02 August 2009

Dry Leaves by Eghosa Imasuen

“I sure say na here I keep the money. Look, see the waterproof, now? They tore it.” Mesiri was distraught – his shoe-polish black complexion glistened with sweat in the cool morning. We had a lot of guests left over from Tuesday night. It had been a boys’ night and we had had fun, unbridled since no girls were allowed. Even Roscoe’s girl, Mamode, who had been the immediate reason for the ‘celebration’ – she came back to school in the first week of December – had been escorted to our junction for a bike at ten pm. Our neighbours, Fra, Preppa, and the twins – distant cousins of Roscoe had spent the night. All our doors had been kept open. Everybody moved around freely. Who could have stolen the money? Mesiri said he kept the cash in a black polythene bag in the top half of his wardrobe. He stood on the reading chair as he showed the assemblage of his friends the empty bag. It had been ripped open and was quite empty.

“We have seen the bag,” I said, “Mesiri, come down from there before you fall. You’re shaking like a leaf.”

“But why would anyone take my money? I give when asked, don’t I?”

“Them no break the door?” someone asked, I think it was Ejiro.

“No,” Roscoe said. “But no worry, Mesiri. We will catch the thief.”

We searched everyone. We overturned tables and chairs but found nothing. Tambo was very energetic about it. He lead the investigation, remembering who had last entered Mesiri’s room – me, and I almost fought with him when he said it – and remembering who, suspiciously, was not drunk enough after last night’s binge – that was Roscoe, who was the best at holding his liquor, although Tambo was not brave enough to suggest that Roscoe might have stolen the money. After an hour of ticklish pat-downs and upturned pockets amidst giggling caused by the pre-hangover we were all experiencing it was eleven and we still had not found out who stole our friend’s dough. Our guests, convinced of their own innocence, were fidgety and restless, in a hurry to begin the day and get to class. Tuoyo made a suggestion.

“Tambo, what of that juju-man’s place you took us to?”

“Which man?” Oliver Tambo answered.

Yeah, which man?

Tuoyo made Tambo remember, “You haven’t forgotten . . . . Last time when Kayode’s money went missing. Ejiro, remember now? In Yaba’s old flat! Yaba refused to go. Well, we went and this man drew some leaves and found out the thief was that chap Ayo from Delta State University.”

Ejiro said, “I remember. Oboy, that guy jazz dey work o.”

I knew what they were talking about. But was Tuoyo mad? Suggesting something like this. I voiced my reservations, helped in some measure by Oliver Tambo who still said he could not remember exactly the juju-man they were talking about. The others shouted us down and it was decided. We would go to the juju-man’s.

I went to my room to get dressed. I rubbed on some roll-on, there was no time to take a bath, and listened to Tambo.

He stood over me. He had changed into that old pair of jeans, the green ones we always laughed at. He combed his hair and gesticulated with his free left hand. “Yaba, I sure say na Roscoe cousins thief the money. You no see how fidgety them dey?”

“All I know is that this waka is nonsense. How can we, undergraduates, be going to a jazz-man, a juju-man? I can’t believe I am doing this. I don’t even believe in the stuff.” I looked up from my shoes and saw Tuoyo standing at the door. I asked him, “How does this work, anyway?”

Tuoyo was buttoning his shirt and staring at Oliver Tambo’s back when he answered, “The last time we submitted a list of our names, suspects, you know? This guy has some leaves. Dried, they look like mini-papaya leaves. Only they are stronger. He places them, alternating one against the next and draws them, trying to pull them apart. When the name of the real culprit is called, the leaves come apart.”

“Just so you know, if the guy calls my name and any nonsense happens . . . make una no try any rubbish o. I have already said my own,” I complained.

He ignored me and said to Tambo, “How can you say you’ve forgotten the guy?”

“I haven’t forgotten him o. I just think it’s a waste of time. I have already said who I think are the thieves. Na just Roscoe una dey fear, if not una for see say na’im cousins thief the dough.”

“Whatever, Tambo. Whatever. Dress quick, you’re still taking us there.”

Oliver Tambo smiled and said, “We will go. No be juju-man? Although I’m not sure if that exact guy is still in town. But juju-men are plenty in Benin. We will go.”

“Just, make sure you don’t carry us to any charlatan,” I said, “What am I saying? They are all charlatans!”

