Book title: Abiku: The battle of the Gods
Author: Elizabeth Salawu
Published by: Segilola Publishing
Publication year: 2016
Have you ever seen an Abiku lady? Never dare you to struggle to get her man off her. She can really be deadly dangerous than you can ever think. My first approach to the meaning of the phrase ‘Abiku’ as a young man of the Yoruba descent was very startling. Initially, I thought an Abiku is a demon possessed child (of course somehow they are) but a broadened understanding of the Yoruba context and interpretation into the world of mysteries taught me to understand that Abiku actually meant reincarnation but with some mystical features at times which sometimes may not be explainable.
Writing with an indigenous understanding of what Abiku meant to Africans or better still Yorubas is one good way to lecture the western world about reincarnation. Elizabeth takes turn through the thought of a mixed race girl in her early twenties who finds curiosity with who she is and what the immediate world around her says about her being even while she never knew it.
Writing from the beach, why? There seem to be something mystical about this writing location of our major character. Writing from the beach gave me a pause. It further made me brood over Dayo simultaneously pondering while reading this piece, and asking why the author preferred to do this without a strong association to the context with which she writes. The question again reiterates, why write from the beach? She might have her reasons but it will be better only if she could just define it a little. At least explain things to a voraciously curious reader like myself.
Doing drug, of course, is no good, getting so much Hallucinated is even crazy enough to note and most especially when it comes from a substance like Cocaine. The author leads her reader once more into the world where illicit sex and the harmful effect of a drug would make one wonder he’s somewhat in an amusement park. Thinking of Henry and finding Akin in her dream was one big trouble (a good drama though for the readers making our heart race like the sport car used in Formula one) Ekundayo may not be able to see through only if she understands what it meant in this other part of the world we find our footing. And most especially when there is already a sexual intimacy with a man from another world the battle can just be as fierce as you will possibly guess.
Switching between mortal and intermittently the immortal world is one distinct feature found amongst the Abikus. Elizabeth did just justice to this with a good use of a cinematic mind. She set off a battle ground for two men, whose struggle for the big prize (Ekundayo) is already resulting into insanity for the prize (Ekundayo) herself. Dayo is now at a crossroad. It is either she embraces who she use to be and get cleaved to her spouse in the immortal world or settle for her mortal and first love who seems to be confused about an initial sweet taste of love gone sour.
If you know of Abiku and haven’t read this book, then you may not really know it. Abiku, the reincarnation is a story you will be glad you read. This is a story of love, Mystery, doubt and fear of the unknown grafted into a myth this world still trembles at.