Character: Eunice Onwubiko
Book: The Abyssinian Boy
Author: Onyeka Nwelue
When books walk out of shelves, they usually depart with an intention of creating an impact in the life and imagery of the final consumer, the reader. When a book tunes the frequency of a reader’s mindset, we must applaud the characters embedded in that book.
I have read books which left me conversing or acting like the protagonist or other characters in the book. I have been a subject of such influences on multiple occasions but a particular scenario stands out in my life. This scenario has lived with me in times of strife. The character which creates this scenario has left me pondering for a while.
The Abyssinian Boy tells the story of Rajaswamy Rajagopolan, a South Indian Tamil Brahmin essayist who is happily married to an East-Nigerian Christian wife, Eunice Onwubiko. Things begin to go sour for their nine-year old marriage when their only child, David begins to travel in dreams with an albino dwarf, Nfanfa. David subsequently develops a brain illness. While this nuclear family was still residing in India, Nigerian authorities began to deport Indians massively. The deportation knotted with David’s misery threatens to twist what had been a cultural bliss.
Eunice Onwubiko stole her way into my mind as a result of my humane feeling towards her. She was in the midst of an unfortunate fate which had been artificially created. She represented the suffering side of the tale. In spite of gender-discrimination by some writers, Nwelue assumed a lot of courage to thrust huge responsibilities onto the character of Eunice Onwubiko. With an unwavering nature, she was able to meet up with the readers’ expectations. She had a strong mind like that of a drug-dealer. She portrayed the peace of a dove and the instinct of a leader. She was the beast of burden in the story. Ever since Eunice walked into my life, I have reposed much faith in every Nigerian woman. My love for the black woman stands like the Kilimanjaro.