A day in Tram 83

Tram 83 is written by Fiston Mwanza Mujila and the two main character are Requiem and Lucien. Tram 83 is a nightclub where everyone comes together and all bad activity is not shamed for but yet is an escape from reality. Throughout the novel there is life filled with prostitution, drugs, crimes, sex, alcohol and robbery. Poverty is also seen in the City State and it creates an unstable life for the residents.

The City State is referred to being broken down, poor, violent and the use of drugs and alcohol being a norm in the society. As the text mentions, it is an “unfinished metal structure”. What can that mean, “Unfinished metal structure”? I believe it means that the society and people are still a work in progress. As we read about their problems and struggles that the society and people face, doesn’t our own society in a way reflect an image similar to theirs?


In the text, we come across a phrase that is used often, “Do you have the time?”The author has created so many different meanings for “Do you have the time?” that it is all throughout the book. For example, on page 19 it is referring to a prostitute propositioning a client. Asking if they have the time to have sex. How ever sometimes it can refer to the actual time, on page 12 when asking for the time, Requiem replies to go check the watch. The author uses this phrase in different ways but once you read it in the contexts it actually connects and you understand the meaning behind “Do you have the time”. Translation is an important role in this novel because as readers we can translate and come up with what the phrase can mean, and the book itself has been translated into many different languages that it can change the meaning behind the text.



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