6873438799_8a09dfbffd_oOne night, NEPA-replacement mosquitoes and eating-jollof-in-dream-syndrome woke me up to hear our neighbor, Daddy Lagos, flying after his houseboy like ojuju, a malevolent spirit. GBIM-GBIM-pata-GBIM-GBIM beat his feet, rattling the uncertain wall by my bed and stealing salty, garlic dreamtaste. Round and round they went, like an upside-down version of that birthday party chairs game. When this dance floored at our verandah, my father’s old bed protested—

my father did not.

I still hear the boy’s sob-running and a pathetic shrill barking that sounded like Uncle please now, biko, because he was summoning seven siblings, that very moment dreaming the same dream on the same tired mattress in a nameless Owerri village, who needed him for food

and Daddy Lagos, panting after him sang, in doleful high-tenor:

‘’Come now o, when I catch you I will kill you o.’’

And it was true.

 

********

Post image by Lucy Maude Ellis via Flickr

About the Author:

Portrait - NjokuNneoma Ike-Njoku is a Nigerian writer and freelance editor. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Transition Magazine, The Kalahari Review, Ya Afriika, Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts, and Afrikana.ng.

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.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 2016 Miles Morland Shortlist Announced | people who write - 2016/12/03

    […] for Nina;  winner of the 2016 Nigeria Prize for Literature; included in the Africa39 Anthology) *Nneoma Ike-Njoku – Nigeria (Author of the short story “Daddy Lagos;” Recipient of a Writing for Peace […]

Leave a Reply

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.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

The Brittle Paper Literary Awards: New Date for the Announcement of Winners

The announcement of the winners of the inaugural Brittle Paper Literary Awards was scheduled for 23 September 2017. However, a change […]

The Reviews Are In! | Namwali Serpell Has High Praise for Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu

Screen-Shot-2017-09-20-at-4.57.42-PM-e1505944728679 copy

Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu is one of the hit novels of 2017. A historical drama, it tells the story of an 18th […]

New Website Collects Everything Binyavanga Wainaina Has Written Since the Late 1990s

A new Website has collected everything published by Binyavanga Wainaina since his writing career began in the late 1990s. The […]

Opportunity for All Writers | Submit to Vanguard Literary Services’ HIV/AIDS Awareness Anthology

To mark the 2017 World HIV/AIDS Day on December 1, Vanguard Literary Services, a bookselling company in Nigeria, has called […]

The Graywolf Press Africa Prize Launches with Igoni A. Barrett as Judge

igoni a. barrett

A new award just dropped: the Graywolf Press Africa Prize, for “a first novel manuscript by an African author primarily residing […]

Nnedi Okorafor Celebrates Everyday African Life in New Superhero Comic

okorafor comics

A little over two years ago, South African Sci-fi writer Lauren Beukes collaborated with D. C. Comics on a Wonder […]