photo  Opara's bk

Please be mindful that parts of chapter 9 were distorted in the process of program-transfer.

Echoes of the Whip in Chinyere Okafor’s He Wants to Marry Me Again
                                  and Zaynab Alkali’s Cobwebs and Other Stories

Paternalism has many forms, but the line is essentially the same.
The slave-owner is the affectionate father until the slaves rebel.
-Sheila Rowborharn

A palpable trope of pain and punishment, the whip evokes material. cultural, physical, psychological and formative scourge. The pain of poverty has been borne by women in patriarchal and capitalist societies all over the world. As we have earlier pointed out, capitalism as an institution benefits largely from low-income informal employments. Such employments have placed women at a great disadvantage on the domestic scene. Women’s unpaid work as Stevi Jackson would put it ‘is expropriated by their husbands” (333). Representing the greatest sufferers of poverty, women constitute half of the world’s population and iead one third of patriarchal inclined households. Much as they are responsible for nearly half of the global produciton, they paradoxically earn only about a tenth of the world’s total income and an infinitesimal iroportion - one hundredth - of the world’s property. international Zabour Organization (ILO) statistics have shown that only about one ‘ercent of the world’s assets belong to women. Wearing a female visage, overty is, as it were, said to be feminized To quote Elzbieta ?uchnarewicz at length:
The tenn “feminization of poverty” is applied to describe tendencies appearing in different societies in the world. There is a rule that states that out of families below the poverty line, more and more arc those headed by women and especially single mothers. Some rural women in Africa are in such social and economic position.

Average income of households led by tnem is very low and money remitted by migrating husbands is not substantial and regular. So peasant women are often obliged to look for additional sources of income and take jobs as farm workers. Despite the additional sources of income, the family continues to live in poverty (100).
Feminization of poverty is writ large in post-colonial African socheconomic processes. Its relevance to the Nigerian society is uscernibie::
the prevalent rural—urban drifl. Consider, for example, Molara OgundinLeslie comments on the impact of IMF loan and the attendant debt crh on African women in the following statement:
The debt crisis, the structural adjustmcct policies and the resultant devaluation of our currencies; the loss of jobs, the immeseration of the African countries... are all impacting the most on women: irstiy as mothers, wives and economic producers who now have dependencies thrust upon them; secondly as dependents witbin patriarchial or other family structures.... Women become the most affected as home makers, nurturers of children, and economic workers in town and country, in fields and markets. (249)
Women are, therefore, flagrantly whipped victims in the manifo.:
economic structures of postcolonial Africa.
Our discussion in this chapter Wii be based on the concer:
efforts of two Nigerian female writers — Chinyere Grace Okafor a Zaynab Alkali - in dealing with the different levels of poverty in thr:
short stories. The whip stands out as a dominant metaphor in their prcc fiction. Overwhelmed by the cultural, economic and social demands living, their female characters contend with a postcolonial society t whips them in varied forms. Against the background of mater flagellation, the whip—lash of feminized poverty and patriarc subjugation, the authors prescribe a female whiphand predicated on Nwapan “teaciiers’ whips”. Simply put femate education is ?;ojectec the filh o economic empowerment, which is starkly cothrasted n poverty ?nd deprivation.

Images of grime, poverty and pain abound in Okafor’ s collection f sbort stories, He Wants to Marry Me Again, which is divided into two rns-Mothers and Fathers; Teachers and Learners. Three out of the four ces in part I (Mothers and Fathers) - “The Kolanuts are All Dead”
surrection Before Burial”, “Over his own Dead Body” - spell doom d decay. The title story “He wants to marry me Again” opens the saga f the Nigerian woman impoverished by the economic structure and also bnpped psychologically by her man. The younger woman in the frame urv and the older one in the embedded story are both victims of male rachery. The moral depravity in society is gauged by the squalid state the environment. It is indeed an unjust society where according to the
ics of the taxi driver’s song:
Poor man dey suffer
Monkey dey work
Baboon dey chop (14)
Vhile in the public realm, the baboon symbolizes the capitalist pressors and the monkey, the suffering masses, in the domestic realm ioma, the repressed wife, is the suffering monkey and her husband’s r,cubines eblemise the frolicking baboons. Ivuoma has been exploited
expropriated by her husband who in turn has been sapped by his arasitic girl friends.
Ivuama’s education has been truncated by an early marriage and onsequene she is treated by her husband as “a common dog who eats
:it” (15). It is not surprising that deserted by her husband after bearing : a children for him, she sees herself as a suffering monkey. Okafor asts Ivuorna as a foil to the older unnamed hero of the embedded story, This woman had in the course of a turbulent marriage, woven her basket
bearing the teachers’ whips and learning to survive outside marriage. Fiora I’wapa in One is Enough makes a fine distinction between the Jiterate and educated mind:
I thought they said that those who went to schooi did not get angry, that they controlled their temper, unlike us wno did not see the inside of a classroom nor bore the teachers’ whips (14; my emphasis).

