Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Adunni-poster SmallerAbiku is the Yoruba word for a caste of spirit beings strangely bound to death. They are born to life as human children but die soon after their birth only to be reborn for yet another cycle of death and rebirth.

Though ageless and immortal, Abikus appear to the human eye as children beautiful beyond words. An Abiku is a scourge to mothers. A curse to families.

Adunni: The Beautiful One Has Not Yet Died is an eight-story/image ensemble built on the strange and terrifying world of an Abiku.

For millenia, Adunni has had a good run as an abiku—no bereaved family or powerful Babalawo has tried to prevent her return to the spirit world. Ages of successful, glitch-free comings and goings have made her powerful, envied by fellow Abikus, and loved by Mother Earth. But her luck runs out when she is born into the Lamorin family.

Adunni: The Beautiful One Has Not Died  is a gripping story of betrayal and lust for power. It is also a story of death and the struggle to overcome death.  Conniving and power-hungry gods are pitted against weak, selfish, and clueless humans. A pastor’s fervor is set against a Babalawo’s wisdom. A mother’s undying love is tried by a child’s terrifying power. Adunni’s story is not, for all this, a mythological fable. It occupies that weird place where mythology tips over into urban fantasy. Adunni is set in present day Lagos and written by Ayodele Olofintuade, who knows so much about Yoruba cosmology that she can break the rules in unexpected ways.

The story project began with a submission I received from Ayodele. The submission was a story about an Abiku that gets trapped against her will in the world of the living. Struck by Ayodele’s rewriting of this age-worn mythological figure, I asked for seven more stories. Here we are today, with an eight-story series set against the most enchanting artwork done exclusively for the project by Laolu Senbanjo of Afromysterics.

The accompanying artwork is an essential part of the story. Senbanjo’s art is a cross between images and stories—the way a story might appear in a dream or a trance. Crowded with colors and images, his artwork induces the feeling of being over-stimulated with sensations.  Gazing at Senbanjo’s art, one imagines time caving in folds and space becoming something quite bizarre. Whether it’s a drawing of Mandela, Achebe, a Lagos city street or a mythical figure, Laolu’s work feels like something coming from an elsewhere. There was never a doubt in my mind that Senbanjo was the only one who could do justice to the mystery and evil in which the Abiku’s life is enshrouded.

Adunni: The Beautiful One Has Not Yet Died is a curated narrative project made up of stories and conceptual artwork. The saga begins on February 19. Don’t miss it!

Want to know more about the Abiku phenomenon, read my post at Bella Naija {HERE}

Tags: , , , , , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

5 Responses to “The Beautiful One Has Not Yet Died — An African Story Ensemble” Subscribe

  1. Magunga 2014/02/18 at 11:37 #

    I am waiting

  2. Ainehi Edoro 2014/02/18 at 12:10 #

    Great!

  3. obinna Udenwe 2014/02/18 at 13:28 #

    Awesome. Let the music begin!

  4. Ainehi Edoro 2014/02/18 at 18:34 #

    Thanks Obinna!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. ADUNNI By Ayodele Olofintuade — Episode 1, “Our Father” | Brittle Paper - 2014/02/19

    […] {HERE} to learn more about the […]

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Erotic Africa: The Sex Anthology | Read e-Book Exploring Millennial Sex Culture and Romance in African Cities

erotic-africa

Much has been said about the state of sex in African literature: whether African novelists are keen on sex, why […]

Zimbabwean Mapping Project Documents the Movements of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare

dambudzo marechera - graph

An unusual mapping project has documented the movements of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare. “Home Means Nothing to Me,” published in […]

Cyprian Ekwensi’s The Passport of Mallam Ilia Gets Animation Movie | Watch Teaser

The Passport of Mallam Ilia - animation

Cyprian Ekwensi’s popular novel The Passport of Mallam Ilia is being made into an animated movie. Premium Times reports that the 2D […]

Yrsa Daley-Ward’s The Terrible Makes Vogue’s Must-Read Books of 2018

yrsa daley-ward - image by Laurel Grolio for Girls At Library

Nigerian-Jamaican model-turned-Instapoet Yrsa Daley-Ward’s memoir The Terrible: A Storyteller’s Memoir has been named among Vogue magazine’s Must-Read Books of 2018. The follow […]

Film Adaptation of Soyinka’s Ake: The Years of Childhood, by Dapo Adeniyi, Tells the Story of the Legend as a Child in the 1940s | Watch Trailer 

Egba women wait on Mrs Kuti at the outset of the women’s riot3

The film adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s 1981 memoir Ake: The Years of Childhood is now available on Amazon. Set during the World […]

Erotic Africa: The Sex Anthology Forthcoming in December

erotic-africa

Twelve months after the call for submissions was made in January, we are happy to announce that Erotic Africa: The Sex […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.