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A Delectable: A Review of È̥fó̥ Rírò & Other Stories by Iquo DianaAbasi


A Delectable: A Review of È̥fó̥ Rírò & Other Stories by Iquo DianaAbasi

The nineteen stories in Efo Riro explore the ways I would describe feelings with ‘tasty’ as if I can truly taste emotions. Efo Riro is a Nigerian delicacy, rich in vegetables steamed in peppery sauce with a fusion of all sorts of ingredients, delivering different reactions to the taste buds. Iquo Dianaabasi’s characters delivered different emotions, giving me a feel of how Love, Betrayal, and Infatuation taste.

In ‘E – Pals’, one of the stories in Efo Riro’, DianaAbasi writes about cousins; Angelica and Timi, and an e-boyfriend that was not genuine(shh only the readers know that). This story had me thinking about a lot, especially with social media, why we are so careless to the extent of sending personal pictures to strangers who may not have our best interest at heart. I’m not giving away anything but this story is a fave, I loved the friendship between Angelica and Timi, you could taste the love between both cousins in the most playful manner.

In ‘Champions of a blue sky’ Rasheeda’s husband fails to return home after a Champions League semi-final match. In Africa, European football, especially the English Premier League in Nigeria, commands much passion across all age brackets and genders but notably male youth. DianaAbasi captures the mood of a typical European Champions League night. It’s really beautiful! I do not like football but I felt every bit of excitement.

“The buzz in the neighborhood was reminiscent of student riots in times past. There was hardly a corner Rasheeda turned that the football frenzy did not threaten to drown her in a deluge of anger and pain. The stores were filled with football fans, and the electric poles were painted or draped in blue as far as she could see. At the bus stop, boys and young girls were dressed in different Chelsea jerseys.”

Now in all of this excitement, Rasheeda whose husband had gone missing after a match between Chelsea and Barcelona was in anguish, she searched for him, and she mourned him after searching fruitlessly. Eventually, another man shows up and cares for her and her family, what comes next is something I need you to read for yourself.

I still don’t know what happened to Ismail( Rasheeda’s husband) the author left it a mystery.

My favorite story were: Efo Riro this is also the first story to be told, it is a purely comical story of a driver whose love for Efo Riro pulled an April fool in January on him and in his words “block my nose and my belle begin sing anoda hymn, with a heavy drum set and percussion. Na so hot shit overtake me, and I no fit even move.”

I also liked Dreams and Daggers, Yellow Slippers, Two Drops Too Much, Kissed by the Tarmac and My breasts Tell a Story.

My Breasts Tell a Story is a sad story of a mourning mother who had just lost a son after forty-five days, this story made me tear up, it’s so sad. As I have never been pregnant, one would think I’d not relate to this story but I did and I cried.

Just as Kólà Túbòsún writes in the blurb: “In stories that transverse boundaries of language, form, emotions, culture, and geography, Iquo DianaAbasi gives us a peek into the many dynamics of our humanity, with humor and grace.”
Efo Riro was a good read and a very thoughtful gift from my roommate.



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