The teacher’s whip, an emblem of formal education, is visib underscored by Okafor in her prose for it moulds the female psyche one weaves one’s basket for life’s bumps and bends. The embedded stor of the middle-aged woman who doggedly weaves her basket by bearir:
the teachers’ whips is a femalist success story. Education places her at - pedestal in a revered space and in the end her estranged husband desire to marry her again. There can be no doubt that the successful middle- aged woman has risen above the heavy yoke of poverty.
Indices of poverty and hard life are glaring in Mamma Ugos ‘coarse hands and wrinkly rough skin” in “The Kolanuts are All Dead” We are told that ‘the woman’s hancs [were] hardened by hard work an her skin wrinkled by suffering” (36). Mamma Ugo’s poignant tale is underscored by the loneliness of widowhood. The educated single woman, Chigo, whose mother Nne Ukwu is also a widow empathizes with Mamma Ugo “of her own age who had been ravaged by the travails of marriage, poverty and widowhood (‘35). Whipped by these travails. Mamma Ugo finds solace in the ambience of uwa umunwanyi or women’s world created in the matriarchal household of Nne Ukwu as she directs the kolanut ceremonies. This is resonant of Okafor’s “Beyond Child Abuse”where a typically female world is created. Women hold meetings to articulate their predicament with great poignancy and dramatic effect. The spiritual ambience of this world is particularly proffered by the aquatic ecology of the setting as well as the numinous spark of the female self.
Clearly the scintillating dynamism of vibrant African womanhood is reflected in the portraiture of Nne Ukwu which denotes Great mother. The spiritual image of Nne Ukwu evokes that of Eagle woman in Ezeigbo’s Children of the Eagle. In the vein of the ageing Eaglewoman, the old matriarch Nne Ukwu “caters for our spiritual needs.... With age she grows nearer and nearer to God. Her words are potent” (38). With a lot of protest and reluctance, Nne Ukwu is uprooted from her spiritual hearth to Chigo’s residence in Lagos. The unhealthy synthesis of the two worlds precipitates enormous psychological disorder in both women. Things fall apart and the kolanuts get wrinkled in the flagellatory transition.

Germane to female spirituality is the dynamic of healing. Female nurses, and a female doctor provide the prop for the ailing patient, Chigo. Dr. Taiye Oladimej i, a victim of a debilitating marriage found solace in her healing job: she found an appreciative husband in her studies and work (50). In the same vein, Nurse Anasta is given the whip hand in her marriage where roles are reversed. A breadwinner, Anasta is crowned the queen of her household by her mother-in-law. Anasta in this capacity sees herself as “very powerful” (61), She secures a gardening job for her diminishing husband. She, in fact, crowns herself a real king. This tallies with the “portrait she—men and the ‘he—woman” denoting emasculated men and virilised women. (See Ogunyemi 1996; 308).
Likewise, woman becomes a transsexual in “She is a Man” by virtue of her education and position in society. Madame Nne Okoruwa, a university don, is addressed as a man by her male gardener saddled with a wife and seven hungry children who hunt rats and lizards for food in nearby bushes in a society which the author limns as stinking and corrupt. Okafor, in an interview concedes, “I am interested in raising the consciousness of the undeiprivileged like women and the masses.” (Rabiu 3). Carla Comellini, on her own part, notes that:
Okafor’s theatre as well as her poetry and fiction deals with contemporary social problems and
‘conflicts; in fact, her entire literary work stresses those motifs and themes connected to women’s
isolation or to their role in society. (2000; 42).
Surely the conflicts are encapsulated in the various wars in society - War against Dirt (WAD); War against Hunger (WAH); War against Rats (WAR). It would appear that the author shares Ogundipe-Leslie’s view that, “It is a Nigerian national sport to make acronyms of everything.” 189) Towing the line, Ogundipe-Leslie coins yet another acronym SOSA—Stories of Structural Adjustment.
The Nigerian society delineated in Okafor’s fiction is branded by Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) otherwise labelled Suffering Adjustment and Poverty. The glut of rats in this society denotes gnawing

