Life’s Dancing in Tram 83


A person working the graveyard shift would think tram 83 to be a dream. Where the people talk as if it is daylight and there is activity all around never empty. The street being empty only during sunlight for the people that work only during the day. That is the bustle and rustle that is captured in Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila.

Tram 83 surrounds its two main character Requiem and Lucien. What makes these two characters interesting is how the world around them has shaped them and continues to shape them throughout the story. How the City-state with it’s citizens and the train station with comers and goers getting through life and the restaurant all mingle to create a scene for both of our characters in Tram 83

What makes this book spectacular is its usage of language and repetition in a way I have not seen before.

“and it students and it diggers and it single mamas with no kids only because they are in the age of 25 to 40 and the baby chick and the winner retiring and the tourist ”

Imagine having to read that for 1 page and a half. Now imagine having to read that for a big portion of the book. At first it seems daunting and honestly for me it took away from my reading experience.


It was my reading experience that was actually hindering me. I began reading this text out-loud and I found that it had a chorus type feeling to it and as I continued to read I found myself having to go back and reread less and less.


The repetition in the story allowed me to reintroduce into my reading brain words and commotion in the stories I might have missed. It allowed me to continue reading once I understood that it was okay to get lost in the reading and in the word and in the repetition meant to sound like rhythm in the usage of simple images in the depth of the text. To see a city at night that was bustling instead of asleep.


Tram 83 although by conventional means might be a difficult read, is a very talented piece of writing that is meant to be heard. This is due to the fact that the author intended this to have a musical quality and rhythm to his writing that made it easier to understand the movement and emotions surrounding his setting of tram 83. Without this he would not be able to achieve this feeling of chaos and harmony. This human chaos in which we live




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