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God of Hunger

News of Theo’s funeral in Arusha filtered through to the Tanganyikans left in
London. Almost everything that happened „back home’ surfaced in
conversation at watering holes in Earls Court. And in the night clubs in the
vicinity owned by wealthy Jews from Persia who had settled in that part of
London after the fall of the Shah.
Angie was the main attraction at La Boom Boom. She was a friend of Helena
van der Merwe, Theo’s squeeze of last resort. Angie on the other hand was a
girl of the first resort; sought out by most clients and yearned for by Borisov
Zakran, who believed that Angie was a friend to all but a lover to just one.
Zak, if you recall, was a habitue of no. 41 Sinclair Road, Tanganyika House.
He was the ten-second man.
Still unbeaten in the opinion of his school mates who, when intending to wind
him up, recalled the aid of the Adidas spikes.
*
At school Choco was Zak’s equal as an athlete and surpassed him in many
events when he returned from holidays with a pair of his own spikes.
The two-twenty yards was his forte. No one could catch him on the bend.
Could that be because he dressed to the left? Certainly it was that swerve to the
left that allowed him to avoid ever being tackled in rugby. He would walk off
as immaculately turned out as when he went on.
Onto a pitch that had to be harrowed before each game so that the surface had
some give;
unploughed it was hard bare red- earth, abrasive as sand-paper and „hard as
iron’.
Hard men talking. Zak, Choco and Adi.
Choco was the showpiece. Especially at rugby. Posing especially for the girls;
at a co-educational boarding school, posing was an essential skill in the art of
attracting attention from the sidelines.
And what better than kicking a try:
First, the head, presented in profile. Eyes looking out to the middle distance to
forty five degrees off the horizon. Brylcreemed hair brushed into a boukla in
front and a duck’s arse behind, a la James Dean. Jaw muscles clenching and
 
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