fetidity and atrophy. The rat allegory is comically dramatized in “Ra Come in Anger” where the gnawing rat, a symbol of dirt, deprivation an:
disease wages a war against the infested professor. The hole made by the rat evokes the image of the map of Africa and even the map of Nigeria The professor’s office is therefore a locale of the NigerianJAfricr putridity, which debilitates the perspicacious female mind. The Ivo Tower incidentally is not immune to the general malaise plaguing the country. This is graphically portrayed in “Champagne for Men OnJv where a female university lecturer, Chizzy, is a victim of sexu! harassment. The Chairman, her Head of Department, relentlessly lusa after her “fleshy body” dubbed by her oppressor as champagne.
objectification of womanhood. Although Chizzy’s education steels her she crumbles under a psychosomatic disorder. Frantz Fanon contends
his analysis of the colonial war and attendant mental disorder amont repressed Algerians that, “The name ‘psychosomatic pathology’ is give to the general body of organic disorders, the development of which favoured by a conflicting situation”. This disorder manifests in n highly traumatized and whipped Chizzy in an irregular menstrual flow
is not fortuitous that as Chizzy complains to her doctor, both of trrr gaze at the map of Nigeria hanging in the doctor’s consulting r:
This, in effect, could be viewed as a transference of the pathology.
The pathological disorder is not only diagnosed in the ferrL body but also in the ailing Nigerian territory. The ailment is discernis
the crass insensitivity of the leaders manifested in oppression, ins corruption, deprivation and concomitant wanton destruction heigh:
by hunger. University students go on rampage as a result of poveit. ni hunger. As is the case with all facets of violence, woman is invar ‘ the inalienable victim. The food store of C100 bungalow occupie: Madame, Nne Okoruwa, is broken into by the irate hungry students.
Clearly the atmosphere is as tense as it is volatile in prac::
all the stories in Okafor’s collection. Festus Iyayi deftly avers that:
There is a strand that runs through the stories, sometimes like a puff of cloud in the wind and at other times, like a torrent in a storm. It is the strand of the pain that injustice and opnresslon breed in the relationships between
indi’viduals or between groups in the same society (6).

his Own Dead Body”. Yinko is as spiritual as her husband Mr n:Jele is worldly. Entrenched in the muddy world of polidcs,
• o:dele has emotionally wTh1ipped his wife and torn the fabric of the
- y apart like a “shattered cay pot” (82). Yinka’s emotional
- ccation flnds expression in her awn room which “has become ohologicaily stifling and physiologically oppressive to her” (79). A as is implicitly drawn between the private domain of family life and
- violent public arena of national politics. The politically paranoid zndeie subordinates the .nrcner iO the latter leaving his wife Vinka,
- totally drained and destitute in the same manner posteolonial African
:aders would leave their subjects perennially ueprised and
.-Jiusiorcd. In a rimilar execesis of Okafor’s novella Ogiir b choice
- neilmi alludes to “the nosicoon 4fnean reality, which is often
::s astated by conflicts, tormented and torn U con1 wars or ruled by
-anncai leaders” (97). Soupeons a ec;niiat can be gleaned from aundeie’s absurd behaviour in ifls home. Linking this conflict and attendant violence with the phallus. Okafor subtly draws an analogy between “something dangling between his thighs” and the matchets Jangling in his hands (87). In the vein of Akachi Ezeigbo, Okafor takes a peak beneath the veneer of male hubris by stripping the hysterical Ogundele who is frenzied over the news of the coup d’etat:
Ogundele has only his pants on for he was about to get dressed when tao radio announcement interrupted him. In excitement, he has rushed to Dapo’s room jumping up and down like a mentaiiy deranged or possessed man. Dapo regards his “oaken” father skipping like a monkey taunted with banana and silently vows never to get involved with polities, if this is what it makes of people (88).
Both woman and son gaze at the “naxed” roar who like the metaphoric oppressed monkey is taunted and repressed by politieat machinations. Ti;e image is as reductive as it is scathing.
11w parspicaeious gaze of woman roands off Okafor’s collection. In the last story “Anecdotes to her Rites of Passage. to America”, woman
strand of pain” is etched boldly on Mrs. Yinka Ogondele’s face in

