Mysteries from Ayukaba Village
Grade(s): Grade 10,Grade 11,Grade 12
These delightful and haunting stories are written from the centre of Cameroonian village life, where tradition and modernity intersect. Ayukaba village is populated by vivid characters who contend with the encroachment of the outside world, but who are also rooted in a rich matrix of local knowledge, beliefs and traditions.
The world is subtly touched by magic and the uncanny. Here, the everyday is extraordinary: past and present meld; real and imagined experiences collide and intermingle; ordinary people perform heroic deeds. At the heart of each tale is a mystery. In one, a loving son completes an impossible journey to his father's funeral, and discovers that the power of sorrow can momentarily challenge the finality of death. In another, two old friends on a hunting field trip find their prey grotesquely transformed into a creature that is half man, half beast. In many of the stories, the boundaries between the living and the dead are porous; a long-dead boy is discovered living happily in a neighbouring village; or a river must be appeased with gifts to relinquish the body it has swallowed.
Through the evocative interplay of shadow and light, sorrow and laughter, author Daniel Ojong, combines some of the dark whimsicality and humour of Saki's stories and the poignant magic of realism Ben Okri, emerging as a thrilling new voice in African writing.
Introduction by Professor Kole Omotso – well known Nigerian author