Fra, Preppa and the twins said goodbye to us, wished us luck and left for their place. I spoke to Ejiro and told him to watch the twins; to make sure that they did not suddenly start spending money. And that if they did to look at the denominations – Mesiri’s money had been in fifty Naira notes. The rest of us, Roscoe, Mesiri, Tuoyo, Oliver Tambo and me hopped on a bus to town. We were going to First-East Circular Road where Tambo said one juju-man lived. He was sure this was the one Tuoyo was trying to remind him about.

In the bus, Mesiri tried to tell me about his misgivings concerning – how did he put it – divination and necromancy. I told him not to worry; that nobody really believed that nonsense; that it was Tuoyo’s way of trying to scare the real thief into confessing.

“But who’s there to scare? Them Fra have already left.”

Roscoe, sitting beside us in the cramped tuke-tuke, spoke, “No worry. Anything the juju-man says, he says. We will go back and tell the person we most suspect that his name was picked. Someone will admit. No worry.”

“But who do we suspect?” Mesiri asked. Nobody spoke. I stared down at my laps and knew that my friends were doing the same. Who could have betrayed the trust? The house was free. It had to be an outsider. But why were we suddenly anxious about whom we each suspected? Was it because it might be Roscoe cousins? Did anyone really not want to hurt his feelings? No. That was not it. Could it be because each of us suspected the other? Suddenly I was jealous of Mesiri. He was in the clear and thus did not know what I was – and I was sure the rest of us were – feeling. A glance from a friend took on a completely new meaning on that bus ride. Was I being suspected? Does he think I am suspecting him? Everyone did the next best thing and just stared at his feet until we heard the conductor shout, “First-East Circular o. Who dey drop?”

We came down two NEPA poles from the junction and legged it to a small brown bungalow that had an inappropriately large signboard announcing the offices of ‘DR SPIRIT AND LAW, THE WHITE WIZARDS’. Dr Law was not around, Oliver Tambo reported after conferring with the gateman in Ibo. I had to admit, he knew his way around. He must come here a lot, I thought, as I saw him give a side hug to Dr Spirit. The doctor was a slight man. He was fair and had a tribal-marked face that broke into a wide grin after Oliver Tambo whispered something in his ear. He turned away from our friend and said, “Welcome, my friends.”

Everyone cleared his throat and shuffled uncomfortably. What was the right response to this welcome from a juju-man? I looked him over. He wore a tassel-filled dashiki and his exposed shoulders bore tattoos, one of a wizened old man on the right and a mammy-water on the left. He had short dreadlocks that shook as he laughed and told us to relax. We were safe here, he said. He showed us inside, conferring with Oliver Tambo all the way. He looked like a jungle reggae musician. I knew that Tambo was telling him about our wahala; about the reason why we were here. We entered a dimly lit room where our shadows danced in time with the single half-painted red, half-painted blue light bulb dangling from a wire in the centre of the ceiling. It was so clichéd that I almost giggled. I tried better than Roscoe; he actually snickered but stopped himself after he caught a look from Tuoyo. Tuoyo seemed uncomfortable and was frowning. I tried to sit next him so I could ask what the matter was but did not get a chance as Dr Spirit motioned us to a pair of goat-skin mats on the floor. I sat beside Tambo on one while Mesiri, Roscoe and Tuoyo shared the other. The placed smelled of mothballs, camphor soaked in piss.

Dr Spirit cleared his throat and said, in an asking tone, “Clement?”

Oliver Tambo seemed as surprised as we that someone had used his given name. He oohed and turned to me, “Yaba, give me the money.”

I asked him how much and, when he replied, handed him Three Hundred Naira for the thief-catching ceremony.

“Ehem! I hear that three of you are future doctors,” Dr Spirit said, “You know even we doctors must eat.” He put the money in a satchel that was tied around his waist and from the same bag produced a handful of what looked in the swinging light like chicken bones. He let loose a barrage of inanities and threw the bones on the ground. One almost touched me and I shifted further into my goatskin seat. He leaned forward, picked up the errant piece and asked, “Are all the people who were in the house when the money got missing here?” He spoke very good English.

Mesiri answered, “No, we left the others in Ugbowo.” I glanced at Mesiri and read the surprise in his face. He was impressed that the juju-man knew that there were others involved.

“I knew it,” Dr Spirit said, “I knew it because the oracle is telling me so. The oracle is telling me that the thief of your money is not in this room right now.”

Haba! I was actually impressed. Oliver Tambo pinched me and whispered, “I no tell you that the guy good. We go catch the thief.”