glares, gleans and gazes. Given the privilege of the gaze, Chioma,
author’s alter ego flies and flees from the destitution of her country. B the path is strait and in fact crooked. The crooked line to the “Va] Stamp” desk at the airport is redolent of the hilly and crooked path to village stream which is a source of replenishment. Like the soothi village stream, the “Valid Stamp” desk constitutes a seeming gateway a salvaging escape from grime and destitution. Chioma’s disrupted li of thought recalls the line of acolytes seeking “Earth’s Clay”2 on A Wednesday. This evokes the imagery of the earth in Okafor’s Fr Earth ‘s Bedcharnber. The grim metaphors of ash, crooked, poor, bloat and war generate pain in Chioma’s stripping gaze. Beneath the veneer the American dream is the stark reality of universal poverty, drugs ai violence which whip the poor and the oppressed.
Imagery as bleak as these inundate Zaynab Alkali’s C’obwebs a) Other Stories. The pessirnisitic tone in the titles of the six short stories palpable — dust, ash, nightmare, cobwebs, vagabond, footloose. Set in t] arid environment of the Muslim North where female education is hard encouraged, the collection depicts destitution, idleness, sexism and soci inequity. Feminization of poverty is glaring in this work where m rather than women have the whip hand. This is visibly portrayed in “TI House of Dust”. The pater familias Abdu-Zak, after ten years marriage, rclegates his wife Maaya and two sons to the village and lat migrates to metropolitan Lagos where he secretly starts another famil This fact is revealed only after his death.
The stripping of men in death or niirasse is a political stratel
adopted by female writers in the Muslim culture. In Ramatoulaye’s/Ba own words in So Long a Letter:
The mirasse commanded by the Koran requires that a dead person be stripped of his most intimate secrets; thus is exposed to others what was carefully concealed. These
— exposures crudely explain a man’s life. With consternation I measure the extent of Modou’s betrayal (9).
Mirasse thus exposes a person’s sins, which are showcased in retrospec One critic views mirasse as a redefinition tool used both as a structur and cultural framework to assess marital relationship. (Obinna

ansactional Analysis”; 191).
Alkali employs the mirasse strategy in “The House of Dust” to
zrike a chord of pity for the whipped elderly Maaya. In aflashback we
re intimated that her husband of thirty-five years Abdu-Zak, in the vein
Ramatoulaye’s husband, Modou had betrayed her. The mirasse was
ecipitated by the visit of a young woman to the village who turned out
be Abdu-Zak’s daughter from his secret marriage which lasted twenty
_ e years. Maaya is evidently irked at the fact that Abdu-Zak’s second
fe, a medical doctor, has well educated sons and daughters while she,
i the contrary, is saddled with reckless sons who brazenly sprinkle
:ebilitating dust in their grim house of dust. Overwhelmed by the reality
- f her husband’s treachery, the forlorn Maaya wallows in self-pity and :epression:
She had sown, but she was not reaping what she had sown. Instead of inheriting some form of security and rest from a life-long of service, it looked now as if she had inherited a house full of liabilities she was not capable of handling, especially financially (77).
Clearly, Alkali has cast the piteous Maaya as a foil to the financially independent, well-educated second wife who has towered above Maaya’s state of idleness and insecurity. The grossly pragmatic Abdu-Zak, who seemed to find fulfilment in his second home, had only exploited and expropriated Maaya’s unpaid work which consists chiefly in taking care of Abdu-Zak’s large household in the village. Chafing under the bruises of the double life led by her wily husband, Maaya practically became a nervous wreck. Her room like Yinka’s room in “Over his Own Dead Body” became a “virtual physical prison”. We are told that her mind was a more deadly confining prison. There can be no doubt that Abdu-Zak’s whiplash swished and tortured a battered female psyche.
It is noteworthy that.Maaya’s fall on the staircase resulting in an
injured ankle in the course of Abdu-Zak’s fatal stroke, precipitates her
eventual precipitous fail from grace. 1-Icr husband’s sudden death results
a sudden change of fortune. She swiftly moves from the flickering
position of a comfortable middle-class home manager to that of a

