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Book Review: “Who Fears Death”

If you are a fan of fantasy fictions and stories of angels, demons and magic, or if you have always been fascinated by the African Folklore and African culture, then “Who Fears Death” is a must read for you; a fictional post- apocalyptic novel written by Nnedi Okorafor that tackles the topic of the endless tribal conflicts within Africa caused by racism and prejudice between these tribes, in a very intriguing approach.
What I find special and unique about this novel is the way it strokes your feelings in different ways while reading it. It has always been the norm for us – the readers- to love or at least relate to the main character, the hero/heroine of the story, but not with this one. As I went further to the story my emotions towards “Onyesonwu”; the main character, kept changing acutely and rapidly, from love, and sympathy, to hate. In most parts of the story, I –from a personal point of view- hated her, but I was always curious to know what will happen next and what she will do, hoping that her actions will be the way “I” find right.
As you’re reading this novel, be sure that you will go on an emotional roller coaster ride, all the while feeling anxious and excited to know what happens next.
Furthermore, what I find interesting is how in many parts I’d be left wondering, thinking, comparing the story with our current times and pondering on the social topics mentioned within the novel. In addition to the several moments where I was left feeling quite disturbed by incidents that are realistic even if we prefer to think that it doesn’t happen in our daily lives.
This novel is about the truth that we all are giving a blind eye. This novel is about the African culture and heritage that most novels ignore. This novel is about friendship, magic, true love, and most importantly sacrifices!
Written in a very simple but beautiful language, that makes it even more appealing to readers of all ages, from teens to adults.

How Far?

Inspired by my trip to the soul of West Africa; the beautiful yet heart wrenching and mind blowing city of Lagos, where my beloved Nigerians greet each other by asking “How far?”

 

How far have you gone chasing the sun that burns within your mind?

Chasing the ocean that you believe would cleanse your soul?

How far have you gone in a path you’ve imagined into life?

How far is he from your thirsty heart?!

How far?!

Instead of saying

“Hey”

or

“How are you?”

He says in his local dialect

“How far?”

I softly reply in words he taught me,

“I dey oh”

While my mind wanders through

All I’ve seen, heard and felt in my journey in a land

That greets you asking

“How far have you gone since?”

How far?

If I am to answer the question truthfully,

I’d say in honest words,

He is not yet

Never been

Willing to hear…

How far?

I’ve only dug myself deeper into your grounds,

Implanted myself in the core of your existence

As far as the roots of my soul can go

Feeding on your inhaling

Living on your exhaling

I can only be

If you my darling,

Are..

That’s how far.

How Far?

Only as far as a human heart can travel,

In search of a constant

In search of a home

As far as the hopeful can follow the light

Even when they’re not sure

If it’s growing brighter as they go,

Or if it’s fading out.

How far?

I’ve gone a far as your ancestors sacrificed,

For your culture and history to survive,

I’ve sacrificed as much,

For your legacy.

How far?

As far as the worn out feet ,

Of your blessed grandmother,

have walked in life

As far as the genuine words of her prayers have gone in the sky

Reaching out to the stars

Calling out to your ancestors,

And mine

Asking to shower me with blessings.

As far as the warmth of her embrace,

As far as the age of the language

She had spoken to me with, lovingly.

How far?

As far as the jungles would go

Hiding your green with its green

Blowing your mind with its inner peace

As far as the ocean would take me

In between the waves

Like a little mermaid

I’d write the poems

And sing the songs

Of our

“No ordinary love”

Hoping this poem

Will find its way to you

Hoping this song,

Will bring your heart to me

How Far?

As far as hope can fly

As far as love can survive

As far as you need me to go,

I’ll go…

How far!

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