. They will offer a handshake to the perfect stranger and they will certainly pet the beast in the household. But the man of the house knows that sooner or later he will have to take a knife to his goat, and on the day of the barbecue the memory of old affection slows the killing stroke, and sours the savour of Nyama Choma.

And that’s life, too.

Monday streets can be jungles too. Eyes are fencing swords that glint with barbecue-lust. Or Porsche-lust. Smiles may cost nothing but are in short supply, for the smile opens you up, makes you vulnerable to the requests of needy strangers… and the city has enough needs to crush the empathetic.

to smile is to lose ruthlessness & the
non-ruthless city-dweller’s a ‘loser’.
these snarling tyres know no brother,
so the crosser-of-roads dares not stumble
and fall…

Still, the week is done, once more. Even if you need your focus for work, this is a fine time to slow down with friends and family, indeed to gift the perfect stranger a smile… have a great weekend! 


photo credit: Habie Schwarz

2 Replies to “Nyama Choma & the Urban Smile”

  1. Raji Said Olalekan says:

    Perhaps the suave city-dweller learns to smile from without: a bland ‘kindless’ mask that doesnt reach the eyes and says I ‘ll be courteous with you but please go no further.
    Saying thank you for this nugget to a master. 🙂 from my heart and my eyes…

  2. Uche Aniagu says:

    FINEST, PERIOD. Thanks for this weekend gift… I will try to memorize
    this piece.


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