BALAYI

Balayi

Adults who go through traumas sometimes exhibit disruptive behaviors of all kinds. What if the victim is a child?
Meri experiences an excruciating trauma at the age of four. Her life takes a nosedive. In the next 12 years of her life, she unleashes vengeful terror on everyone around her. Her wickedness is so severe that instead of describing her as a troublemaker, everyone rather referred to her as Balayi (calamity). To her father Isa – a once respected Imam; she is the symbol of shame. Meri hates school for many reasons; from the teachers who insist on keeping her in school despite their clear show of hatred for her, the students who see her as a monster with no brains, to the school building that serves as a starvation camp. Meri badly wants to quit school. But the guilt of leaving Ayi, her only sister behind, holds her back.
A ray of hope appears when Miss Fathia, a newly posted PE teacher announces at a closing assembly that a bronze medalist in an upcoming Inter-District Marathon competition stands the chance of winning a bicycle. As a chubby and almost fat girl, will Meri make it to the school’s athletics team? Will her long-held dream of quitting school ever come to fruition just by winning a bicycle as a parting gift for Ayi? Can athletics heal Meri of her traumatized past? Let’s dig in.

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About The Author

Abubakar Ismail Yusif who writes under the pseudonym Ismail O’nea is the author of the recently published, GOD, WERE YOU PLEASED: MEMOIR OF A ZONGO BOY. Born in Gwollu and having spent most of his life in Techiman, O’nea comes to his readers with a vast experience in settler cultures and provides a window to their not so often told stories. A holder of a Diploma certificate and a B.Ed. degree in English from the University of Cape Coast, O’nea has been teaching English Language for many years and is currently a tutor of Literature in English language at his alma mater, Istiqaama Senior High School.
O’nea loves to paint, explore and research migrant literature and art. He is currently pursuing an MPhil in English (Literature) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Aside from teaching and writing, O’nea volunteers in teaching creative writing and public speaking to SHS students. O’nea wishes to turn his living room into a library filled with only his books.

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