Book title: Yetunde –An Ode to my Mother
Author’s name: Segilola Salami
Published by: Segilola Publishing
Publication year: 2016
If a babe really speaks this way, I would have given this laptop I type with to my one year old nephew Joshua, but of course this is an author’s fictitious expression of an infantile admiration for her mother’s care.
The author sets this work in a city in London and precisely in the mind of a little girl-child by the name Yetunde. Segilola Salami can be somewhat strict in the way she communicates the thoughts of Yetunde, a nine months old infant. But then the reality boils down to the fact that , having her think all these by herself can only be fictitious, entertaining (what any fictional writer does), but never to be imagined. It is an author’s intentional hijacking of the mind of a toddler.
Amongst the Yoruba descent and when we talk about mother to infant relationship, there is this time in the formative months of an infant when the mother speaks to her child, words meant to be understood only by older kids (see page 8 of 36). Telling little Yetunde about the cultures of the Yoruba race at her ninth month seems never too early. Yeah of course, the best time to start instilling the cultural heritage of one’s nativity. Though an infant will not come to the knowledge of all these teachings so soon but then, when these words continuously reiterates, the tender mind of the child begins to absorb and eventually speaks out to everyone’s awe someday.
A wonderful story progression here. Forsaking the Yetunde to whom the story is been told, the art of storytelling still remains one great way through which African heritage has been preserved over the years. The author did her best here telling innocent Yetunde (who can hardly reply the good compliments of a caring mother or clearly understands what mother is rattling. But the obvious fact is that she is listening to all of this story progression) about the Yoruba folk’s myth about Yemoja. There was a brilliant cinematic allusion here (see page 25 of 36), where the author makes mention of the last airbender in the movie, Avatar. Those who has seen this movie and understands it will identify well enough the part played by Katara a waterbender and Yemoja’s mystical use of water as an instrument of warfare just as she prescribes for Yetunde mum’s use.
A clever conveyance of poetic citations at the latter part of this book. It tells your reader that you really understands what an Ode is. You wouldn’t have done it better excluding poetry. This is quite educating, the fact that it dives into the historical and mythical heritage of the Yoruba folks makes it so. It would just have been interesting if all those little kids or say nine months infant can really speak and think out loud like their friend Yetunde. Segilola was creative in this one, giving voice to this innocent leader of tomorrow making us initially wonder why she would have written such a story. It won’t be bad to see more of your works you know?