This story of 2,412 words will open a window into the life of a young boy in Harare, Zimbabwe. Tonderai is poor and has to work to make money for his school fees. But his outlook on life is one of determination and realistic dreams for his future. Against all odds he will make his way.
Extract from the corner shop Boy
Right behind the fence, two lionesses were stretched out and seemed to be sleeping. ‘This is Maria and that one is Betty,’ his uncle said. ‘They are both pregnant and getting lazy now. You can come closer!’ Tonderai was still stunned at their size. They were so big and had huge heads. He took a deep breath and moved closer. The chain link fence looked very thin and rusty. Tonderai was just beginning to relax, when he brushed some flies away from his face with his arm.
Instantly the lioness Maria lifted her head and stared at Tonderai from her yellow eyes. He almost jumped back. His uncle spoke some soothing words and made a downward motion with his hand. ‘They do not like sudden movements, but she’s a good girl and listens to me,’ he said. ‘Can you see the male lion up on that rock?’ Sabelo pointed towards one of the big boulders. Tonderai looked up and saw the huge lion lying on top of that boulder. ‘He’s the boss and likes to keep an eye on everything. He doesn’t miss anything that moves around here,’ Sabelo said. The big male lion did not even look at them. Suddenly his head moved and Tonderai followed the lion’s gaze and saw two lions climbing up another huge boulder not far away. That night Tonderai heard the male lion roar at the full moon. He looked over to his snoring uncle. I will learn everything from uncle Sabelo and some day I will be the one to look after these lions.
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The Corner Shop Boy is available for download as .pdf
[NOTE: The children’s stories have been published under ‘First Australian Rights’ by ‘The School Magazine of NSW, Australia’.]