Apartheid seen through the eyes of the wife, a very close 3rd person POV that feels first-person, of the colonel who is being celebrated for his winning sales record for the Gold Lion Insurance Company of South Africa in 1977. His wife realizes that her husband's real gift is that he sells to the areas of town that white people will not enter, repression and exploitation. "A Party for the Colonel" handles very deftly the attitudes and hypocrisies of the white ruling class and the hierarchy among the different groups of non-whites.
There are many instances showing how a person subject to racism feels when thrust as a show dog into the spotlight and a couple of places illustrate how even this person perpetuates power and racism or at least classism. "...Eunice, their African maid, who, under his strict orders, spent an hour painstakingly hand-washing his clothes every evening." And, the obliviousness of a worker's life, "...she often forgot Eunice had a family of her own, in far off Transkei, a husband and child whom she saw just once a year."
Even as the Colonel and his wife, "Indian, as he and his wife's identity documents declared," had been evicted four or five times, their houses demolished and forced to move, the Colonel held to the belief that money was their ticket to freedom. However, the wife knows this is not true.
The story is about thirty pages long with a 3rd person POV and set in Johannesburg. "A Party for the Colonel" is a must read from One Story, issue number 200. I've only touched on the complexities and nuances and historic events woven into the story. This is a wonderful story that is the first published story for F. T. Kola.
One Story interview with author