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The day I left home for the city The day I left home for the city Di Die Mi Lef Mi Yaad Fi Go Toun

Written by Lesley Koyi, Ursula Nafula

Illustrated by Brian Wambi

Read by Darshan Soni

Language English

Level Level 3

Narrate full story


The small bus stop in my village was busy with people and overloaded buses. On the ground were even more things to load. Touts were shouting the names where their buses were going.

The small bus stop in my village was busy with people and overloaded buses. On the ground were even more things to load. Touts were shouting the names where their buses were going.

Di likl bos stap inna mi vilij di bizi wid piipl an pak op-pak op bos. Muor tingz did iivn de pan di grong fi luod. Dokta did a baal out di niem dem fi wich paat dem bos dem did a go.


“City! City! Going west!” I heard a tout shouting. That was the bus I needed to catch.

"City! City! Going west!" I heard a tout shouting. That was the bus I needed to catch.

"Toun! Toun! A go Wes!" mi ier wahn dokta a baal out. A da bos de mi niid fi kech.


The city bus was almost full, but more people were still pushing to get on. Some packed their luggage under the bus. Others put theirs on the racks inside.

The city bus was almost full, but more people were still pushing to get on. Some packed their luggage under the bus. Others put theirs on the racks inside.

Di toun bos did almuos ful. Bot muor piipl did stil a push fi get iihn. Som a dem pak op dem bag dem anda di bos. Di res a dem put dem bag pan di shelf dem inna di bos.


New passengers clutched their tickets as they looked for somewhere to sit in the crowded bus. Women with young children made them comfortable for the long journey.

New passengers clutched their tickets as they looked for somewhere to sit in the crowded bus. Women with young children made them comfortable for the long journey.

Di nyuu pasinja dem uol aan pan dem tikit tait-tait miinwail dem a luk fi somwe fi siddong inna di pak op bos. Di biebimada dem mek dem pikni komfatebl fi di lang jraiv.


I squeezed in next to a window. The person sitting next to me was holding tightly to a green plastic bag. He wore old sandals, a worn out coat, and he looked nervous.

I squeezed in next to a window. The person sitting next to me was holding tightly to a green plastic bag. He wore old sandals, a worn out coat, and he looked nervous.

Mi skwiiz iihn nier wahn winda-siit. Di sumadi we a siddong said a mi did a uol aan tait pan wahn griin plaskit bag. Him did av aan uol slippaz, wahn wier out jakit, an im did luk laik im friedi-friedi.


I looked outside the bus and realised that I was leaving my village, the place where I had grown up. I was going to the big city.

I looked outside the bus and realised that I was leaving my village, the place where I had grown up. I was going to the big city.

Mi did luk outsaid a di bos an did riyalaiz se mi did a lef mi vilij, di plies we mi gruo op. Mi did a go a di big siti.


The loading was completed and all passengers were seated. Hawkers still pushed their way into the bus to sell their goods to the passengers. Everyone was shouting the names of what was available for sale. The words sounded funny to me.

The loading was completed and all passengers were seated. Hawkers still pushed their way into the bus to sell their goods to the passengers. Everyone was shouting the names of what was available for sale. The words sounded funny to me.

Dem did don luod di bos an aal a di pasinja dem did siddong. Di venda dem stil push kom inna di bos fi sel dem gudz tu di pasinja dem. Evribadi a baal out di niem a wa dem av fi sel. Di wod dem did soun foni tu mi.


A few passengers bought drinks, others bought small snacks and began to chew. Those who did not have any money, like me, just watched.

A few passengers bought drinks, others bought small snacks and began to chew. Those who did not have any money, like me, just watched.

Kopl pasinja did bai jrinks, di res a dem did bai likl snak an staat chuu. Aal uu neva av no moni, laik mi, jos did a wach.


These activities were interrupted by the hooting of the bus, a sign that we were ready to leave. The tout yelled at the hawkers to get out.

These activities were interrupted by the hooting of the bus, a sign that we were ready to leave. The tout yelled at the hawkers to get out.

Dem sopm de stap wen di bos aan bluo, dat miin se wi redi fi lef. Di dokta dem baal aafa di venda dem fi kom aaf.


Hawkers pushed each other to make their way out of the bus. Some gave back change to the travellers. Others made last minute attempts to sell more items.

Hawkers pushed each other to make their way out of the bus. Some gave back change to the travellers. Others made last minute attempts to sell more items.

Di venda dem push wananeda fi kom aaf a di bos. Som a dem gi bak chienj tu di pasinja dem. An som a dem did a chrai sel muor tingz.


As the bus left the bus stop, I stared out of the window. I wondered if I would ever go back to my village again.

As the bus left the bus stop, I stared out of the window. I wondered if I would ever go back to my village again.

Az di bos lef di bos stap, mi did luk chuu di winda. Mi did a wanda ef mi wuda eva go bak a mi vilij agen.


As the journey progressed, the inside of the bus got very hot. I closed my eyes hoping to sleep.

As the journey progressed, the inside of the bus got very hot. I closed my eyes hoping to sleep.

Wail wi a chravl, inna di bos staat get wel at. Mi shet mi yai dem an a uop se mi jrap a sliip.


But my mind drifted back home. Will my mother be safe? Will my rabbits fetch any money? Will my brother remember to water my tree seedlings?

But my mind drifted back home. Will my mother be safe? Will my rabbits fetch any money? Will my brother remember to water my tree seedlings?

Bot mi main staat ron bak pan mi yaad. Ef mi mada ago sief? Ef mi rabit dem win no moni? Ef mi bredda memba fi waata mi chrii soka dem?


On the way, I memorised the name of the place where my uncle lived in the big city. I was still mumbling it when I fell asleep.

On the way, I memorised the name of the place where my uncle lived in the big city. I was still mumbling it when I fell asleep.

Pan di wie, mi se uova an uova di niem a di plies we mi onggkl liv inna di big siti. Mi stil did a wispa tu miself wen mi jrap asliip.


Nine hours later, I woke up with loud banging and calling for passengers going back to my village. I grabbed my small bag and jumped out of the bus.

Nine hours later, I woke up with loud banging and calling for passengers going back to my village. I grabbed my small bag and jumped out of the bus.

Nain owa lieta, pier naiz wiek mi op an dem a kaal fi di pasinja dem fi go bak a mi vilij. Mi grab mi likl bag an jomp outa di bos.


The return bus was filling up quickly. Soon it would make its way back east. The most important thing for me now, was to start looking for my uncle’s house.

The return bus was filling up quickly. Soon it would make its way back east. The most important thing for me now, was to start looking for my uncle's house.

Di bos fi go bak di a luod kwik-kwik. It did suuhn go bak a Iis. Di muos impuotant ting fi mi nou, a did fi staat luk fi mi onggkl yaad.


Written by: Lesley Koyi, Ursula Nafula
Illustrated by: Brian Wambi
Read by: Darshan Soni
Language: English
Level 3
Source: The day I left home for the city from African Storybook
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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