Debt Comes To Fourways

As the red sun sets over the Northern Suburb hills, and signals the call of the moon over the darkening night’s sky, the spirit known as Debt begins its ward rounds within the plush suburbs of Fourways:

The night is young
But I’m of old
Looking for more to embrace
In my choking hold

Beginning her regular routine of visiting the temples built to satiate her with living sacrifice, she starts off at Lonehill Shopping Centre. As dusk draws and commerce begins to rest its head, she sees James and Ayanda walking tensely to their car with a full trolley from Woolworths.

“But you know with the school fees and home loan, we can’t afford a new car”, says Ayanda to James.

“Yes, I know, but clients don’t take me seriously with this Polo. I can feel that I’m on the cusp of something good, and if I can score a few more contracts, we’ll live the comfortable life we’ve always wanted” explained James.

“You said that about the school and its supposed networks. You said that about the house and its supposed community. Now we find ourselves here living month to month, just getting by, forever on the ‘cusp of something good’” said Ayanda.

But why is she stubborn
Why all the prudence
Maybe a much longed for holiday
May be just the influence

In the car on their short trip home, Ayanda gets a WhatsApp from Tracey. She’s suggesting their families do a short holiday during the upcoming long weekend to Bela Bela.

“It’s been a really long year, and my soul needs this” thinks Ayanda to herself. “But James will never say yes to this after I said he can’t get a new car”

Sheepishly, Ayanda says to James, “maybe I do need to support you better in fulfilling your dreams. We can move a few items in our budget around and consider getting the car I guess”.

Oh, but this one
Was way too easy
Surely there’s a challenge
That’s more worthy

So up Debt goes into the darkening skies, hovering through the light breeze blowing against unsuspecting homes. Approaching Dainfern Square, he sees two friends, Ayodele and Oluwafemi entering a restaurant to sit down.

“It’s now been 30 years since leaving home” remembers Ayodele. “My children know very little of their history and where they come from”

“Why didn’t you ever go back?” asks Oluwafemi.

“We were so disillusioned when the promise of a prosperous Nigeria became a nightmare” replies Ayodele. “I don’t think I had the capacity to endure the thought of going through that again”

“When that oil price was good, man, it was good.” reminisces Oluwafemi. “But when those stupid IMF fools came and brought those foolish so-called ‘structural adjustments’ with their loans, man, things became bad bad.”

“Promised us dreams of prosperity. Left our country forever broken” depresses Ayodele. “And our children forever lost” adds Oluwafemi.

What a glorious reminisce
Of my beautiful craft
The shattered societies
My work of art

The night is young
And I’m of old
Let me find more to embrace
My choking hold

Fast-Fashion Store-Front Mannequin

It’s spring time now
And the early morning birds tweet
Songs of optimism and hope
Marching into the dawn with beautiful feet

My store-front window has dated
With winter’s fashion trends
The time of protest, anger and distrust
Seemed to have come to an (un)expected end

Let me dress up my mannequins
With the colours of neighbouring outlets
For my patrons have stopped paying with clicks
Opting for next door’s sonnets

Let me drape its head with quotes
Appropriated from contexts generally unseen
Maybe it will give an appearance nouveau
And get the world to notice me

Let me give its lips a smile and song
Something that may now be hard to do
Because I’d learnt the winter dance and songs so well
And now once again I have to become something new

Yet if I don’t dress it up in seasonal vogue
They may not come inside to see
The apparel sewn by the deepest parts
The doubts and fears and hurts in polychromatic tapestry

But the more my offering changes
To match the song of the birds
The less space left inside the store
To display the original song my heart once heard

The song of freedom and beauty
The melody of glorious things unseen
The secret things that have remained hidden
Because I’ve buried them within

So let me finish dressing my mannequin
To cash in on cryptic social currency
Before it’s time to learn summer’s song
In another escape from social redundancy

Testing in Go: Test Fixtures

For those who have written unit tests in Go, the stripped down nature of the language might have produced some inconvenient duplication and seeming messiness in each test. For example, if you have a test for creating a new item, adds a generated identifier and saves in an in-memory data-store, it may look as follows:

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State Mutation Functions in Go

One of the things that is most punted about with the Go language is its ease of understanding the code that has been written. The language was built to be as simple as possible, and features that the maintainers deem to be superfluous are left out. Like generics. Some view this as a disadvantage though, as it takes and increased number of key strokes and lines of code to achieve what may have been achieved by a 1 line lambda anonymous function in other languages.

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Abstracting the Database in Go

Go as a language is relatively young, compared to older and more ubiquitous languages such as Java, C#, Ruby and Python. The great thing about a new language is that developers aren’t bound to patterns of writing code that may have become entrenched in other languages due to the familiarity of the most common frameworks in those languages. For example, in a simple Java Spring Web application, one has the controllers, the JPA repositories, entities, and the if-else statements in between representing the application logic. The difficulty about a relatively new language is that there isn’t a commonly agreed upon way to do things, making everyone a potential proselyte, tossed back and forth between the waves of various newly evangelized dogma.

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The Caricatures We Create

For you fashioned my inmost being; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders —I know this very well. – Dawid Ben Yishai

Watching a child grow up is an interesting thing. Seeing them learn about the world around them, and unconsciously form the personality within them, can leave one enchanted by the spell of God’s providence working in the macro and minute details of the world.

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