Weaverbird is an anthology, which features stories that are rich in themes easily identifiable to the reader. The fourteen stories cut across race and gender with writers as varied as Ike Oguine, Ayodele Arigbabu, E.C. Osondu, Tade Ipadeola, Tolu Ogunlesi to mention a few. The themes include racism, self-hate, love, homosexuality, fables, and friendship.
In Seafood Pasta, written by Mogbolahan Koya-Oyagbola, we meet Sowande, a Nigerian immigrant in the United States. His is a story about the various stages of adaptations and self-evaluation that he has to go through in order to accept the wave of racism he experiences. His initial enthusiasm and further disillusion is captured poignantly as he contrasts his inter-racial encounters in Nigeria with those in the United States.
“… all his interactions with white people in Nigeria were pleasant and his joyful and innocent beaming smile greeted all comers”
His US experience tells a different story.
“… first was the harsh adaptation to being patronised for being black and having a foreign accent, next was the realisation that when one smiled too broadly in the land of the big blob of a lemon sherbet ball in the sky calling itself the sun, it was a sign of stupidity and simple-mindedness.”
The vast devastation of some parts of the Niger-Delta and its people is seen in How Sergeant Redwood Lost His Penis. Written by Ike Okonta, the story tells of gross killings and the dehumanizing of a people and their eventual payback.
The Prophet and the Market Dwellers by Victor Ehikhamenor and The Bowmaker’s Dream by Tade Ipadeola are fables that aptly portray the heritage of communal story-telling in the Nigerian society.
The Mermaid by Ike Oguine is a triangular love story which went sour. How I Became an Assassin by Tolu Ogunlesi is a story of misdirected zeal without understanding in tackling political corruption. Hair Memories by Khalidah Aderonke Bello is a story most African women would relate with as it captures the never-ending race to make their hair something it isn’t.
A Night So Damp by Uche Peter Umez is a bold move on the part of its author to introduce homosexuality into the Nigerian society. It features a young gay man and the shock his mother receives on discovering where his affections lay. Our First American by E.C. Osondu describes through the eyes of onlookers their impression of a white man. Whether he is what they expect or not is a different matter.
Published in 2008 by Kachifo Nigeria, Weaverbird was compiled in an effort to showcase Nigerian writing in its richness and diversity.