Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Woman Who Ate Python & Other Stories by Sammy Oke Akombi

Sammy Oke Akombi. The Woman Who Ate Python & Other Stories. Nyaa Publishers, Yaounde, 2006. 118 pages

Lucidly and economically written, the book gives you just enough of everything so that you have some sense of context, yet never feel that the author is rambling or becoming mired in the tangential.

He treats a number of themes, none of them strange to the African, especially the Cameroonian - machoism or, if you like, male dominance, which is partly the first story's theme. But Ebenye's inquisitiveness and stubbornness demystifies the 'gastronomic restriction,' one of the rules of conducts imposed on the Bonakunda women folk to ensure their loyalty.
The belief that women should not eat python meat, reserved only for men of a certain class, deprived the women of Bonakunda of a much-cherished delicacy.Akombi goes through the theme of poverty, corruption, determination, perseverance and love.
[...]
Sprinkled with some misspellings and a few repetitions, and despite the imaginary people names and names of places it is obvious that the stories are set in various places in Cameroon, ranging from the foot of Mt. Fako through Manyu into Nigeria and back to a place like Yaounde.

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