Kenyan writer, Idza Luhumyo, won the 2022 Ako Caine Prize for African Writing. The title, 5 Years Next Sunday, is an alternate to ‘Five Years Next Sunday’, the story’s original title.
Pili’s locs are dark, fluffy, and soon hitting the five-year mark. Her family treats her like an outcast until Seth, a white man, comes into their lives. He leaves Zubeda, his ex-girlfriend, for Pili and opens a shop for her parents. He gives Neema, her mother, and Baba all the money they need to fulfil their dreams.
But it hasn’t rained for the past four years, and the drought is unfathomable. Her parents convince Pili and themselves that there is no need for rain for as long as they have Seth.
It’s only a couple of weeks to the five-year mark. Honey, a strange white woman who is also Seth’s friend, draws unusually close to Pili. She investigates what makes Pili’s hair special. She is set to find out why Seth loves Pili instead of her.
Pili is naïve enough to reveal to Honey that she has the rain in her hair. The slim white woman convinces her to cut it. When she does, the unexpected happens, and Pili is severely punished. Just like her Sangazimis, her father’s sisters before were!