Author: Othuke Ominiabohs (Ohmston Weth)
Purchase: You can buy the ebook online at dookshop.com (also on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple ibooks, etc)
Order the paperback from Konga.com
You can also get the paperback at major bookshops or malls near. Click here to see my list of bookshops!
Synopsis: When Anthony Mukoro discovers he cannot father a child, his whole world comes crashing. In the arms of a new crush, Odufa, a beautiful girl with a past, he finds the strength to face his fears and live again despite the whirlwind that threatens to devour the union. But nothing is as it seems as they plunge into the bowels of this serpentine romance which alters their lives forever. – synopsis from goodreads.com
I initially read Odufa years back when it was barely a series on yimucentral. I had read the prologue, then an episode, and knew that it was going to be major. One thing i have always loved about Ohmston’s work is his ability to describe every single detail and his unique adeptness at word play.
The criminals were still at large. The long arm of the law hung limply around the waist of the cold statue of justice, tugging at her wrapper so the bureaucrats can once again, rape her blind. – The coleman massacre by Ohmston Weth
Odufa is an African romance literature based on two Nigerians from different backgrounds. First of all, the book is in three parts: Friends, Lovers and Strangers. The first chapter begins with a somber mood where a doctor diagnoses the protagonist, Anthony, as being impotent. Like any man who discovers such a thing, Anthony is thrown into a dark and dangerous depression. That is until he meets a lady who is willing to do absolutely anything for him, Odufa. Odufa is a mystery to Anthony which just makes their affair much more sizzling and desirable to him. Theirs is a love that is volatile, deep and explosive; confusing and incredulous to anyone else but overwhelming to those that know how it feels.
I say this because some parts in the book had to be taken with a pinch of salt. I cannot say i have ever felt love like this, so, I could not understand how love could make two people do things that should drive them apart but ends up pulling them much closer. I read in a recent interview that reviewers complained that the book is chauvinistic, but let’s be realistic, that’s really how many relationships are. Lets put political correctness aside and appreciate that he was being real.
I found it difficult to handle Anthony’s abuse on Odufa and the fact that she kept coming back to take him in her arms. Then, out of the blue, Odufa began her own kind of abuse on Anthony and that honestly surprised me.
The story itself scared me; especially the very toxic and dangerous relationship between Anthony and Odufa. I don’t have much experience with relationships in Nigeria but I remember asking a few friends from my book club if this kind of relationship was actually possible. The narcissism between the two lead characters was shocking, their inconsistency in personality worried me (especially Odufa’s) and at a point I began to wonder if this was really a relationship or a dependency. Also Odufa has some sordid past which affected nearly every choice she made in this book, so I was quite surprised that the past was not mentioned. However the writer clarified that a sequel will delve into this. –Franklyne Ikediasor
Odufa was a strange character that i couldn’t actually decipher. I would like to know more about her side of the story; if she really is an opportunist as it played out to be and the reason for her sudden change of character. Her mother also intrigued me. I hope the coming sequels will reveal both of their intentions.
The writing was exquisite, as i expected, but i thought that some parts of the romance were a bit too cheesy for my taste. Writing an anthology of poems for her is romantic but seeing her as your light, sunshine, diamond and laughter after she bit off your thumb was just too much for me. I particularly liked the Strangers section of the book, which was weird because that was where everything came apart. Odufa unfolded herself to be Anthony’s nightmare and it was interesting to see that he still didn’t see some of the things we, the readers, were seeing. It made me wonder, at some point, if Juju (charm) was involved.
Another issue i had was the fear that it was going to be unnecessarily prolonged. I wasn’t even at the middle and the two were already hopelessly in love, i began to question what would come next. In retrospect, the length was necessary.
I ached for Anthony towards the end, when his son was taken from him. No one should feel that type of pain especially someone who saw their child as a miracle. Anthony’s father told him to forget the child, which would be a typical advice in that situation, but i knew that the decision would be difficult.
The writer took us to so many places in the book: Kano, Portharcourt, Warri, Lagos and Abuja. I think that he tried to shed light on: violence in relationships like we’ve hardly seen, the unfolding of events that misdiagnosis of patients could cause, misconceptions about hypertension and the drama that sometimes follows inter-tribal relationships.
My favorite character has to be Anthony’s mother who seemed like a very wise, well-to-do and archaic woman; she blew out proverbs like a dragon spits fire.
You don’t spend the evening where you do not intend to spend the night…
It is the fear of what tomorrow may bring… that makes the tortoise to carry his house with him wherever he goes.
Many reviewers have complained about the use of the word ‘Ablution’. I found it strange for them to just assume that the word referred to Muslim cleansing because even at the first place i noticed it, the context referred to ‘Bathing’. I should also point out that Muslims don’t really have a whole room dedicated to washing up and prayers (I don’t think).
The book ended up as a tragedy (seemed so from the prologue) when Anthony’s life seemed to him like it had lost meaning and direction. I very much loved the way Othuke ended it, the whole of chapter 51 felt like a poem to me; absolutely brilliant and well paced.
All in all, i will say that the book tenders to the least common denominator, because it isn’t a concept that is too complex or filled with a lot of big and incomprehensible grammar. It’s very relatable and different and this makes it a very good book. This is his debut novel which makes it even better. Also, if you love poems, you’ll definitely love this book and the anthology attached to the back.
I tried as much as possible to not be so biased in this review being that Othuke is one of my favorite writers (Yes, i will famz). I have known about him for almost two years and have read a whole lot of his stories. His brother has a crush on me so… special treatment (He’ll kill me for this LOL). I was ecstatic when i heard that Odufa will be turned into a trilogy.
There will be a book reading of Odufa by Othuke himself coupled with a movie screening “Pitter Patter Goes My Heart” on Thursday, 16th June 2016 at Thought Pyramid Art Centre, No 18, Libreville Crescent wuse II Abuja. Time is 7:00 pm.
Note to Othuke: You are a brilliant poet, it seems you’re the only one oblivious to this. If Odufa was really based on personal experiences then, I cannot wait to see you again because you have a truck load of questions to answer! 🙂
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it!