Daughters Who Walk This Path
By Yejide Kilanko
Reviewed by Oke Adebola.
Yejide’s debut novel, Daughters Who Walk This Path, is a feminine exploration of the socio-cultural parlance of Nigeria, in other words, it is a book for the women, by a woman and about the women – evident in the predominance of female characters and issues therein presented. It is a story that relates the trials and ordeals of womanhood and its attainment. A reflection of the intricacies of the feminine existence, the pains induced by men and the limitations or rules set by the patriarchal society they found themselves.
Yejide’s novel presents a society where the male characters are debased, passive but domineering, whilst the female characters are presented with voice, emotion (pain) and fortitude to bear with the cruel and bestial propensity of the male gender. Among the themes presented in the novel are, sexual molestation, cultural belief and superstition, Burdens of womanhood, Education, Love, Patriarchalism, Madness and Freedom, Corruption (social and moral) etc. All these are woven around the socio-cultural being of the feminine gender. The Novel righly can be identified as a bildungsroman, traces the sojourn of Morayo from innocence and chastity to molestation and frustration, and back to maturity and repentance.
The novel unfolds with the birth of Eniayo, a pitiable child seeking admittance into the family and the society with “her yellowish hair, her pink eyes, and her milky white skin” (8), inquiring of her mother if she “was adopted as a baby?” (18) The segregation against Eniayo on the ground of cultural superstition as an albino is a precursor to the more realistic socio-cultural ordeals and emotional traumas encountered by the female characters in the course of the novel, their thrive to sustain themselves within the family and society dominated by the men. And like Bolude, she represents the set of people ashamed of by the society. The chastisement of Bisoye by Iya Agba underlines a culturally inclined internal sexism existing within the feminine gender.
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