African Jewry: x-raying the writings of Jackson Chukwudi Dandy
Much like other forms of the writing business, literature is beginning to face the possibilities of new genres.
With the advent of Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism – terms coined by the Nigerian-American professor and science fiction writer, Nnedi Okorafor, new faces have been introduced to the Nigerian literary scene.
Among them is Jackson Chukwudi Dandy, who writes as Dandy Jackson Chukwudi.
Dandy from Abia State is a writer of inventive, speculative and fantasy novels. He is best known for the novels “Tales of Eremma: Child of Prophecy” (2020) and “S-HUNTER” (2021).
Dandy’s style of fiction draws heavily from the oral tradition of the Igbo people. He incorporates folk tales into his stories, exhibiting community values in both content and storytelling form.
For example, the tale about the bringer of the wind from the East in ‘Tales of Eremma’ emphasizes the interdependence of masculine and feminine. It’s a classic tale in which the heroine has been tasked with reclaiming Omoba’s glory.
Although Eremma likes to hear her mother telling the story, the princesses don’t like it as it is proof of her imbalance.
In ‘Tales of Eremma’ and his later novels, Dandy incorporated African myths and legends into loosely constructed prose epics that improvise on traditional themes found in African folk tales.
A prevalent theme in Dandy’s novels is the intersection of African tradition (particularly of the Igbo varieties) and modernity, particularly as embodied by European colonialism.
For example, the village of Omoba in ‘Tales of Eremma’ is violently shaken by internal divisions when white Christian missionaries arrive.
The gender roles of men and women, as well as society’s understandings of related concepts, are frequent themes in Dandy’s writing. He could be categorized as a liberal feminist author, in response to what many call the uncritical portrayal of traditionally patriarchal Igbo society, where mostly masculine men take many wives and women are regularly beaten.
Dandy’s vivid presentation of the world of Igbo mythology and religion, and his understanding of literary form made him a hit with British, African and American audiences.
Valerie Jackson (sometimes known by her code name NK) is a human with latent superpowers – and the main heroine of “S-HUNTER”.
Before her powers developed, Valerie lost her father when she was young. She is then raised by her mother when her father dies in a battle against vampires (speaking of European colonization) and grows less than many young people in the real world – she retreats into a world of blades and battles to face his grief.
In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, Dandy wanted to create a social media app for African writers called InstaNovella.
InstaNovella co-founders Dandy Jackson Chukwudi and Awaji-Itimikpang Abadi previously led a community of writers on Facebook that reportedly reached 2.1 million members.
But as things may seem, InstaNovella fell short of expectations.
- Nwogu is an art enthusiast.
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