By Osa Mbonu-Amadi
In autographing her book, Kukuruku Girl: Tales of My Childhood, for people, last Saturday, April 9, 2022 at Freedom Park, Lagos during the public presentation, Onize Edith Aiyede wrote: “May our stories find their places in history.” That, so basicallysummarizes the book, Kukuruku Girl: Tales of My Childhood. What is unfolding before our eyes is the story of a girl that found her place in history, a girl who grew up in rural African community amidst culture and tradition.
Speaking to Vanguard in an interview, Onize said she was inspired by writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe who all in different ways, told stories of their environments and cultures that shaped them. She said although her Igarra, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State, “is like 1 per cent of the 1 per cent minority, there are a lot of uniqueness in our story. I decided to tell that story. I love writing.”
“Kukuruku Girl: Tales of my childhood,” the publishers say,”is a collection of stories, made in time. The narratives collectively paint a portrait of the years of innocence steeped in mischief and rascally inquisition into the vast canvas of life as experienced by the author.
“In an age of fast-eroding self-identity, it is hoped that this body of work will bring memories of some pieces of your childhood, community and heritage, memories that will draw you into an experience beyond the author’s life as a Kukuruku Girl.”
Onize holds a Diploma in Estate Management from Rufus Giwa, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Nexford University, Washington DC, USA.
She is also a member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers. She likes music, movies, filmmaking and healthy living.
“Edith Aiyede achieves the dual purpose of telling a personal odyssey and proudly marketing her Igarra community and Etuno dialect to the otherwise uninformed. Although personal, it tells the vivid relatable story of many Nigerian children and pricks at the conscience of everyone saddled with their care. With simple, yet captivating language and the imagery they create, Ms. Aiyede delivers an impactful debut, which is precursor to more revolutionary efforts from the author and a definite pride for her Etuno people.”
–NiranAdedokun, author of The Law is an Ass, The Danfo Driver in all of Us, and other books.
“Writing in a free-flowing conversational style, combining maturity with child-like innocence, the writer’s story-telling skill is indeed griping and enjoyable.”
–MichaelEffiong, Editor, Ovation International Magazine
“I grew up in Igarra, though my parents shielded me from the Kukuruku Hills and experiences shared by the writer, she shares a firsthand experience and depicts moments in a vivid way.”
–Barrister Nora Sanya, author of Warm Embrace and Maima’s Conquest.
“This amazing body of work is an emotional roller-coaster encapsulating the joys and sorrows of growing up in a serene and picturesque small Nigerian town. The bravery and sheer honesty of the author is easily translated to the reader. I give the book Kukuruku Girl -Tales of my Childhood, two thumbs up.”
–Babatunde Ajobo, Editor-in-Chief, Socialgist.com.