One would have thought that being raised and brought up in a foreign society like Peckham should exclude you from the overwhelming societal pressures to get married. But the reverse is the case in Lizzie Blackburn’s book ‘Yinka, Where is your huzband?
Over a series of chapters divided into months, we follow Yinka, a spinster in her late twenties with a good job as an investment banker- we’ll stick with what her mum calls the job. Lizzie however breaks the character arc many novel stereotypes have. Contrary to many female or male protagonists who are having issues with settling down, Yinka actually wants to get married and is tired of being single. Not as if the pressure from her one thousand and one aunties is helping one bit. That, plus an unexpected job loss disguised as redundancy and an undergoing emotional transformation to be the type of lady men would want to marry.
By mistake, she sets herself up and has to attend her cousin’s wedding with her fiance. The only problem is that the fiance is nonexisting. So she gets into a frenzied game plan to avoid brewing embarrassment.
And there’s the men in her lives who are supposed to be the ‘huzbands‘ too. Femi, her ex who decides after three years of a serious relationship to move to a different country only to show up with his fiancee who is having all the bodily attributes Yinka is lacking. There is Derek, a guy who is interested in her but she has kept him in the brother zone. Then there’s Alex, the church guy one of her aunties introduces her to, who simply returns the favour she deals Derek keeping her in the friend zone bit shows interest in her best friend upon one single sighting. The fact that Yinla decides to remain celibate until marriage, in line with her Christian faith makes it difficult for some men to stay as well. And the list goes on.
However, Yinka comes to discover that she has to settle in her own skin and be content with herself even if there is no suitor in view. In the process, she repairs other relationships, understands herself better, and even solves her job issue.
Exploring themes of personal identity, friendship, grief, fractured relationships, and faith, ‘Yinka, Where is your huzband?’ is a melting pot of the high-class Afro-European society, Nigerian parties, and the foreign Nigerian religious scene.
Written with simple diction and interesting graphics that lift you from chapter to chapter, ‘Yinka, Where is your huzband?‘ is a great read for just about anyone.
You’ll laugh, you may shed a few tears but you’ll fall in love with Yinka, her family, Donovan, and most of all Lizzie Blackburn’s creative masterpiece.
Does Yinka get a husband? We’ll never know till the last pages of the book and that’s a highlight for me, really.