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What a Next of Kin!


Publication Year: 2010

This psycho-anthropological and socio-cultural novel logically and succinctly x-rays the foundations and raison d'Ítre of patriarchy through the implied questions - Is wealth the basis of patriarchy? Have women any role in the system? And how far can a patriarch protect his lineage from alien blood? The extremely wealthy father of eight daughters protagonist Ndi, says yes, to the first question; no, to the second; and in the third questions he says, through dogged pursuance of looking for a male heir by any means; but his lone son whom he unknowingly begot in a remote village in his early life and whom he accidentally stumbled upon and adopted as his heir in his odyssey of looking for a male heir through a series of marriages, says no, to the first question; yes, to the second and to the third question, he says fate is the umpire; and succeeds in convincing his father that he is right.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Chapter One

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pp. 1-6

As usual in the evening Mr. Ndi sat in his veranda singing one of his lachrymose songs that made him sigh and sigh until he went to bed in disgust. That day he turned and saw his eldest daughter enter the house with a shopping bag. She had done the last shopping before...

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Chapter Two

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pp. 7-10

Ndi left Fai Nchotu with a throbbing headache. Time and again he mumbled that all divinations go cripple. He wondered why a divination that was going on so well got an unexpected twist – a faulty and sour turn towards the end. He put two and two together and at...

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Chapter Three

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pp. 11-16

His first daughter had been married for three years. She had begotten a son and was expecting another child. It may be another son. Ndi remembered he had urged Mma not to marry. If she were not married her son would be his chop chair. But as the saying goes, breasts...

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Chapter Four

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pp. 17-20

Ndi left Fai Nchotu with a sore heart. He was once again disappointed with his divination. He wondered how on earth a traditional seer would end a divination as if it were a pastor’s sermon. There were parts of it that were quite interesting but most of it was...

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Chapter Five

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pp. 21-24

The reanimation ward staff went to work immediately. They asked the third wife what had happened. She stammered glumly. They abandoned her and followed medical procedure under such circumstances. After two hours of hard work, Ndi regain consciousness....

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Chapter Six

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pp. 25-28

The matron’s advice set Ndi drifting into total chaos. He could neither keep awake without worries nor sleep conveniently. When awake, he was tormented by the thought of several things – his wealth, recovery,...

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Chapter Seven

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pp. 29-34

Shortly after banging the door, two doctors and a throng of nurses brought the woman’s father to the ward. They worked diligently to install all the lifesaving gargets they had brought along, and after ascertaining that every thing was in place, the matron now relaxed and satisfied,...

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Chapter Eight

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pp. 35-38

Ndi’s hair stood on end as he pondered over what the matron had told him. He wondered whether her utterances were not tele-guided; that is, whether she was not under the influence of some weird forces. “Why should she have such a smooth, yet venom-squirting tongue?...

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Chapter Nine

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pp. 39-44

Meanwhile, the matron and Ndi had been playing a cat and mouse game. For about a week, she skipped his room and only assigned nurses to talk to him and help him in case he needed help. That isolation unnerved Ndi. He had wanted a wheelchair and a hospitalhand...

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Chapter Ten

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pp. 45-48

The next day Mula came and wheeled Ndi to the main road where, under a huge tree women sold fruits and assorted things to a wide range of people – patients, visitors and even people from around the hospital quarter....

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Chapter Eleven

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pp. 49-52

Ndi had never had a quiet and smooth night like the one he had after his first encounter with the undertree community. For the first time since he met Fai Nchotu and was told about his first wife’s double nature, and her role in his undoing, he had never had a straight six...

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Chapter Twelve

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pp. 53-62

Madams,” Ndi addressed the women. “I need not be buying the wine in cups. I better buy all the jugs and ask you to help serve the guests as they come in. But I am afraid the wine is not much. You have only four jugs and I believe the turnout would be heavy. How...

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Chapter Thirteen

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pp. 63-66

Ndi had a throbbing headache as he got into his room. What he had thought would be a relaxing pastime, turned out to be very strenuous. He had over-tasked his brains in analyzing the intervention of Mr. Esoka and that had given him a headache. He took two aspirin tablets...

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Chapter Fourteen

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pp. 67-72

Ndi felt relieved when the matron left. The whole day lay before him – an unpredictable day. He doubted whether his encounter with the matron was not the prelude of things to come that day. He thought of the under-tree community. He admired Enanga. If only he...

