By Prisca Sam-Duru
Obiageli’s Choice is the second novel of Katya Samuel-Anyagafu. The novel narrates the story of Nkiru and Obiageli who though are blood sisters, have two conflicting characters. The choices they make early in life which are clear portrayals of their natural behaviours are seen as responsible for shaping their future.
In the book, Katya a native of Umunze in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra state who has just graduated from King’s Anchor College, Alimosho Lagos, paints the character, Obiageli, as a stunning beauty and Nkiru’s elder sister whose lifestyle is typical of that of young children of the jet age who are carried away by the razzmatazz of funky lifestyles which are copied from western culture.
Major events in the novel begin with Obiageli who has just graduated from teachers training and gets her first suitor Ogadi Okonkwo, the headmaster of the new village model primary school. Ogadi insists on marrying Obiageli despite efforts by his friend to discourage him from marrying her.
He falls head over heels in love with her and brings his people to Obiageli’s house to ask her hand in marriage. Obiageli exhibits the height of her ill manner during the introduction ceremony preceding marriage by insulting Ogadi and his people. She further rejects more suitors after that encounter.
Nkiru on her part as a humble and homely trained nurse, does not find her sister’s behavior funny. She feels Obiageli is bloated because of her new status as a Grade II teacher. Her priority is happiness which she believes is born by love. Events take another turn when she finally settles with the same Ogadi whom her sister disgraces.
Obiageli eventually moves to Lagos with her uncle Nduka and gets herself entangled with a chronic play boy called Emeka, Nduka’s friend.
She forces Emeka into marring her by trapping him with pregnancy. Following the pregnancy, life becomes a living hell for her and she visits Nkiru to seek advice on how to deal with her misfortune and fortunately for her, Nkiru’s intervening advice restores her marriage.
Katya through this book has done a great job quite bigger than her age. While some of her mates are obviously living out the lifestyle of Obiageli by craving for worldly materials, she is busy, burning her midnight candle in an effort geared towards adding quality to the education of her peers.
Obiageli’s Choice no doubt, deals with a very topical issue which reemphasises the fact that females who are vulnerable need to be taught to maintain focus, make right choices in life so as to be great women in future.
The publication of Katya’s second novel, couldn’t have come at a better time than now when commodification of women is no longer frowned at. Moreso, with the exposures of youths to negative influences through internet facilities one cannot help asking for more of this sort of works from young authors in the likes of Katya who stand the best chance of telling their own stories themselves with a view to influencing their peers positively.
This book is a well recommended effort as it has a lot of lessons for the youths; especially with regards to choices that they make in life which either make or mar their future.