He had not told me any such thing. All he had been doing before we got on the bus was to complain that the trip was a waste of time; that we already knew who the thieves were. I had agreed with him then but now, I was not so sure. Deep down I knew I was here because of some macabre need to satisfy my curiosity. I felt like those oyibos in Hollywood fare who, after hearing a loud bang or suspicious whisper from inside a dark room, said, “Bob, what’s that noise? Let’s check it out.” They always died, gutted by a chain saw or Freddie Kruger’s fingernails. I saw Tuoyo glance at me and shake his head. He mouthed something at me. Bullshit? I was not sure what he said.

Dr Spirit threw the bones again and shouted, after repeating the inanities, “Aha! See these two bones? These bones pointing at you?” he was looking at Mesiri and had a strange gleam in his eyes.

My friend was hypnotized.

The doctor continued, “It was your money that got stolen, abi?” Mesiri nodded slowly as the juju-man continued, “You see how the two bones resemble? The oracle – insert some more inanities – is saying that two friends, or two brothers who look so much alike that they can be twins, stole your money. The other people who are not here, how many are they?”

“Five,” Tambo answered.

“Are any of them brothers?”

At first nobody answered. All eyes were on Roscoe. His cousins stood accused. I was not going to be the one to answer that question. But Roscoe had a small smile on his face. He stared down the juju-man until the latter was forced to avert his gaze and collect his bones from the floor.

Dr Spirit stammered, “All I am saying is that if any of them are brothers you should ask those about this boy’s money.”

Tuoyo spoke, “Thank you, doctor. We have what we need.”

*


Dr Spirit did not escort us outside. As we walked to the junction to take the bus back to school Tuoyo stopped and said, “No, Tambo. This guy dey talk nonsense…”

“I was afraid you guys believed the fraud,” Roscoe said.

I was ignored when I asked, “What about my Three Hundred Naira?”

Tuoyo continued, “Oliver Tambo, the place you took me and KO was in Second-East Circular, not First. Try and remember the place. Yes! You said then that he worked under your father in the bursary department.”

“I know,” Oliver Tambo replied.

“I don’t trust this Dr Spirit’s system. That guy’s own was out in the open. He drew the leaves in front of everyone and had a list of names. He did not bamboozle us with all that shouting and throwing about of dog-food. Everything was in our hand.” Tuoyo touched Oliver Tambo’s shirt sleeve and continued, “Look, Tambo. We will take a bus to Second. When we get there we will see if you remember the place. It is better than going back to school and trying to accuse people who even you don’t really believe are the thieves.”

Oliver Tambo finally remembered the guy. He operated out of his home in a muddy street off Second. He did the juju thing part time and was actually a middle-aged accounting clerk in the University of Benin’s bursary. Clement ‘Oliver Tambo’ Unegbu gave us a summary of Mr. Okoronkwo after we got to the junction on Second and walked, dodging puddles, to the man’s house. The dwelling was in marked contrast to Drs. Spirit and Law’s. Despite its surroundings which were muddy and brown, this house had a white-washed façade in front of which was a small vegetable patch in the shade of a large ebelebo tree under which three or four tomato shrubs grew. A small dark woman wearing gardening gloves looked up from the roots of one of the tomatoes and shouted, “Clement! You came to visit. How is your father?”

“He is fine, ma. Me and my friends have a little problem. Is Oga at home?” Oliver Tambo seemed distracted, his voice breaking as though his heart was thumping hard against his chest preventing the air from flowing smoothly out of his chest.

Mrs. Okoronkwo answered, “No o. He hasn’t come back.”

“Eeyah,” Oliver Tambo regretted. He turned to us, “That means we have to go back. He won’t close from work until five.”

I thought I saw relief in his face but Tuoyo and Mrs. Okoronkwo broke my concentration. They spoke at the same time.

“We will wait,” said Tuoyo.

“You can wait,” said the madam of the house, “He is on leave. He did not go to work today. He just went for his Umunna meeting. He should be back soon. The meeting is supposed to be ending by three and, look, it’s three-thirty already.”

There was nothing at all mystic about Mr. Okoronkwo’s sitting room. It was a family living room and had the necessary portrait of a smiling father and mother surrounded by their children, three in the case, hanging on the wall behind the TV. There was a large wooden rosary draped around the family photo. We took our seats on the pleather seats and politely refused Mrs. Okoronkwo when she asked what we would drink. She laughed and told us to stuff the politeness; that any friend of Tambo – Clement, she called him – was like a son to her and her husband. We accepted the soft drinks she brought and waited while she went back outside to resume her gardening in the shade of her ebelebo tree.

I turned to Tuoyo, “Is this the guy that does the leaf juju?”

