The first time I heard about An Abundance of Scorpions was at the 2017 Ake Arts and Book Festival in Abeokuta. Hadzia shared during a panel session that it was Lola Shoneyin (who I adore) who suggested the title of the novel. Best believe I had to read it!
More than a Northern Woman
In my adult life, I have mostly read of South-East and South-West female protagonists. Mostly, because the realities of the Northern woman is closely guarded and her life limited by religion and culture. Yet, Tambaya (the protagonist) shares a life than any woman in the country can understand. Most importantly, one her Northern sisters all understand.
Still, I Rise
I read this novel out of sheer curiosity of what a Northern female protagonist and author will share. What reality will she give us a glimpse into? Will it be bits and pieces left for the reader to figure out? What did this novel intend to give?
It gave a deeper understanding of the life of our female sisters from the North. Their concerns and limitations, sex, religion, faith, culture, family, loyalty and fear. These elements formed the plot of this novel.
From inception, you see Tambaya as a woman who has not had it easy. From the impact of the worst blow in life – death of her loved ones to starting out on her own in a new state. Still, she rises.
In her debut novel, Hadiza Isma El-Rufai conveys the trials and struggles of the Northern woman in pages that are as easy to read as they are to flip. The language is that the everyday Nigerian can understand. She weaves timelines that can easily be connected to. Best part, she talks about what most people only wished they knew about the Northern woman in all sincerity and without a hint of bias.
Get a copy of the novel here!
- Our realities might be different but we are all connected.
- If your perception is flawed, it will affect your words, actions and situations.
- Give yourself room to fail, doubt and cry. Just make sure you get back up at the end of the day.
- Life comes in seasons. The cloud may be dark and the storm heavy, yet, as cliche as it sounds, it will be sunny and bright.