My favourite page in the quiet book is the final page. This was such a labour of love it had to end with a BANG! I hope Milan enjoys playing with it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Story time 🙂 Let me tell you why I love ninjas! When I was growing up in Kampala, the first years of my life, we lived in this poor neighbourhood in Naguru. My mother raised us on her own, we did not have much money,but she knew how to make the most of everything and taught me that. In fact looking back, we were one of the most privileged poor families in the neighbourhood. My mother simply did not have a poor person mentality and did every thing in her power to eventually buy a piece of land, build us a little house with a fence and get us out of there when I was about 13.
This story however, is about ninjas so back to that. As kids we did not have a tv, infact, we did not have electricity or running water, we went to the well. Well, technically the maid did, but we followed her there to play in the mud and water :D. Every one has a maid back home, even the people with low incomes will have a relative come over from the village in exchange for food and a chance to live in the city and they will usually get an allowance too. For most people they become a part of the family and most of us were raised by them because our parents were off hustling. And most of the ones we had in my home were great story tellers! We’d sit with them in the kitchen while they made dinner and they’d tell us scary ghost stories (mostly local folklore, sometimes they just made stuff up I think 🙂 and we loved it!
We also had these make shift cinemas in the neighbourhood, sometimes in the local market behind a stall or someone that had a VCR at home would set up a tent or mostly mark off a perimeter with a bunch of papyrus mats and set up a few benches, usually borrowed from the local nursery school. They were called bibanda and my mother LOATHED them. Since they mostly catered to the idle local men, they sometimes showed “blue movies”, read porn, but most of the time they showed Shaolin movies and we LOVED them. We were obviously not allowed to go, but on a a few very very rare occasions, we sneaked in, you can always trust kids on that.
Anyway, for the times we were not able to, we came up with a pretty effective solution. An older cousin, his name was Sam lived with us. He actually wasn’t that much older, he was probably just about 13 when I was 8,he was chosen as the best story teller, by me, my little brother, another cousin Stella (R.I.P) that lived with us, and the maid of course (we were so political about it too!). So we would collect whatever pennies we all had left over from our meal allowances from school, or chore money, my mother was cool like that…and he would go to the kibanda (makeshift cinema), watch the movie and then come back and tell us. He was so freaking thorough he did the theme song, and as we got into it, he did the title and introduced the actors (Bruce Lee, Jet Lee, and Jackie Chan all before they started doing those mainstream Hollywood movies, all of this was in Chinese, dubbed in Luganda. Sam did all the voices, threw invisible nun-chucks as he narrated, somersaulted and all that 🙂 Yeah, that is how we got our kicks and to this day I love EVERYTHING ninja, samurai, Japanese anime, the whole nine yards (except Hello Kitty, f*#k Hello Kitty, ha ha Seriously, I’m just not into that.) In fact, I even call Kakazi my little ninja every time she picks up a new trick or just makes me happy.. 🙂 Still not convinced? Check out dis beautiful katana I got from my friend Marek a couple of years ago.
Okay, now to assemble the book! I cant wait to see the final result!