"One by one, Baba Segi greeted them. From the eldest to the youngest, he called their names: Segi and Akin, a daughter before a son, from his first wife; Funmi, Afolake and Motun, three girls born eleven months apart and stunningly alike, from the second; Ade and Kole- two sons proudly ejected by Iya Ade, the third wife. Baba Segi looked into the faces of the older children and tweaked the cheeks of the younger. For the fleeting moment it took for him to mouth the first letter and grin on the last, he made each child feel special. He looked only at them and they relished these moments.
Then he paused at the arch as he always did and turned to his wives. With a flirtatious hint in his tone, he would call them like he hadn’t set eyes on them in three decades. ‘Iya Segi. Iya Funmi. Iya Ade. Bolanle.’ Each woman defined by her first child. All except Bolanle who was just plain Bolanle, iya to none."
- You can read the excerpt in full on Lola Shoneyin's new website & browse through the writer's large picture gallery. More of her writings are available on the site, plus links to her blog & publishing house.
- Image taken @ the Waterloo Gallery, London - on 6 May 2006 - by MW.