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The Informer, One Throne Magazine

Photograph by Richard Mosse.
© Please do not reproduce without artist's permission.

by Nick Makoha
The Informer


So much depends on how the day starts. A closed sign

in the window, a train passing, the exchange of notes, 

clouds not fully formed turning red. A young man 

describing a ghost. The fear of the invisible shapes itself. 

Contours of his father's face, in front of the city with no roads,

people living in tents, coarse dust under their feet.

A permanent apparition as children act out a war

by the corrugated kiosk. His fingers are a pistol grip.

He wishes for sleep but the body walks (his father listening)

towards an empty car lot in the day’s fever. What better way 

to camouflage himself than in the embrace of a civilian. 

Their voices a badly dubbed Chinese film punctuated 

by kisses in the back of a pick-up truck. Later tonight 

a live satellite feed will tell us a nation has changed hands.


Anchor 1
Candidate A, One Throne Magazine

Photograph by Richard Mosse.
© Please do not reproduce without artist's permission.

Candidate A


For the record, he loves his own reflection,

this farmer’s son from the delta. A splendid type.


Bone from the neck up, trained in wickedness,

born to lead, useful against the Mau Mau.


Unprovoked, he once cracked a cow’s skull

with flat palms as the beast stared at him.


Did the same to three cattle herders at Lake Turkana.

Reached into their necks to eat their intestines (allegedly).


He should have been court-martialed

especially after the assassination attempt.


Such men rise in the ranks and can only be removed

by death or revolt. I suggest we seduce him with wives.


Surround him with ceremony, regulation and rules

even though secretly he feels they do not apply to him.


Feed him with titles: His Excellency, Field Marshall,

Effendi etcetera. His cravings have no limit.


We can use distrust of the competition to our advantage.

He will demand acclaim, in an unbridled urge to destroy.


Easily compensated, as he does not accumulate goods

or possessions for the future, opting for immediate gratification.


While he buys friends, kills citizens without fear of god or religion

in his effort to be remembered, we will make our mark.



Nick Makoha represented Uganda at Poetry Parnassus as part of the Cultural Olympiad held in London. His one-man-show "My Father & Other Superheroes" debuted to sold-out performances at the 2013 London Literature Festival and is currently on tour. In 2005, award-winning publisher Flippedeye launched its pamphlet series with his debut The Lost Collection of an Invisible Man. Part of his soon to be published first full collection The Second Republic is in the anthology Seven New Generation African Poets (Slapering Hol Press). He was a joint-winner of the 2015 Brunel African Poetry Prize.






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