“Surprised, eh? Now you see why I felt the first guy we went to was an idiot. And we wasted so much time there. Look at the clock. It’s almost four.”

*


Mr. Okorokwo was a chubby short man about the same height as his wife. He hugged Oliver Tambo, asked after his father and inquired as to why we had come. We told him. He smiled and left the parlour. When he came back he handed me – I was the closest to him – a piece of paper and asked me to write the names of all those who had spent the night in the house. I did this and by the time I finished I saw that he had changed into a two-piece attire of sackcloth. He sat on the linoleum floor in the middle of the sitting room and arranged the leaves. The famous leaves. They were exactly as Tuoyo had described them. They looked like paw-paw leaves except they were smaller and definitely looked tougher. He took the list from my hand and asked Mesiri, the owner of the lost money, to sit on the floor opposite him. He took Mesiri’s left hand in his and arranged the leaves, fourteen of them, so that Mesiri had seven stalks facing him. Between each of the leaves, whose stalks Mr. Okoronkwo told my friend to hold with his free right hand, were the others, seven too, with their stalks in the juju-man’s right hand. He finished the arrangement by placing a small metal statuette – it looked like a mask – on the leaves balanced jointly on his and Mesiri’s left palms. He explained, “What is going to happen is that . . . where is the list?”

“Beside you,” Roscoe said.

“Yes. I am going to call each name on this list and ask Akamune, our guardian, a question. If the question is correct . . . No need to explain too much. Let’s test it first.” He looked at each of us in the face. Then he looked at Mesiri who was sweating from every orifice in the blue-black body and reassured him, “No fear, my boy. No fear.” Then he started the test, “Akamune! Akamune, if Mesiri stole this money, release! My son, pull as hard as you can.”

Mesiri pulled. I saw his sinews stretching across his forearm and the veins in his neck stood out like matted dreadlocks. But the leaves did not separate. After a while the juju-man laughed and told him to stop pulling before he tore the stalks to pieces. “Abi are you trying to prove that you stole your own money? Oya, let’s try the opposite . . . . If it wasn’t Mesiri that stole the money release . . .” Before he finished, the entire contraption collapsed before our eyes and the statuette landed on the floor with a small clang.

After arranging the entire thing again, Mr. Okoronkwo asked for the list and read off it.

“If it was Roscoe that stole this money, release.” Nothing.

“If it was Fra that stole this money, release.” Nothing.

“If it was Tuoyo that stole this money, release.” Nothing again.

“If it was Yaba that stole this money, release.” My name; I had been busy trying to stop myself from correcting this juju-man’s distracting misuse of the word, ‘that’, noting that this papa had not yet asked for money. My heart actually stopped. I looked at Mesiri. He was pulling so hard that his neck seemed about to burst. Did he want me to be the thief? I wanted to shout at him to take it easy. After all it was my money that we were spending to try to get to the bottom of this. But in spite of Mesiri’s best efforts nothing happened. The leaves seemed held together by a force stronger than anything his muscles could offer. Nothing happened.

“If it was Preppa that stole the money, release.” Again, nothing.

“If it was Ejiro that stole the money, release.” Again.

“If it was Oliver Tambo that stole the money, release.” I expected this. Deep in me I think I always suspected. The leaves came apart and the idol crashed to the linoleum floor. Mr. Okoronkwo looked up, wiped sweat from his brow, and asked, “Who is this Oliver Tambo?”

Tuoyo answered, “It’s Clement’s guy-name.”

“Did you do this?” he asked his boss’s son.

We all saw the disappointment on his face. He went through the motions of rearranging the leaves and asked the oracle if the twins, Peter and Paul, had stolen the money. The leaves did not budge. After he was through with the names he reversed the questions and when he got to Oliver Tambo’s name, asked, “If Oliver Tambo did not steal the money, Akamune, don’t release.” The leaves came apart like a deck of cards shuffled by an inept dealer. He did not pick up the statuette this time. He stood up from his squat, helped Mesiri up and said, “Well my sons, you know who the thief is. It is this Oliver Tambo. This Clement. You can wait outside now. I want to speak to him.” He touched Mesiri on the shoulder as we filed out of his home, “Don’t worry, my boy. He will return your money.”

*


We waited outside the door and tried to ignore the shouting inside. Tambo was getting a thorough washing down. It was mostly in Ibo but I think I heard the juju-man say something about what ‘Clement’s’ father would think if he heard what his son had done. I was too distracted to take part in the small talk Roscoe was making with Mrs. Okoronkwo. Why was Oliver Tambo always fucking up? This was like a replay of what happened in year one when we were robbed. Tambo had been at fault then. Would we forgive him this time?

