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It’s story time people! But there’s no bon-fire or moon light. It’s 1.40 minutes of stunning visuals accompanied by a voice speaking in igbo—the creation of Akwaeke Emezi titled Ududeagu

It’s all so dreamlike. There’s the bed, all the white fabric and the curtain billowy against an ornate burglary proof. The actor, his athletic, light-skinned body a poetic contrast to his black dread locks, long enough to wrap around his face twice over.

Igbo is a beautifully-sounding language, but you’ve never heard it this sonorous, thick with the texture of poetry as if sounding from some mythical place.

It is subtitled, so you know it is a tale about a spider. But it could as well be a philosophical fable about something so deep that Plato would have trouble grasping it.

And when you try reading the tale out loud, it has a rhythm that makes you think it could very easily be a poem.

Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend!

UDUDEAGU from Akwaeke Emezi on Vimeo.


My grandfather told me before there were kings there was a spider.
They made him out of knots, weaving him tight till his soul was a sinew.
Everyone knows that the weavers are woven

But there are other things that Spider knows.
1. Webs do not hold.
2. You can’t stop someone from leaving.
3. Slow down. There are many ways to leave.
4. Some are more final than others.
That is how they say it, the way my grandfather told me


Akwaeke Emezi - Portrait2Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria. She currently lives in Brooklyn and has been writing since she could write. Check out her story on Brittle Paper HERE. See more of her short videos HERE. And follow her on twitter @azemezi

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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.

12 Responses to “VIDEO: You’ve Never Seen an Igbo Fable This Awesome” Subscribe

  1. Sylvia 2014/04/25 at 18:09 #

    I enjoyed it-Spooky & profound.

    If I am not mistaken, “Nnam Oche” is used to refer to “father- in -law.” not Grandfather (it maybe a dialect thing).

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