note, this is an unedited effort
NOVELLA: IFEOMA OKOYE, TEACHES ENGLISH AT THE INSTITUTION OF MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY IN ENUGU. IN THIS WORK, IFEOMA OKOYE TAKES ON THE WAY TO RESOLVED ISSUES OF THE ILLEGITIMATE CHILD. HIS WORK ALSO INCLUDE BEHIND THE CLOUDS (DRUMBEAT 58), MEN WITHOUT EARS (DRUMBEAT 79), AND A NUMBER ONE BOOKS FOR CHILDREM.
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: FIRST PUBLISHED 1992
REPRINTED 1995, 2000, 2OO2 BY LONGMAN NIGERIA PLC
WITH ISBN NUMBER 978 139 634 2
Chimere was a beautiful undergraduate studying English at the University, who was believed to have been an illegitimate child by her friends and also being jilted by the first man she concur with after they have been with intimacy of which she thought might probably lead to a marriage, but got disappointed along the way. she finds out that she has become a pariah because of the mystery surrounding the identity of her father, and she had always been discourage by her mother to search for her father which she was confused either to accede her mother’s explanation for the absence of a father in her and let sleeping dogs lie, or should she at the risk of spiting on her mother, proceed in her resolve to unstitch the mystery? She was humiliated by the caliber of people she associate herself with was so disgusting to her person. Though, Chimere, is a very caring child, who’s goal and objective was to make people around her happy and also makes herself happy as well. She has never in any way had the intention of hurting her mother who single handedly taking her responsibility from tender age to the University level, but whenever the bell of an illegitimate child wrung through her ears, she felt so bad and tried all she could to pressurize her mother so as to get at least little information about her father so as to know how to go about it, but find out that she always put her mother in an ensuing conditions any time she asked her mother about a road to locate her father. But with the determination and courage the poor girl had, and also initiated lots of patience to her life style, she automatically locate her father even though she got disappointed by her father at first place when he rejected her again, but when things turned upside down for him, he hastily wrote to her daughter for apology and acceptance.
The novel was full of betrayed, hatred, love, suspense and religion, agent, law, honest, rejection and neglecting. Chimere was betrayed by Jide who she felt is her own kind man, she can stay with forever, but as the time went on, she find out that men are equal as Jide betrayed her after a trip to Enugu to visit his parents. Jide, an undergraduate student of the University decided to visit his parent in Enugu which he requested for the company of Chimere to make the trip a success and they both acceded, then on their way to Enugu, she was intimidate about the kind of person Jide’s parent are, deep in thought and asked herself what if Jide’s parents reject me what will happen? But Jide made her comfortable as he made known to her that his parents cannot choose a friend for him. On their arrival at jide’s parents, Chimere was so surprised with the pleasant attitude of Jide’s father who was a quiet-looking man, and his graying hair had an attraction of its own. He was about fifty five years, he’s a top civil servant at Enugu, Jide’s mother was a prominent distributor who also owned a fleet of Taxi-cabs. Subsequently, he left for village as usual, and Jide was sent on an errand by his mother which gave her the opportunity to interview Chimere and got some valuable information about Chimere’s parents. Shortly after that, Jide came in and his mother told him secretly about the kind of person Chimere was, without wasting time Jide with angry tone command Chimere to leave of which they both left Enugu and told her it is over. He has never in anyway wish to betrayed her but the sketch information he got from his mother forced him to do so and hooked up with another lady in the University. Contrarily, she find love in Weluche who is was a graduate of Nnamidi Azikwe University, he assisted Chimere in the University with his Umbrella when it was rain, though she wasn’t in love with him but with time she felt for her after their meeting at brewery where Weluche works and where Chimere got employed for vacation job. At the first meeting of Chimere with Azuka, who was a secretary to the Managing Director of the brewery, the Azuka hate Chimere to the extent that she made it so tough for Chimere to see the M.D even though when she has been employed to the organization. Azuka was jealous of her relationship with Weluche who was a newly employed engineer of the organization, while Ezim was suspecting her to have been in love with Weluche at their first meeting at the brewery.
The idiom which was used in the novel was understandable while some does. There are lots of igbo language which was used without stating the meaning. Such as oku-enu, Okongwu, udala seed and so on. Also some literary words that were used in the novel were not understandable. Some were straight forward.
Chimere was the hero of the novel. In the University, Chimere had two roommates who were there for her to support her whenever she is not feeling too okay and also gives her world of advised, one is Lola and Stella. Sola was lola’s boyfriend and he hails from benin city. Jide was the first love of Chimere who jilted and humiliated her before Weluche later won her heart and reconciled the ensuing brouhaha in between Chimere’s mother Fidelia Ato and her Father Mr. Enuma Eze and later changed his name to Ebie Enuma. Kachi was a friend of Chimere who leaves in another hostel who cheered up Chimere so as to do the Okigbo assignment when she wasn’t herself after her trip to Enugu with Jide. Ebo was the little girl who assisted Mrs Ato for house work when Chimere was at the university. Sewah was a Ghanaian student who was in the English department with her and accommodated her when she wanted to travel for the search of her father. Dada and Ure were the kids that assisted Chimere to carry her bags when she returned from school. Mama Iju was their Landlady, Mr Etem was the man who asked Chimere out before he can get her job at the brewery, Azuka was secretary to the MD, Mr Uba was the man that MD asked to take Chimere to Mr. Okosi’s office who she was working under. Uche and Ezim her colleague at the organization, Oyeka was the man they met at the cafeteria where they shared pleasantry after their lunch on the first day she resume work. Sam was Ezim’s boyfriend who had come to see her several times in the office
The story centralizes on Enugu, Onitcha, Aba, Benin city where Lola’s boyfriend sola hails from, Lagos where Chimere’s parents met and Markurdi where her father resides. There were uses of flash back, dialogue, uses of dream/ trace in the story. This really assisted Chimere in locatin her father.
The novel narrated that no matter how you have been humiliated, with consistency, focuses, patience and determination, one will easily achieve his/her aims and objectivities. It resolved the issue of the illegitimate child.
The novel would have been titled the Illegitimate Child rather than Chimere.