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By Prisca Sam-Duru
In her debut novel titled, ‘A Bee In Her Bonnet’, Munachimso Jennifer Ezeilo, presents a most intriguing, pathetic and topical narrative that seeks to rid the world of paedophiles.
The novel makes a case for children who are victims of sexual abuse and early marriage. Most importantly, it beams the light on the trauma victims go through and the need to ensure that no paedophile or rapist goes unpunished.
Published in 2020 by Kraft Books Limited, Ibadan, Munachimso Ezeilo, a student of Law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka has her background in Law reflecting all through the novel. Her style of writing and use of language speak rather of a writer with daunting wealth of experience.
Set mainly in Abuja while also covering Lagos, Scotland and Atlanta, ‘A Bee In Her Bonnet’ is a compelling tale of pain and injustice against children, carried out through culture of child marriage. The catchy title lures readers into the empathetic world of the girl-child with a bleak future.
In 243 pages, spread across forty-one chapters, the author takes the reader through a deeply emotional tale that exposes how justice is hampered for victims of rape and child abuse, as well as the poor, due largely to a corrupt system.
A contemporary read, ‘A Bee In Her Bonnet’ is spiced with an enchanting story of love and relationship, juxtaposed with an expose of the wroth in Nigeria’s judicial system. At the end of reading the book, readers will wonder no more why the judiciary has ceased to be the last hope of the common Nigerian.
The violation of nine-year-old Farida by her husband, Chief Tanimu who is more than old enough to be her grandfather, becomes the catalyst that connects the characters in the novel. Farida is rescued from the reprobate –Tanimu, by her mother and is taken to the hospital by a good Samaritan; a humanitarian Lawyer by name Luka.
Observing the bleeding child in pain and subsequently, performing a surgery to restore her shattered private part, paediatric doctor, Awele has her own heart in shreds. She determines to help give Farida justice. Doctor Awele aligns with the amiable and benevolent Luka, and together, they map out plans to ensure Tanimu, Farida’s husband, is punished.
As the plot develops, Tanimu employs every crooked strategy, including buying the traditional media, to get off the hook. His initial efforts meet a brick wall; thanks to social media. Enraged, Tanimu unleashes his full potential as a brute and gets the judge to rule in his favour. What happens to him next is unimaginable.
The effect of the single act of violence by Tanimu which brings the major characters: Awele and her fiancé, Chime, a brilliant but over-ambitious lawyer, and Luka together, also ends up changing the course of their lives forever.
Tanimu, is not just a confirmed paedophile, but also, a ruthless character that the author does well to develop to the fullest. He represents majority of Nigeria’s shameless politicians and some men masquerading as business tycoons who are but perverts determined to guarantee a degenerated world.
Munachimso’s first attempt at making a positive change in the society through creative writing is quite impressive. There’s hardly a dull moment in her engaging literature. At the point when Hoplite, Tanimu’s personal body guard and hit-man promises to deal with his first lawyer for backing out from representing him, one is almost certain that the lawyer’s end has come. But the turn of event lays credence to the book’s suspense-filled and unpredictable nature.
With her captivating thematic and plot development facilitated by intriguing twists and turns and enough dose of suspense, Munachimso Ezeilo does not strike as a first time writer and if she maintains the tempo, her name will keep reverberating in the global literary community.
Interestingly, the young author and her minor female character, Habiba, that bring the fiction to an ecstatic and surprising end, lay credibility to the saying that mighty things come in small packages. A block-buster film is waiting to be birthed out of this literary expedition.
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Source: Vanguard News.