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Chapter Fifteen

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pp. 73-78

Ndi sat devastated like a person slapped on both jaws. And really, the two encounters that day were like slaps on his jaws. The, matron had blasted him in the morning for untoward language against his daughters and now, Enanga had brought in a loathsome forewarning –...

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Chapter Sixteen

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pp. 79-84

The day was very hard on Ndi. It had left a very painful impression on him. He returned to the ward shaken and thought of mending fences with the matron. But how would he approach her? Would he lie that he had forgiven his wives? Would he say he had moderated his stand...

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Chapter Seventeen

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pp. 85-90

The first three months of Ndi’s return from hospital were uneventful. He recovered steadily, and was proud he was bouncing back. But the forth month was crammed with very demanding activities. The sea ports of Tiko and Victoria were losing grounds to that of Douala....

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Chapter Eighteen

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pp. 91-96

If the birth of a daughter was disappointing to Ndi, his wife’s emerging beauty more than counterpoised it. Debora was emerging as a veritable majestic and stately woman, a stateliness that caught the eye of many a man. With the birth of her child, she seemed to have sloughed...

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Chapter Nineteen

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pp. 97-100

Debo and her mother soon forgot about Ndi and settled onto taking care of the child. For the first time, she had the feel of personal child-caring. She curdled the child, bathed her, and fed her though with canned milk. When the child fell asleep, she proudly lay...

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Chapter Twenty

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pp. 101-106

Ndi remained in hospital for six months under intensive care – six months of premonition, six months of agony, and six months of nondescript feelings. The doctors did the best they could to ease his pains and comfort him but he was not only in physical pains,...

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Chapter Twenty One

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pp. 107-110

Immediately Mr. Ndeb returned from the trip, he went to see Ndi. He met him convivial and sharp. While he was away, Debo had succeeded to convince Ndi to take some juice. He had taken it and some pap and that had reinvigorated him and made him think life was worth living...

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Chapter Twenty Two

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pp. 111-114

Mr. Ndeb incidentally got to Etahku village in Bakossi on a market day, and easily traced Ngweh in the market....

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Chapter Twenty Three

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pp. 115-120

Mr. Ndeb and Ngweh arrived Tiko late in the evening. To avoid bothering Ndi, they spent the night in Mr. Ndeb’s house. In the morning, he went to see Ndi to tell him about the success of the trip and to find out how Debora would react if she saw Ngweh. He...

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Chapter Twenty Four

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pp. 121-126

Ngweh returned to Tiko (three weeks after Debora had abandoned house) to a hilarious welcome by Ndi and Mr. Ndeb. Upon arrival, he declared his willingness to become Ndi’s next of kin. Ndi at once set en marche rapide, the machinery for the de-bastardization of...

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Chapter Twenty Five

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pp. 127-132

Ndi returned to Tiko to a hilarious welcome. Ngweh had organized dance groups to welcome him at the Tiko airport and hired a special open-top car which drove him slowly among the dancing groups dramatizing the triumphant return to his house. When he got to his...

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Chapter Twenty Six

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pp. 133-136

Good, papa you have accused me of several wrongdoings. I would say I might have done things some people do not appreciate. But I believe that the people who told you about the wrongdoings are ignorant of the things I have done and I am doing. Before I go on, I...

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Chapter Twenty Seven

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pp. 137-140

On Tuesday Ndi and Ngweh left for Bamenda. Because of intermittent stops to ease up the old man, they got there late when most of the nearby hotels had been booked. When Ngweh thought of going to a distant hotel, his father suggested that they go and pass...

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Chapter Twenty Eight

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pp. 141-144

The next day, Ndi and Ngweh set off for their return to Tiko. After covering a long distance in silence, Ngweh broke the silence....

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Chapter Twenty Nine

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pp. 145-152

Ngweh stayed three weeks with his mother before returning to Tiko. Upon his return, his father gave him a hearty welcome. He asked him how his mother felt when she saw him, whether she was missing him and how she was doing....

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Chapter Thirty

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pp. 153-156

Ngweh stood up, thanked and embraced his father and said to him, “Papa, you have set fire on my head. I accept to do as you have commissioned me. And I must set to work right away.”...

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956578849
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956616626

Page Count: 166
Publication Year: 2010