My Mother’s Voice


Each week, we pick a short fiction piece from our Fairlight Shorts archives to feature as our story of the week. This week, we’ve chosen a story about courage by Ogunrinde Oyelola Adeola.

Ogunrinde Oyelola Adeola is a journalist and writer based in Lagos, Nigeria. She writes to distract herself from the political happenings in Nigeria. She started writing as a child, which inspired her to study journalism at university. She has published in several journals in Nigeria, and also had a short story published in Scarlet Leaf Review in Canada.

‘My Mother’s Voice’ follows a girl hoping her mother will speak up for herself.



The first time I realised Maami had her own voice, could make her own decisions without the help of my father, was the day Bami brought home a new wife, and Maami kicked against it with such vehemence that surprised me.

This happened a day after Aunty Suliya came from Iseyin to seek Bami’s financial assistance to start all over again having suffered devastating flood on her farmland. I had sat down that night in our sitting room to watch NTA news as Aunty Suliya narrated her loss to my parents.

Egbon mi, you will have to help me. The frequent rainfalls in recent years have been a surprise to many farmers in Iseyin, not that we don’t pray for rain but not a rainfall that would bring floods which would destroy our farmland.’

Coincidentally, the newscaster was talking about the recent flood in Iseyin, how it swept away houses and destroyed lots of farmlands. The NTA newscaster attributed the flash flood to climate change.

After my parents had listened to Aunty Suliya, telling the story of how she had found it difficult to feed her husband and children after the devastating flood swept her farmland, it was Bami that spoke.

‘I will give you some money to start all over again.’

Aunty Suliya knelt down in front of her elder brother.

‘Ese Egbon mi, it will always be well with you.’

The next morning, Aunty Suliya was beaming with smiles as she left our house, having being settled with some money to restart her farming.

That same evening, Bami surprised Maami as he brought another woman home for a wife.

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