Cherry Smack : Extract Chapter 7

They touched down in N’djili, DRC. Jimmy caught a blast of heat as he stepped onto the air stairs. The sky was perfectly blue, the heat intensely penetrating. They jumped on a transit bus heading inland toward the hotel. On the outskirts, crop workers sowed manioc and sorghum in lush green fields. They weaved in and out of bustling villages, past patchy green sand buffs along the Congo River to the city, Kinshasa, King Leopold’s claimed land. First the squatting zone. Tin-roofed concrete-block houses, side paths littered with trash, children playing in mud streets, discounting the all-pervading stench of raw sewage. Parliament and the President’s Palace crept up slow, looming with intent. High rises and Imperialist brick buildings lined the way leading to a procession of 100ft bronze statues of fallen rulers. President Lumumba, one arm raised, uplifting in a Mandela like pose and the incumbent Mobutu a much maligned tyrant and puppet of the west.

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