When Oliver Tambo came out he immediately started talking, “I no tell you say the jazz dey work? Yaba, I no tell you?”

“Tambo, shut up,” I said, “No use my scepticism to hide what you did. You stole the money. Why? If you were broke, you could have asked. You wouldn’t have been refused. You know that.”

“I know. I was owing. I owed dues . . .”

“Dues for what?”

“You know now . . . My confraternity dues . . .”

“When you take the money?” Tuoyo interrupted him. He was smiling at our thief.

“During the night. Just before them Fra came over for the party.”

“And you wanted us to believe the twins took it?” Roscoe had left Mrs. Okoronkwo. I think we were all speaking quietly because she was still within earshot. Maybe not. Maybe we were tired. Tired of the long day. Tired of Oliver Tambo’s games. But we were being pretty civil. Nobody was going to touch Oliver Tambo. All we wanted was for him to return the money. It was good that he had not had a chance to spend it.

“Where is the dough?” Tuoyo asked.

“In the garden. Under the shrubs by Mesiri’s window. I threw it out the window after I took it. See, my guys, I’m sorry. I owed money in my confra. They for beat me. Please, abeg. I go give the cash back.”

Of course, he was forgiven. What were we going to do to him? But his name was tarnished. We would have to tell Fra and his flatmates. We could not just say that Mesiri had been mistaken, could we? Mesiri would not take the fall for Tambo’s stupidity. Oliver Tambo told us that when we got to Dr. Spirit’s place he had begged that juju-man to cover him. That he stole the money but wanted Dr. Spirit to say someone else took it – the twins. He had not expected Tuoyo to be so adamant about coming to see Mr. Okoronkwo. He even admitted that he was planning to return the money and maybe accuse Mesiri of misplacing it deep in his dark wardrobe.

*


On the bus ride home, in the gathering darkness of a precipitate December dusk, Mesiri spoke to me, “I no fit forgive am o. He will have to move out. Eventually, he will have to move out. I don’t want him in my room ever again.” He spoke in urgent whispers. I noticed that this was the first thing he had said since we left the juju-man’s home.




Dry Leaves was written by Eghosa Imasuen and is an excerpt from his forthcoming novel, Forget.

Copyright Eghosa Imasuen 2009.



Eghosa ImasuenEghosa Imasuen was born on 19 May 1976. He is a medical doctor and lives in Benin City, Nigeria, with his wife and twin sons.

He has had his short fiction published in online magazines like blackbiro.com, african-writing.com, africanwriter.com, and thenewgong.com; and has written articles for Farafina Magazine. He attended the inaugural Adichie-Wainana-Fidelity Bank Writing Workshop in August 2007.

His first novel, To Saint Patrick, an Alternate History murder mystery about Nigeria’s civil war, was published by Farafina in 2008.







17 comments:

Jude Dibia said...

Wonderful descriptions and the language was engaging. I love the pacing of the story and the eventual reveal.... Good! Can't wait to read the novel that this is taken from.

Anonymous said...

well-crafted narrative; lucid prose shorn of flourish, and yet so reflective of the patois and ethos of the characters...hope to read the fuller body (novel)...

keep it up!

Uche peter Umez

Eghosa Imasuen said...

Thanks, guys. Okay, the rest of you; time for the long knives. Please critique the piece.
Two caveats (actually one caveat): I apologise for the apparent little time spent on characterisation; and the large cast. It is an excerpt, not a completely self-contained short story.
So please, with that in mind, I would like to hear from the rest of the StoryTime crew. Especially you, Ivor.

Georgia Ijeoma Ugwu said...

I read the story at 1am but i was hooked and could not sleep until i finished. Very believable! But why did the Igbo guy have to be the thief? It's a perfect story but it looks like your target audience could be nigerians who understand broken english. I understand that you want to keep the story real but you also want everyone to enjoy it, so i'll say look for a way to soften the broken, without loosing the language because i speak broken but i struggled a bit.

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma said...

Beautiful! The story was well paced and I loved the writing because it suits the story well. I feel as if I'm left balancing on a strand and looking forward to knowing what happens in the novel!

okiss ofose said...

the story is really captivating coming from your angle,tells how good you are with tales,the pidgin english made it grand and opens a clear view of the senario.i cant wait to delve into the novel of reality

Eghosa Imasuen said...

