Monday, March 16, 2020

Kikelomo Ultrasheen, by Dare Segun Falowo


(Modern Fantasy) Teenage Kiki lives in a village in modern Nigeria, where she plans to be a hairdresser like her mom, but the god Onidiri marked her at birth and has something much bigger planned for her. (8,676 words; Time: 28m)

"Kikelomo Ultrasheen," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 03-04|20, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2020.142 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is the story of how Kiki grew up in her village, loved her parents and later her boyfriend, how she lost each of them in a different way, fled to Lagos, and found her calling. But it also tells how she returned to her hometown to find her destiny.

Ori is literally “head,” but in Yoruba tradition it’s closer to “soul” or “consciousness” or even “destiny.” A person with a deformed Ori is going to have a hard life, so Kiki’s ability (via Onidiri) to repair defective Ori is something very valuable indeed.

One million naira is a bit less than US$3,000, so her benefactors are very generous, but not insanely so.

Con: The biggest problem with the story is that Kiki has almost no agency. Things happen to her, but she doesn’t make things happen. She has no goals of her own—she’s driven by the actions and needs of others. This makes her a rather weak protagonist.

I know it’s a major theme of the story, but the details of different hairstyles got old. If there’s a connection between the hair styles and the different phases of the story, I couldn’t see it.

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Dare Segun Falowo Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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