Letter From The Editor - Issue 65 - October 2018

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The Story Behind the Stories
  IGMS Authors Share How Their Stories Came to Be
October 2018

Nwanyi Enwe Eze by Jonathan Edelstein

The colonial-era uprising that the British called the Aba Riots and the Igbo call the Ogu Umunwanyi--the Women's War--is one of those historical events that really ought to be a movie. In 1929, women in southeastern Nigeria, galvanized by rumors that the British colonial authorities planned to impose a head tax on women in addition to the one already imposed on households, came out to protest in a manner that they had historically used against their own chiefs. The uprising quickly became about much more than taxes, and the British, who had never taken much account of colonial women, were taken aback by its force. Although the British ultimately put the revolt down with many dead, reforms afterward gave the women much of what they wanted and returned considerable self-government to the Igbo communities.

Mary Ejiofor, the hero of this tale, has previously appeared in IGMS ("Oba Oyinbo," issue 59), and this is her origin and coming-of-age story. She is fictional, and of course the historical Women's War didn't feature working sorcery, but at least one attempted use of magic in this story is drawn from primary historical sources, as are certain other events.

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