Georgia. I feel you concerning the pidgin (I refuse to call it broken English.) As a Warri boy it's something I struggle with - balancing the need to be authentic with the reality of keeping my story flowing. I try to simplify things as much as possible. I thought I did; I guess I'll just have to practice harder. I also try and make the pidgin speech redundant - i.e, from subsequent character actions what's been said can easily be deduced. But I supposed I ask for too much. I'll work at it some more.
Why was the thief Igbo? I dunno. Make we ask am, "Oliver, why you thief the moni?"
Novuyo. Wait a little bit; the novel is undergoing a major rewrite. I promise to keep the parts you like.
Okiss. Guy, how na? You remember, eh? reality? It's fiction o. ;-)

dami said...

i relate easily with this tale perhaps because of its sensibility. it appeals to the new generation of Nigeria, replete with our vernacular and conditions. its also very much fluid in its progression although the cast, like the author said, is a little to much. that can be excused because its an excerpt, not a stand alone short story. but wats up, Dr Eghosa, there is a love for inanimate objects like wet hair,dry leaves, wat next? empty bottle? Good story , man!

Anonymous said...

GUY, this is good. I get the feeling that you are Yaba(forgive me for being so autobiographical-that is the historian talking). But you got to give your pidgin a more Edo-cum Delta flavour. Am an Igbo and your exotic brand of this lovely language seems to be toned down to look like the rest of the stuff we non-Bendelites speak. Let your patois flow along with the Muse. A1

Henry C. Onyema

Eghosa Imasuen said...

Thanks, H-man. I'll work on the pidgin. The story is actually an excerpt from a novel I've been working on for ages. I'm currently on the last stages of rewriting. All advice is welcome.

Eghosa Imasuen said...

@sevengoodmen. 12 different novels? Slow down and face one. Is Fosa short for Efosa?

Su'eddie Vershima Agema said...

Eghosa, nice one – lovely plot, narration and description. The large cast in the tale gave it some nice spice. All the characters were really individual in their unique way, which was also, deep.
Really engaging, I sure can’t wait to get the full deal.
However, I really think that you need to go over the piece again – if you haven’t. I saw some ‘typos’ that you would surely spot if you go through the work again. But of course you said there is a big re-working so no wahala.
Read all the comments too. For the pidgin – hmm, I totally agree that you need to pedal down a bit, except if the work is mainly for a Nigerian audience (being one, I understood it, well). Someone said you should do some more Wafi in the pidgin... c’mon, I didn’t see much reason for that.
On the whole, the first person narrative gives the work real deepness and beauty.
When the book de comot?
Well done, and as I hear myself saying a lot these days “May the ink of your thoughts, never dry” – S’

Eghosa Imasuen said...

Thanks, Agema. Book's expected within the year. Thank you for the words.

Eghosa Imasuen said...

Thanks, Agema. Book's expected within the year. Thank you for the words.

dami said...

i relate easily with this tale perhaps because of its sensibility. it appeals to the new generation of Nigeria, replete with our vernacular and conditions. its also very much fluid in its progression although the cast, like the author said, is a little to much. that can be excused because its an excerpt, not a stand alone short story. but wats up, Dr Eghosa, there is a love for inanimate objects like wet hair,dry leaves, wat next? empty bottle? Good story , man!

Georgia Ijeoma Ugwu said...

I read the story at 1am but i was hooked and could not sleep until i finished. Very believable! But why did the Igbo guy have to be the thief? It's a perfect story but it looks like your target audience could be nigerians who understand broken english. I understand that you want to keep the story real but you also want everyone to enjoy it, so i'll say look for a way to soften the broken, without loosing the language because i speak broken but i struggled a bit.

Su'eddie Vershima Agema said...

Eghosa, nice one – lovely plot, narration and description. The large cast in the tale gave it some nice spice. All the characters were really individual in their unique way, which was also, deep.
Really engaging, I sure can’t wait to get the full deal.
However, I really think that you need to go over the piece again – if you haven’t. I saw some ‘typos’ that you would surely spot if you go through the work again. But of course you said there is a big re-working so no wahala.
Read all the comments too. For the pidgin – hmm, I totally agree that you need to pedal down a bit, except if the work is mainly for a Nigerian audience (being one, I understood it, well). Someone said you should do some more Wafi in the pidgin... c’mon, I didn’t see much reason for that.
On the whole, the first person narrative gives the work real deepness and beauty.
When the book de comot?
Well done, and as I hear myself saying a lot these days “May the ink of your thoughts, never dry” – S’

 
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