Author: Ifeoluwa Watson
Genre: Short fiction
Publisher: Okadabooks (www.okadabooks.com)
Reviewer: Ehichoya Ekozilen
I enjoyed reading Wewe, a long short story by Ifeoluwa Watson. Once I had a grasp of the plot direction, I decided I had come across a home video with a somewhat similar plot long before. But Watson retells the story well. No, she actually tells an entirely new story, as I found. This is a good read with sufficient originality, even to anyone who has previously come across a somewhat similar version of it as I had back in the day either in written form or in Nollywood.
Watson’s good writing skills show as she holds the reader spellbound with this dramatic story laced with vivid descriptions and metaphors. Almost everyone can identify with the characters as they get yanked off their comfort zones and try to make sense of new realities. Refreshingly, the author shows good mastery of the subjects she tackles, including surgery and psychiatry, even such exotic genres as hypnotism. There are some editorial issues in the book but they are thankfully few and minor.
Set in Ibadan, this award-winning love story is about two families. The matriarchs, two friends, both widows, both highly successful women, had match-made their children in the hope of bringing their families even closer and perpetuating their existing friendship. But things take a sudden downturn when Rotimi, the male of the pair, starts “seeing someone else”. Tanwa gets worried. But her apprehension gives way to devastation when she finds out who someone else is.
Tanwa’s face was set in a tight grimace. She tried to wrap her head around the incredulity of having a mad woman as a rival.
But more shock, revulsion and agony await the women as they waltz inexorably to a fated tragedy that ushers in existential relief for some in its wake.
Watson uses a lot of similes and metaphors. Like this one.
“So, will you follow me to the surgeon now? To have you matched?”
Rotimi waggled his head. Yeye went over the top. She popped full blast like a champagne cork.
And the story has gems, such as this.
As always, when problems surfaced, Yeye depended on her wealth. Who would sell their kidney to her?
That Watson has a good mastery of English is beyond question. Just a few punctuations here and there throughout the work, and you would say there are no editorial shortcomings here. There are a number of instances where a relative or subordinate clause is opened with a comma while the end is allowed to run on into the main clause. Here is just one.
Yeye Akinfenwa, one of the most renowned tycoons in Ibadan had promised to go all out for her daughter.
There are other types of misplacement of punctuation present in the work.
Watson writes well. I will definitely be reading more of her writing. You, too, should check it out.