desbtute widow grappling with dimhkshing reserves. This teality
nhvsicallv enabi:shed hcr nj,:red ankle. Like Nana in ALaiIs Ti’,
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a 11 i?a ‘‘UlCaJOdlO ‘C Lift,’
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c e a cr’
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tH ub.rcst, b: ‘ccc ±s rIaSaI:hcq S O)N
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inrar,cc: ca . earca - -
valid Li nexus me’. (ha: my emphas:s.
The other wh’p to Hildis 1ife is her aiting daugher. Bbi, A victim oi
cbii-marriage. she u1timatei suffers from \‘esico-Vaginai Fistuic
tV\ F) and also from a ‘strange cough”. The author underlines a hippe(
mother agonizina over a sick club a-itt he repletion of the worn “pain’
ton ards the end of the ste”:
The subiect of Bihi seemed to give her [Hildij much
pa”: liZ.
The pc/ned leak seciud’rdne; ,,aen once more” (102).
“Bibi is ill”, she said au/n/u/ic, “she is dyxng.” (103; my
Motherhood in this case dues not give Jon but pain. Not only is Bib: ih
bat tile “ashes’ of hei oem: OO ivarriape are thrown unto her mother’s
eves, Bibi, indeed, L nm mum ai 1erent from the ashes that are flicked
from ncr cheap cigarettes.
Much as 4jkali’c women are in the main whipped severally, the

authorial vision in her earlier works is optimistic in respect of national reconstruction. Ogunyemi, in fact, sees her vision as utopian. As she aptly observes:
Alkali’s utopian vision is of a country made up of androgynous types, where the men are she-men and women he-men. Together, they establish a womanist haven for the good of all. Her ideology is thus strongly nationalistic - the rebuilding of a Nigeria by responsible men and women. She appeals to the women not to wait idly but to work together with the men, crippled though they may be, to accomplish the vital duty of reconstruction (313).
The Stillborn undoubtedly ends with this vision. In spite of the deafening whiplash of her husband, Habu Adams, Li assumes the lofty role of a she-man and assists the crippled Habu in his tottering steps. Both finally walk together in harmony at an equal pace.
This utopian vision may not be obvious in Cobwebs and Other Stories. The author, nevertheless, in the vein of Okafor opens and closes her collection with the female journey. She thus prepares the grounds for gender complementarity on equal footing by arming her heroines with formal education which supplies the whip hand. Mama, in the title story is strategically sandwiched between two men on the bus in a symbolic journey of personal and communal rehabilitation. Mama is set apart from other women in her village due to her formal education. Voiceless women like her own mother recall the silence of Li’s mother in The Stillborn. In Margaret Kassam’s contention “Li’s mother lives an almost non-existent life in her own house. Playing out her vital role in the shadows” (124). The same could be said of Mama’s voiceless, utterly repressed mother in a Muslim culture. As I have stated elsewhere, female experience in Alkali’s works,
owes its peculiarity to the predominantly Muslim society. The low status of Islamic women is evidenced by the repressive masculine dominance. These women have little or no say in the family where the father is the male authority figure nor in the sex-segregated community where the female gender is viewed as a tabula rasa (“The Foot” 160).
The sub-category status of women in a sex-segregated Muslim culture is j palpable. Although Mama is geared to bear the teachers’ whips, her
potential is circumscribed by her husband and her father who forbid her to study law or medicine deemed culturally as masculine professions. That was indeed a society where “women did not have to think. The men always did the thinking for mankind (17). In the vein of Okafofs persona in “Professor’s Return Journey” that composes an elegy for the professor who grounded her in oral literature at Nsukka Universiti. Mama pays a mental tribute to Mr. Busa, her American Science teacher in Kufam Secondary School, who had shown a keen interest in her cognitive capabilities.
Mama’s education at the university was the beginning of a ne way of life which alienated her from her hearth in the Beta community. Psychologically whipped by this reality and also battling with her conscience over an extra-marital affair, she moved about restlessly in search of an inner peace. It is salient to note that “Cobwebs” is the onl\ story in the collection which could fit into Littata Fan Soyayya (books o love). According to Novian Whitsitt, the Soyayya of the Kano marke:
literature “indirectly and candidly question” the gender status quo and works to modify the social, familial and educational position of Hausa women. (119). Alkali’s female hero, Mama, questions the position o women and in the process she alienates herself not only from her own taciturn children, who find it extremely difficult to relate to her but alse from her own muted mother who appears to be utterly pained herself. She, nevertheless struggles with the thread of cultural normative patterns. which she finds anachronistic. She is convinced that she is no longer a relevant component of the threadbare system with retrogressive value system. Unlike the women of the Beta community who have been reduced to puppets and who can be easily pacified with gifts from theLoverbearing men, Mama is resolute and focused in her steps towards independence. The fact that she sleeps in her father’s house rather than her marital home is predicated on her whip hand. And with that hand she weaves her basket for national reconstruction, which dcfinitel presupposes an independent and informed mind.
Clearly Mama adumbrates the she-man (Madam) in “Footloose.

