On Black Sisters’ Street

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After coming across this book a few times on the shelves, I finally decided to pick up ‘On Black Sisters’ Street’ by Chika Unigwe, having read some good reviews. I’m glad I did.

In brief, it is the story of four different women who leave their African homes to pursue the riches of Europe in Antwerp’s red light district.

This was an excellent read. I loved the way Unigwe managed to tell the stories of each woman so colourfully and so vividly. This book was difficult to put down, it flowed from one page to the next. I particularly loved her deliberate and eloquent use of pidgin throughout the book, as illustrated by Dele, the sinister Lagos pimp, boasting of his girls:

“All my gals, I treat good. I dey tell dem before dem comot…Me I be good man. I just try to help poor gals…I get three lined up. Dem full for front, full for back. I swear, dem go drive oyibo mad. Na beauty queen statistics dem get. You sabi as my gals dey dey nah, no gorrilas I dey supply. Na beauty queens. Gals wey carry double Jennifer Lopez nyash.”

Even though ‘On Black Sisters’ Street’ focuses on a very sensitive and unsettling theme, Unigwe is able to depict a highly nuanced narrative of each character, employing humor as she explores the realities and complexities of sex trafficking. A must-read for all lovers of contemporary African writing!

Note: This post was originally published on my tumblr site misswretched.tumblr.com

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~ by misswretched on July 6, 2012.

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