BookWorm Daily Grind: [IN THE CHEST OF A WOMAN]

2 months ago

This book is about a play which was first performed in September 1984. It took more than 20 years before it was published. It is one of the most popular books ever published by a Ghanaian. It has 103 pages and was written by Ghanaian playwright, Efo Kodjo Mawugbe. He was born on 21st April, 1954 in Kumasi, Ghana. He has written over twenty plays and has hundreds of articles. He has won many awards including the British Council International Radio Playwriting Competition in 2009.


In the chest of a woman is a story about a woman who wasn't allowed to ascend to the throne of an Ashanti Kingdom because she is a woman. The throne was given to her junior brother instead and a condition was added by their mother, the queenmother. The condition was that, whoever begot the first male child would have their child ascend to the throne. By this, the woman's male child could come to the throne as well as her brother's son. Her brother quickly married after the death of their mother and she also did same soon after, both hoping to have a male child first.

This book is in 6 legs and I read the first leg yesterday. The first leg is 36 pages. I am a fast reader, and could read it all in a day, but wanted to read it over and over, which I did. I used to read a lot, I've stopped for sometime and I'm starting once again. I plan to finish the book by Friday and hopefully write a review on it. Because it's a play with many characters, I often have to go back to check who was speaking at a particular time. I often confuse the characters but hopefully, I get the names of all the characters as I continue.

The first leg would make you want to finish the book. The story starts with Nana Yaa, Elder sister of King Kwaky Duah playing oware(an abstract strategy board game) with her son when a delegation comes to take her son to be trained to be the next king in the palace. SHe then tells the story of her son, who is a girl. She spoke of how she had to kill several people including her son's father because he couldn't bear keeping the secret. She told Owusu Agyeman, her son about how she challenged the elders to a fight when they rebuked her for wanting to inherit her dying mother.

Owusu was scared of how life would be at the palace without the protection of her mother. Her mother gave him the assurance that she would always be there for him. Her was Owusu, a girl from birth who was living the life of a boy because her mother wanted her to be King. She and her mother would be in serious trouble if it was ever found out that Owusu had been a girl all along. There was no SRS(Sex Reassignment Surgery) available then and she still had her feminine features. What happens in the life of Owusu as she leaves the safety of her home. Let's all wait and see.


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