Of child marriage and love for education
A review of Omavuohrerhe Adanoritsewo’s book, Bruised Roses, by Adewale Oshodi.
OMAVUOHRERHE Adanoritsewo’s book, Bruised Roses, focuses on the dilemma of a young girl, Munachi, who has to choose between her love for education or accept her father’s cultural belief that girls are created for men and sending them to school is a waste of time.
However, Munachi’s mother, who also believes in education and wants to see her daughters thrive, takes it upon herself to sponsor her children, Muna and Chinasa, to school.
Munachi, to reward her mother, and positively change her father’s opinion about education, begins to perform excellently well in her studies, which makes her mother very proud.
Her excellent performance also results in her developing a special relationship with her new English teacher, Aunty Agatha, who finally finds time to visit the family at home.
On the first day Aunty Agatha visits the family, she only meets Mama Munachi and she informs her about the performance of her daughter, and how she will go places if she continues her education.
This, therefore, reinforces the mother’s hope that her daughter will do well in education. The only problem standing in the way of that success, however, is her husband, who is hell-bent on marrying Munachi off as soon as she is 15 years of age.
However, when Papa Munachi finally asks that his daughter stops school so that she can be introduced to her suitor and then get married, her mother did her best to convince him that she will do better through education than getting married at such a young age.
Despite all her efforts, Papa Munachi doesn’t agree. In fact, during the discussion, Munachi had eavesdropped what they were discussing and had told her teacher, Aunty Agatha, who then takes it upon herself to come and discuss it with her father.
However, Aunty Agatha’s visit to Papa Munachi on a Sunday evening did little to convince him.
He even lashed the young lady by asking why she is yet to get married herself.
Following that encounter with Aunty Agatha, Papa Munachi becomes physically abusive to both his wife and daughter as he hit them at the slightest opportunity.
When the time finally comes for Munachi to be introduced to her suitor, she discovered the supposed suitor is an elderly man who is also a traditional priest.
She is so shocked that her father didn’t even consider that she attends church and does not practise the traditional faith.
Another thing of concern is that some of the children of the priest are also in her school, so after the introduction, she realises that to save herself from a life of misery, she must abscond from home.
She, however, drops Aunty Agatha’s address for her mother and younger sister before tiptoeing out of the house under the cover of darkness.
At Aunty Agatha’s place, they are to leave for the city in two days, but the following day, she is surprised to find her mother and sister at Aunty Agatha’s place. Her mother’s face is swollen, which indicates she had been beaten by her husband.
Munachi finally learns that her mother revolted against her husband’s abusive behaviour, and they asked if they can join in the trip to the city, to which Aunty Agatha agreed.
The book is definitely for children and it makes the reader understand the value of education and the extent Munachi went to ensure she acquired it, even to the extent of going against her father’s order for her to marry an elderly man.
While this book is recommended for children, book lovers can also read it for pleasure.
The author has a Diploma in Business Education from the Delta State University and a Bachelors degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin.
She is passionate about creative writing and expresses her voice through the art.
The book, Bruised Roses, was inspired by her interest and love for the African girl-child and the stereotypes she has to navigate to thrive.
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