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Closures

Closures is a story built on and around multiple and multi-layered strands of the lives of six indomitable characters struggling with voids in their lives that they are all trying to fill. Sillah follows the fortunes of a Professor Emeretus, El. Bashiir Morris, a revert to Islam; a researcher Biram Ka; a women campaigner Maama Sireŋ Damfaa; an Air hostess Bôtôôr Margaret Jones; a visually impaired computer programmer Aliyu Badara Jallo; and an Imam, Alhaji Marafang Jawo.

Biram, Maama and Bôtôôr meet with a pilgrim from Mecca at Gatwick airport in London under extra-ordinary circumstances and it is these circumstances that have leads to their re-union in Kataminaland. Here, they seek and find the missing links of their pasts and as well as final closure.

The events of their journeys are about re-discovery; coming to terms with love, continuity and custom. In the story, Sillah with his characteristic insider/outsider perspectives, challenges firmly held paradigms about attitudes to self, gender, the youth, the mass Hijra, disability, patriotism, caste, ‘tribalism’, and the legacies of colonization. Sillah engages the reader in the resulting mind-set of these and illustrates that a people mired in material poverty, miseducation and the primacy of ethnic affiliations can easily slip back to those dark ages of her recent past-a past that she has lost!

In the words of Biram,

“In the clear daylight of the mind, we see undreamt off patterns in our lives and the lives of other people close to us. You and I, all of us, have been lunging towards this point for weeks, months maybe, even years and now we have come to an abrupt halt at the crossroads where we have found ourselves, found peace and comfort; discovered convergence and found closure alas.”

The story ends very happily but fires trenchant shots at the prevailing intrigues of the elite and their allies and proposes that Kataminaland herself, much like the characters in the story, needs to heal, find closure and move on with the times.

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