AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING:
Much is known about the cruel system of slavery that blighted the African continent for almost 200 years. But in the Slave Girl, Emecheta turns our attention to the distinctive complexion of existing and cultural networks of slavery in Africa at the turn of the century. With her mastery of language and a gift for narrative, she brings to life the story of Objeta, an ill- fated ibuza girl sold to a wealthy aunt by her own brother. The book unapologetically illuminates the harsh treatment dealt to vulnerable girls sold into domestic slavery. Simultaneously, it presents rare and unique moments of the humanity of both perpetrators and victims. Nevertheless, throughout the book we are constantly reminded of the woman’s lack of worth. The slave girl in my view stands as a compelling indictment of cultural attitudes towards women. Emecheta brings to her narrative of the African village an Achebesque essence yet maintains her colourful and vivid descriptive allure – a staple of Igbo tradition of story telling.