Ikenna goes to Nigeria
Ikenna goes to Nigeria.
London: Frances Lincoln / Publishers Group West, 2007. $16.95,
ISBN 1 84507 585 4.
Ifeoma Onyefulu's children's story, Ikenna Goes to Nigeria, is dedicated to the memory of her father, Emmanuel Onyefulu, an attorney, the first to hold this special honor in their natal home. Ifeoma Onyefulu is no stranger to children stories. She is the award-winning writer of various works on children stories. In this story the reader sees the sophisticated images of the metropolis with its architecturally complex landscapes, and also the less sophisticated pictures of the local culture, with flea markets, chickens running around in the village and the barefooted adherents of the river goddess. There are misspelling of two important places in the book. The first is the wrong spelling of Ikeja on page 10 where it is spelt as Ikeya. The second is the continuous spelling of Ocogbo as ÌshÍgbo starting from page 28. The use of Sh is an old orthography which is no longer acceptable in Yoruba, while an open vowel of (Í) for the first two (o) is not in consonance with the phonology of the Yoruba language.
Having said that, I find this story to be stimulating and of a very high thematic quality. It is not only good for children in the Western world but for children in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. It is very rich in cultural contents and aesthetically appealing. A sequel of visit during the dry season would provide a balance of the cultural geography of Nigeria.
Reviewed by: Michael Afolayan, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Subject: West Africa / Nigeria / Family / CABA Winner / African author / Urban settings / City and town life