Genre: Children’s Fiction
Ayodele’s Eno’s Story is the first of many children’s fiction I am planning to read for the remaining quarter of the year. At only 45 pages long, the book is published by Cassava Republic.
The story revolves around the little girl Eno who is labeled as a witch by her Uncle. We hear Eno’s voice from the very beginning of the story. When we meet her, she is sitting under a tree, her cat beside her and she is rummaging about why her Uncle believes she is a witch. Her voice here is loud although she is alone and she seems to have been overtaken by the thoughts of the label – Witch. ‘So I’m a witch!’ she says rhetorically.
Wanting to understand who and what witches do, she thinks through all those weird happenings that are often attributed to the works of witches. She thinks that if she is a witch, then she can fly or turn into a cat or a ferocious lion or can make people grow long tails or can make people grow large ears and so on and so on.
The issue of witchcraft in these parts of our world is not new news but for a little child to be labeled a witch is grim and bleak, more so grave if an intelligent student who comes first in class is believed to posses powers of witchcraft.
An important lesson examined in this story points to how children are brought up. For instance, Eno’s father refers to her daughter as ‘love’ and ‘princess’ and inculcates the habit of believing in oneself. As a result of this, even when she encounters adversity in the hands of her Uncle and a priest, she recalls what her father has told her. ‘I’m a princess, not a witch,’ she says.
There are tons and tons of lessons we can take from this seemingly short story. Ayodele’s caption of the theme of witchcraft has been well elaborated even in a few pages and I am convinced that children who find themselves in similar situations as Eno would find this story very useful.