Elizabeth Allua Vaah
Maame (Mother) - Short Stories
In Aakonu, a small village on the coast of Ghana, life is a constant tussle between the reality of the mundane and the superstitions presided over by the local priestess. In this setup, girls in their puberty can only look forward to marriage—often to men old enough to be their fathers and already with other wives.
Ahu, a young widow of eighteen, has no choice but to marry an older relative. But she refuses to have more children and returns to Aakonu. Overcoming all odds, she sets up a village eatery and raises her children, educating them all and finally sending the eldest girl, Bomo, to university. Her rebellion and success are an inspiration for the generation of girls growing up, to reach out beyond the limits imposed upon them by ancient tradition. Through these beautifully told, lyrical stories about herself, her daughter Bomo, the beautiful but tragic Ebela, and the childless Aso, and others, Ahu introduces us to her community, and the beliefs and customs that keep its families together but in the end also stifle its girls’ futures.