Author: Festus Iyayi;
This novel touches on poverty, how the rich continuously manipulate the poor and the indomitable strength of the human spirit. Adisa is Idemudia’s (the primary character) wife, and is quite beautiful. To quote the author –
“‘Her long, jet black hair was now held in place with hairpins.
Her lips were dark, decided and firm. Her nose was pointed,
long, like a Fulani’s. Her eyes were black and deep, like the
quiet water of a deep and darkly moving stream. Her breasts
were big and tight as they had been many years ago. They heaved
now against her chest as she stood leaning against the door…’ “
And so, Adisa is introduced. The novel shows how Adisa and Idemudia are trapped by poverty into making uncomfortable choices; him selling his blood so they can eat, her sleeping with a rich man to get money to get him out of the hospital after he falls sick. Unfortunately, his friends have bailed him already so her sacrifice is pointless. Or so it seems.
Violence portrays Festus Iyayi as a man who understands poverty. A man who came from a background where choices are made for people because they are poor and they are not in control of their lives; but at the same time do not loose faith in the human spirit. It shows that people cannot be judged all the time by their actions, rather by the motive behind such actions; and it’s a reminder that love truly conquers all.
Adisa’s character resonates with me because she represents the ideal woman who would give anything for the man she loves. There’s a paragraph that describes this perfectly:-
‘She smiled and closed her eyes. “I am a prostitute! A cheap woman! It wasn’t my fault.
It was the only chance I had! He may kill me but I did it for him. Only for him.” ‘
Love is the most durable of all human emotions.