Elechi Amadi’s ‘The Concubine’ is by far one of the best humorous books I have read and it even comes as a surprise as this was his first book published. (1966) In this book, Amadi writes in very short chapters yet achieving complete control over the events that brings humor to the reader.
In the village of Omokachi lived a young charming girl, Ihuoma who was widowed as a result of the death of her husband, Emenike. In as much as the people of Omokachi loved the union between these couple (Emenike and Ihuoma), there were others like Madume who envied their union and as a result, engaged him in a fierce fight until the unexpected happened (resulting in the death of Emenike).
The vacuum created as a result of the death of Emenike saw the face of Ekweme (an energetic and hardworking man and a colleague friend of Ekweme) who was interested in Ihuoma. As tradition play out its part in the story, we are left to watch through reading, what is in store for the hardworking Ekweme and the young charming Ihuoma.
Throughout the narrative, it is evident that the people of Omokachi believes in their traditions and as such, abounds in the society in which they find themselves. These traditions in the society seek to bind the people together, in that; going contrary to them could spell doom for an inhabitant.
In as much as the story deals with the traditions in the society and religion, it is also very much about the longing of love for one another. Not to exaggerate, Amadi’s ‘The Concubine’ is a delight to read.
Note: For Amy’s Nigeria Independence Day Reading Project.