The first time we met, you were holding a copy of Yejide Kilanko’s Daughters Who Walk This Path. You gushed about the book and told me how interesting it was.
I just finished reading it and I want to tell you thank you. I like everything about the book. When the story was happy, I was happy, and when it was sad and not going well, I was sad too.
There are two major characters in the book; Morayo and Morenikeji. Both characters were raped at teen and battled through the trauma all through their life. The book delved into an important societal malfunction that has met silence over the years. It’s important we talk about it. In most cases the evil is always closer than we thought. Look at Bros T and Chief Komolafe for example.
Morayo is the troubled child who slowly loses her courage after she was molested by her cousin. She found strength in her aunt who had also passed through such molestation while growing, from an older man who happened to be her father’s friend and ended up giving birth to a son. I like Aunty Morenikeji. She’s my best character. She went through a whole lot and came out strong. She’s the aunt one comes to drop all worries. She’s a shoulder to lean on. She understands Morayo so well because she has been in her shoes. I’m angry she had to die of cancer. Why should Yejide Kilanko kill my closest character? I’ll protest. But then I had a feeling that Morayo would name her child Morenikeji. And yes, she did. It gave me peace.
At some point I was angry at Morayo’s mother for pleading on behalf of Bros T. I feel like punching her. She made Bros T go scot-free.
I like Eniayo as a unilateral character – her innocence is charming. I like the way she pulled through with her identity. Though it’s funny how her mother had to be blamed for her skin colour. I felt her loneliness as the world around her swirl past, leaving her behind. I’m happy for the woman she became. Her humour is top notch.
Mr. Tiamiyu is that young man envisioning change but his will alone could not drive the desired change. The rots had eaten deep into the community and a boy given birth to right before their eyes could not possibly be making any sense or driving any change. To them, he is the insolent being who bites the finger that fed him. When in the real sense it’s just normal for a government to give scholarship to excellent students. See this got me laughing: “I have told my children not to go to the university. Too much book learning only corrupts the mind”. So dear Okechukwu, your mind is corrupt.
Mr. Tiamiyu loves Aunty Morenikeji but Aunty Morenikeji, on the other hand, though was a shoulder for Morayo still battles with the trauma. It’s unfortunate that no matter how hard they try, rape victim do not always get over it.
Bros T is the evil that lurks around. I’m so angry that there was no consequence or punishment for Bros T’s action. He went scot free and this is the reality of our society, where rapists go scot-free and their victims bear it all.
I was tense when the relationship between Kachi and Morayo waxed and grew into marriage. I was afraid something will happen. Maybe the devil will show up again. It’s a delicate love story, you know. And before I forget, I think couples should start writing their own wedding vows. Morayo’s wedding vow captures hidden messages from her experiences.
It’s a beautiful read and we should talk more about it. I like the fact that the book is real. I also want to know more about Damilare. What kind of person is he? Is he affected by the circumstance of his birth? Maybe these questions can culminate into a sequel.
Lastly, I love the way women in the book were portrayed. They are strong despite all they’ve been through. Mama Ejiwunmi absorbed everyone’s pain. Aunty Morenikeji does not look what she’s been through. She returned to school and brought out the best in her. Morayo had a slightly difficult experience but she pulled through too.
Have you eaten? I have a lot to say about it but we should do that over a plate of rice.
Victor Adedayo is a book lover and a storyteller. He has an insatiable appetite for African Literature.