Chika Unigwe — Saving Agu’s Wife

Photograph by Flicker user @miggslives

“So Yaradua goes to Israel on an official trip. He gets sick there and dies. His entourage is told, ‘Well, you’ve got two options. Your president was a Muslim and so must be buried quickly. We can bury him here at no cost to you since he was our guest, or you can take his corpse home but that would cost a lot. Thousands and thousands of dollars.’ Yaradua’s men beg for a few hours to think about it. Five hours later they come back to the Israelis. ‘Well?’ the Israeli president asks. The head of the entourage clears his throat and says, ‘Your offer is very generous but we’ll turn it down. Thing is we all know the story of the famous someone, the son of a carpenter, who was buried here and who rose after three days. We don’t want to take that risk!'”

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Chika Unigwe is a Nigerian-born author who writes in English and Dutch. Her debut novel, De Feniks, was published in 2005 by Meulenhoff and Manteau (of Amsterdam and Antwerp) and was shortlisted for the Vrouw en Kultuur Award for female writers. She is also the author of two children’s books published by Macmillan London. Her latest novel is On Black Sisters Street (Jonathan Cape, UK 2009; Random House NY, 2011).




8 thoughts on “Chika Unigwe — Saving Agu’s Wife

  1. Wow!! Dis is really good. I like the descriptive tone and the way U can feel the pain and disappointment of Agu’s wife.
    Lovely story, I do hope it morphs into a book.
    Thumbs up Chika

  2. The narrator’s poignant voice got me. It contrasted with the zingy opener and candidly framed the sadness of “what this place has done to them,” something the men avoid by joking about and laughing loudly, perhaps in a bid to drown out their own unhappiness. Thumbs up, Chika.

  3. Sad, sad story. My heart bleeds for all the broken dreams Nigerians have both at home and abroad. It wasn’t always this bad in the homeland but it’s the reality today. So apt! Great job, Chika.

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