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BOOK/STORY REVIEW: Adaeze by Zelda Ossai (EBSU GST)

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Adaeze EBSU Story Book

Adaeze by Zelda Ossai

So I came across this masterpiece written by Zelda Ossai and I was forced to glanced through each lines with care based on excerpt constructed at the back…

The masterpiece titled “Adaeze” (..fit for the king) was amongst the compulsory textbooks for Ebonyi State University (EBSU) 100 level students under GST courses, GST 101 – Use of English Language, I guess.

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Title: Adaeze
Writer/Author: Zelda Ossai
Date of Publication/Copyright: 2011
Total Page(s): 111
Total Act: Seven (7)
Story Page: Starts from page no. 5, and ends at page no. 111.
Reviewed by: Okoro Daniel O.

The book “Adaeze” is a traditional story written by playwrighter, Zelda Ossai which speaks about the Nigerian tradition, Igbo culture to be precised.

The excerpt of the story reads;

Before she was born, her mother was told she was going to be a queen, even though they were not royalty.

Despite the fact that the family wanted a male child, the mother was happy to have her.

When she came she was beautiful as a queen, and her mother began to believe that the journey to royalty may not be as hard as she has believed.

But if became hard. Even harder. And almost impossible


Trust me, from the excerpt, one can easily predict what the story was all about but can’t easily decipher how it ends.

The story brews a lot of plot twist and suspensions. However, it has few backlashes and skips without readers’ callback which somehow got some part of the story complicated.

Some Key Characters From “Adaeze” & Few Things To Know/Meaning;

– Ezelagbo: Wife of Adigba, mother of 6 children including Adaeze and Nduga (first child).
Adigba: Ezelagbo’s husband. Father of children, friend of Akantu.
Akantu: Friend of Adigba, has three wives including Akwaeze making four.
Uchua: Akantu’s younger brother whom boycotted Akantu to claim Akwaeze.
Oyidi: Akantu’s first/senior wife
Nne Utalu: Ezelagbo’s friend/neighbor
Nwanyi’ Uzo: Adibgbo’s mother/Ezelagbo’s mother in-law.
Nduga: Ezelagbo’s first daughter/child.
Okwue: Akantu’s son
Akwaeze: The wife of Akantu’s senior brother whom Uchua went to lay claim on without Akantu’s consent.
– Ndu’isi: Nne Utalu’s first son whom watched soup burnt right under his nose while eating in the kitchen.
Onodo: Adaeze’s first husband whom later became a king.
Eche Aguogwa: Adaeze’s second husband and Egeliga warrior.


Meaning of some Igbo Words Mentioned;

Osaile” means Witness.
Otangele” means Eyeliner.
Ojime” means Midwife.
Ogede Oji” means Black Plantain.

Summary Of Adaeze

In a community, there has a woman called Ezelagbo married to a man called Adigba. Ezelagbo’s first baby was a female, she got pregnant again, and this time they (herself and Adigba, including the whole neighborhood and friends) was high on hope to have a male child.

Unfortunately, the baby was a girl, and was a destined child to be a queen. She was very beautiful, and was named Adaeze.

After the second baby(Adaeze), her mother-in-law wasn’t happy that the baby wasn’t a male. Her son(Adigba), however made a deal with her marry another wife if Ezelagbo fails to concede a male child during the next pregnancy. (this deal was made just to make her mother happy – he doesn’t have true intention of doing such, he’s contented with Ezelagbo).

On the other side, there were three brothers whom had a feud over a woman.
The lady/woman’s name is/was: Akwaeze.

The senior brother(whom had paid her bride price since she was a baby) died marrying Akwaeze, the youngest brother went behind the rightful brother(Akantu/Akunta) to inherit/marry Akwaeze (according to tradition), and claimed her.

In the process, Akantu (whom already had three wives) took the bull by the horn and reclaimed Akwaeze from Uchua(the youngest brother).

It was later discovered that Akwaeze was pregnant for Uchua and according to the tradition, she must go through some set of rites for cleansing. The punishment was; “her people will pay fine and they will ban her from meeting with any man for FOUR years”.

She however broke the rule and lost her life in the process. It was later discovered that it was Uchua she met with, though she refused to confess before she died.

Ezelagbo later gave birth to 4 more babies and were all males.

Whilst Adaeze has grown bigger, she later had an encounter with a prince whom wanted to marry her. However, it didn’t later work out when the Oracle rejected her for not being the first child.

In-between, she was in love with another guy whose name is Onodo – son of Adigba’s friend.

An abracadabra happened, and Onodo became a king in another land and Adaeze became the queen, she had four kids – one for Onodo, three for someone else. But Adaeze later died.


Left for me, rating from 10, I’d give the writer (Zelda Ossai) 5/10, whilst the story also gets 5/10, too.

Why 5/10 for Zelda? – The book has lots of typographical blunders/errors(words miss-match) which might have been referred to as publication errors. But as a work-owner/writer, it is expected of her to review the book after publication or better still share(as a first hand review) it with other individuals to review anonymously and give feedback before mass-productions. In aspects of Language, I wouldn’t disregard the fact that she translated some parts, but left for me, those ones she didn’t translate got me extremely puzzled. I had to write them out for questions from individuals whom understands which part of Igbo language she used as my Igbo dictionary couldn’t decipher the meaning either.
She also skipped years without giving specifications about the years-past. It’s a great book though, go check it out, guys.

Have you read the book “Adaeze” by Zelda Ossai? What do you think about the book? React in the comment section below, let’s have chats.

Meanwhile, I’ve also prepared some possible questions and answers from this book. Kindly check out Question and Answers on/from “Adaeze” by Zelda Ossai here.

Where can I get this book? Well, so far, from research, seems the soft copy of the book “Adaeze” has not been published online, as it is neither available on any of the online book stores which includes Amazon, eBay, Jumia and others. But can be purchased offline via any of the bookshops around you, or better still visit CAS – EBSU in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Adios! 🙂


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