Chick literature is making epic waves in Nigeria, and no, it’s not because we prefer “flouncy” reads to what is commonly referred to as more “solid” literature. Sometimes, we just like to rip our wigs off and relax with an uncomplicated novel featuring love, long-long weaves, and lots of gossip. A million and one authors have jumped on this train, often sprinkling their work with slices from chick lit fantasies, but very few have been able to successfully corner a market like Tunde Leye with his book, “Rekiya’s Tale”. It first appeared as a series on his blog, tlsplace, but has since made its way to being an OkadaBooks bestseller.
The chief character, Rekiya, is a top secretary who finds herself as the prize in a bet between her boss and his friend, Ochuko. The plan was for Ochuko to get a date with her, but things spiral out of control, and she gets pregnant. Sauve, sexy Ochuko will have none of that and he tells her to get rid of the child. His reason? He is married, a piece of information he chose not to reveal while sexing Rekiya on exotic trips around the world. Rekiya refuses to go along with this plan and confides in her friend, Farida, who helps her put together a grand plan to ruin both men.
If I didn’t know Leye was a guy, I’d have sworn the book was written by a lady. He expertly captures female mannerisms and makes the book easy to read by using simple, everyday slangs spoken by a lot of Nigerian women. In telling this story, Leye uses a first person voice that often reads like the voice-over on a reality show. I like this narrative method as it is conversational and helps draw the audience in.
Of course, even with how simple this book seems, there are solid lessons to be learned. One, get a P.I/Google to check out every guy you want to shack up with. You don’t want a crook like Ochuko milking you of life. Two, always have an amazing friend like Farida who’d move mountains for you. Learn to be an amazing friend, too. Three, learn to take control of your life even when it seems like everything’s crumbling. Let’s hope Mr. Leye graces us with more stories like Rekiya’s Tale.
Chiamaka Onu-Okpara is a freelance book editor with experience editing fiction, creative non-fiction, and academic documents (Social Sciences and Humanities). She also writes fiction that has been published in Ake Review, Apex Magazine, and The Kalahari Review amongst other places. Her first poem is forthcoming in Strange Horizons.