Early Birds


The printers sent a sample of the book to Bett, the book manager, who sent it over to me with a rider. I remember the rider – skinny fellow with a sallow look – because he pressed my doorbell twice. I don’t like it when people press my doorbell twice. It’s excessive and rude, like using two question marks. I opened the door and told him, with as much sarcasm as I felt he could comprehend, that pressing the doorbell once is usually sufficient. He was unaffected. He had sleepy eyes, like an animal in hibernation. He extended a brown envelope to me. “Ningoje?” His voice echoed in the newly painted staircase area of the apartment. 

I sat in the kitchen and unveiled the book. The sample they usually send at this stage has no text inside, just the sleeve design. I ran my hand over the cover. It’s the best cover I’ve had of all my books. I brought it to my nose and smelled it, hoping the smell would be revealing of something. It smelled normal, unimpressive. I weighed it in my hand. It’s a small book, like all my books. You can read it and finish on an SGR ride to Mombasa. Or a flight to Cape Town. Or if you are one of those odd people who love leaving town alone for the weekend, to go stay somewhere all alone, maybe sitting by a fire, having a drink, legs folded under you. You can wedge it in your pocket. Stuff it in your purse. 

I looked at the spine, something was wrong with the spine. I called Bett and said, “something is wrong with the spine.” She said, “yes, I wanted to see if you’d notice or if it was just me.”

Of course, I’d notice.

 “Send it to Fady,” I told her, “he will know what to do.”

I opened the door and found the rider standing in the same spot I left him. Like something you could water. Like a tree. Strange man. I handed back the brown envelope with instructions. He took it without a word. When I closed the door, I could hear him bundling down the staircase in his oversized boots. 

The book found its way to Fady. He was at home, probably making his child do and undo his ponytail. He sent an email.

I’d like to adjust the text on the spine to be centered along the spine middle. Also, I feel like reducing the font size of the text on the back is a smidgen. The font shall be Garamond 11.8. Hairline nudges to the spine text to get as close as possible to the center, because OCD is to be enjoyed.



OCD is to be enjoyed. Bett gushed and fangirled at that line. I don’t think she remembered anything else in that email. It was slightly embarrassing to read her response to the email. 

The book is currently in print. As you read this (Tue, 28th, 10:25 am) I’m probably at the printer’s nosing about. The first few copies should be out tomorrow. 

We want to offer those to you because you are here every Tuesday. Go to this LINK and buy advance copies. Otherwise, I will do what I’m told is called a Beyonce Launch on Monday when I’m back from a small work safari. 


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  1. People who are here every Tuesday should get half-priced complementary copies..ama?
    Anyway, congratulations on the new book. What’s the title?

  2. When i was growing up, we had a cat called faddie- a made up name and brother to fanny who was named after George’s mom in famous five), never met anyone called Fady before in my life. Reading this has got me feeling nostalgic of an age when we lived in carefree abandon.

  3. Biko, Bett and your way with words…..

    This is not a story about redemption, sacrifice or any of those things we want to read about.

    This is about the idiocy and working one’s way between a rock and a wife.

    Eagerly waiting for my autographed copy of book three….

  4. Wow! Finally the wait is over! How we have waited for the book.

    Anyway, I had suggestion of what to do with the website Biko if Le gang approves.

    How about you make an App? The Zulu App or what your team agrees to name it.

    So, I had some ideas on icons to add on the home page.

    1. Lights On.
    2. Tuesday stories.(a search button here would be appreciated)
    3. Tamm’s Stories.
    4. Your protege’s stories.{I.e Eddy and Gloriah… we wouldn’t mind Joe black too}..(I know Eddy is away, but it wouldn’t hurt if he popped once in awhile).
    5. Masterclass Icon.
    6. Redirect links to pages of your students. Himiza Scribes and the likes.
    7. You can also have a chatbox for your followers.
    8. AOB’s {about app, privacy policy, T&C’s, social media links and the likes}.

    That’s my opinion though.
    Thank you.

  5. To prepare for the new book, I re-read Thursdays. Read it from cover to cover on a long haul flight. What a delightful book! I was chuckling out loud as folks around me slept soundly in the middle and the night.

    I’m sure this new book will not disappoint. Jogging on the spot as I wait!

  6. I absolutely love reading you. I want all your books, autographed. Is that possible.
    PS. am herr every Tuesday:-)

  7. I’ve just finished reading it. I loved it. All of Samora’s pain, frustration, anger, defeat…All of it. I could feel all of it as I read it. My favourite was session 27, page 168.
    Also, I loved this part about Gipsy…Art felt like open heart surgery; you bored your heart open and spilled yourself on canvas and allowed people to heal from your own vulnerabilities.

    p.s. Could we get a sequel to this story that gives him a happy ending?