A very warm welcome to “Spotlight” author Joy Lo-Bamijoko. Joy is a member of Rave Reviews Book Club.
Joy Nwosu was born in Enugu, Anambra State of south-eastern Nigeria. Her parents were Charles Belonwu and Deborah Nwosu. She is the fifth in rank of the seven children of her parents. Joy was born into a music family.
She has written and published extensively in national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers.
Her short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/Summer, 2007, pg. 18, and her first English novel; Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two books published in Italian.
Joy is a trained musician, and taught music for 35 years. She writes, performs, and records folk songs.
The Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies
Nigerian Death Legends Come Alive in ‘the Walking Dead’
(An Excerpt): A Place Called Akajiana
The next morning, Gloria and her son woke up in this hollow of a home to the smell of food. Here they could be themselves again, unseen by the natives, but visible to their own likes. They sat around a solid wooden table and ate a hearty breakfast of agidi, a light corn paste, and moi moi, fried bean balls, a meal heavy enough to carry them through the day. They washed everything down with fura di nunu, a drink made from guinea corn, goat milk, and brown sugar.
In answer to Gloria’s questions, Sister Aug explained that when a new person arrived, the person was automatically assigned to the one who’d found him or her. That was why Aug had taken charge of Gloria and her son.
“I have exceeded my time here and cannot escape,” she added. “When I came here, we weren’t organized. Everyone was afraid. Each person looked for a way out by themselves. Returning was practically impossible. Today, things have changed. We have people who go and come with ease. Some people like it here; I do. For many years, I tried to get out and failed. Eventually, I resigned myself to my fate and started to make the best of my life here. More fura?”
Gloria and her son declined more of the drink. “Fura is a meal by itself and can fill the belly too much when eaten with other foods,” Gloria said. “But what do you mean by exceeding your time here?” She turned her seat around to face Sister Aug with her full attention.
“My arrival here is still a mystery to me. I suppose that everybody’s arrival here can be quite mystifying, but that doesn’t make it less mysterious. I have heard people say that they came through a stream.”
“We did,” Osondu said. For a moment, he stopped doodling on the table and paid attention to the ladies’ conversation.
“You must tell me all about it someday, Little Brother O.” Sister Aug flashed him a big smile. “I simply lost my way. One minute, I was with my friends searching for wood, and the next, I stepped into a vortex. When it was over, I found myself here. I lost my friends and my friends lost me.”
“A vortex, eh? That’s probably why you can’t get out,” Gloria said.
“Not at all. When I found out that I could leave, I tried several times. But I failed. After seven years in this place, it was too late. I resigned myself to my fate and started liking it here.”
“What’s there to like about this place?” Gloria shuddered at the thought of having to stay. “Seven years … that’s an awfully long time.” Her face creased, and she stood up and walked to the entrance of Sister Aug’s home. She took a deep breath to quell her agitation, walked back again, and turned to Sister. “I want to leave here now, not in the next seven years,” she said in a strained voice while she clasped and unclasped her hands. “How did you survive this?”
“Wait until you know the place better and hear the whole story,” Sister Aug replied.
After they had cleared the dishes from the table and washed up, Sister Aug said she wanted to show them a place on a hill at the other side of the town. They followed her out of the forbidden forest, through a hidden passage, and a path overlapped, at the top, by tall bamboo trees with thick undergrowth. Only the dwellers knew and could travel this path. They stopped in front of a large wooden door. Sister Aug snapped her fingers three times. The door opened without a sound, they stepped outside into a well-lit area, and the door closed again.
Her New Book
The Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, which has just been released, is a journey into the mysteries of life and death of the Igbos of Nigeria. She loves reading romances and mystery stories.
To learn more about Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, visit her website at: