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Posts Tagged ‘Fiction about rain making’

mmirinzo

“She was in her room but in another place. Asleep yet awake, and it wasn’t the first time”

In case the title and the cover design (which I think was brilliant) had not sufficiently made it clear, those opening lines from Achalugo Ezekobe’s debut novel Mmirinzo drives in a realization that this was not going to be your regular tale. And without being so forceful on your imagination, they set the stage for what I will describe as a fantasy novel inspired by Igbo metaphysics, specifically the ability of certain persons to control rain.

Olivia was born an Mmirinzo, a special breed of rainmakers who are rain in themselves, wielding the power to control water, and manifest dual presence through their dreams. The display of this unique gift is nothing short of what today’s Pentecostal driven Christianity will refer to as being possessed by marine spirits and so Olivia who was completely oblivious of such a heritage, thought when she first began to experience those blackouts that teleported her to strange ceremonies as both a spectator and an active participant.

With her twenty-eight birthday approaching, Olivia, a young, intelligent lawyer who was keen on developing herself into a great Alternate Dispute Resolution counsel had many things on her mind. There was her younger sister, Nwanneka’s impending wedding which came with the pressure and unsolicited pity, if not shame, from a society that expects the finding of love and life partners to follow the order of birth. There was also the expected announcements of promotions at the law firm where she worked and her efforts to deliver on a case she was handling as a ticket to the game.

The trances which besiege her existence, upending her life as she knew it and causing embarrassing scenes with no medical explanation will sent into motion a series of events leading to Olivia ultimately making that journey to self despite the challenges. And she manages to make it just at the nick of time because the four Igbo market days when lined with the days of the month summed up to twenty eight, the age at which the cosmic has destined that she was to come into her own, with far reaching consequences if she had failed to.

Mmirinzo makes an easy and interesting read. It is a fast paced, and well written effort at magical realism taking place among normal people, living their lives in an otherwise technological driven world. In many ways the work reminded me of Chukwuemeka Ike’s 1985 novel The Bottled Leopard which explored a different aspect of Igbo metaphysics involving the ability of men to acquire the powers of a Leopard. Achalugo very easily marries the daily realities of living in cosmopolitan Lagos today with the magical world of her main character as though they were two sides of a coin, normalizing by so doing, a state of being that would otherwise be seen as…

Read the full review here in The Lagos Review

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