Madam (a title that connotes respect in the Nigerian culture) represents, in this story, an independent career woman who is neither bogged dowii by a stifling marriage nor by degenerating customs. Madam, indeed, recalls Okafor’s female protagonist in “She is a Man”. Madam is, however, whipped by the ubiquitous, footloose vagabond who fleecec her at the airport. This is not a function of female vulnerabilitLes tr e”an Oga Sir, the patriarchal figure, is also duped at the Nigeian airp’i. ;‘bb has become chaotic, rowdy and consequently a fertile s a
arid tuicksters. Madam’s streetwise driver, Mamman, spa
agony of a long wait at the tarmac by tactically placing he: the hcaa of the queue. The symbolism of this singular act resides in female indispensability to national issues. By propelling woman forward, the author implies female ascendancy in the public realm. There is no doubt that the financial independence of Alkali’s persona, Madam, proffers her the privilege of the gaze. In the course of her flight, the soaring madam like Chioma in Okafor’s “Anecdotes” should be able to glare, glean and gaze. It would, however, appear that the gaze this time would be primarily upon a troubled Nigeria in dire need of some wholesome reconstruction.
Both Okafor and Alkali have in their collections shown that the femalist quest cannot be divorced from national consciousness. They have both targeted the ordinary man and woman in their commitment to social transformation. Okafor has further tried to reach out and demonstrate her commitment to the masses by occasionally using demotic language the pidgin variety of Nigerian English. The use of the living present in her stories makes her imagery come alive and sharp.
Okafor as well as Alkali has demonstrated that female anaiphabetism is an incubus that should be warded off. The nightmare of the whiplash on female sensitivity gets encrusted with the clog of poverty. It is therefore by dint of,educational empowerment that women can appropriate the whip hand and clean up their dusty and cobweb- ridden homes and country. Both Okafor and Alkali have visibly remained temperate in their political thrust. Seiyifa Koroye has described Alkali’s brand of feminism as ascetic with hardly “any trace of excess of selfinduIgence (47). Another critic is of the view that Okafor “cannot be

considered an active feminist” (Comellini: 2001; 99). Such exegeses establish the fact that both writers arc essentially femalists weaving the basket of national regeneration with the view of integrating female mental and sinewy capabilities.
While Alkali focuses mainly on the Muslim North and in consequence treads cautiously, Okafor bestrides the globe and pours out a stream of invectives against multilayered oppressions with the symbolic lanuage that is geared towards “an authentic and ompelling ctatcment”3. In the main, Okafor and Alkali have in their fictive works doggedly stiiven to whip up support for the whipped masses foregrounding women. It would seem that their unalloyed commitment stems i om that of their literary mother and compatriot Buchi Ernecheta whosc p eculiar style resides in vacillating between fact and fiction.
Frantz Fanon states that the alWrnative terminology ‘corticoviscetal’, which is an offshoot of Soviet research findings, views the brain s the nerve-centre where the psychism is highlighted. See Frantz Fanon
The tched of the Earth p. 234.
2. The ear h like the rat strikes a resonant chord in Okafor’s works. In a conversation with the writer in July 2001 she stated that she derives her insnration from Ani — the earth goddess. Just as the earth is femini2 i so also is the rat feminized in Ogini ‘s Choice. Ogini is a femaic zcbra rat of an epic stature.
3 In hei entry on Chinyere Okafor, Obioma Nnaemeka acknowledges the author’s pidgin symbolism and local imagery. She goes further to assert, “The new and courageous talent who is proficient in the three genres of literature is fast developing an authentic and compelling signature”. See Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, vol. 3, 3’ edition.

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