Academic journal article Cross / Cultures

The Carwash, Clifton Moor, York (for James & Patience)

Academic journal article Cross / Cultures

The Carwash, Clifton Moor, York (for James & Patience)

Article excerpt

When Mukisa shelved his post

as assistant chef at the students

cafeteria on Chirunga campus, he

told us and his mum up country

he was flying to Nairobi for an

advanced course in catering; five

years later, he walked into my

Leeds University office anxious

about the protests and riots for

multiparty politics back home;

stammering as he recounted how

he'd managed to enter Leeds for

a PhD degree in catering, after

Nairobi, he said he often became

a night cabby to survive; I stayed

put and recalled his lucrative career

as a young pioneer recruit nailing

his president's political rebels from

Nairobi, London, Toronto and other

world cities. But fifteen years on

yesterday, did I not chance upon

Mukisa at Tesco's Car Park: could

he wash and wax my filthy car;

his price was the most competitive

in town, he avowed. I took him on,

then asked what had become of his

gainful task as a night cabby hunting

his leader's enemies with his Leeds

PhD degree in catering; he gazed

at me past his goggles, kicked his

bucket and fixed my car with his

Polish mates fretting beside him. …

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