From the Author
I have been asked the question 'why did you write this book' many times, and I often reflect upon the answer, when I am seated alone. I have come up with this:
Earlier this year, 234 girls were kidnapped in Nigeria because they were in school. They suffered because they wanted to exercise the fundamental right to education, which is among the UN Millennium Goals.
The world heard that unfortunate story but sadly, this is not the first time that women have suffered from such a predicament, as a result of bad laws, religious beliefs and customs. The issue is global.
More than half of the world's population is female, thus it is almost repugnant for those cultures to assume that female education is not important to the global economy, and to treat women as second class citizens who must be treated as mere property with a price tag known as a bride price.
This is not a new conversation; it is merely one that struck me from childhood, growing up with my semi-literate grandmother whose life choices would have been different, had she been exposed to a better education and guidance.
For the sake of these women including my grandmother whose name is Yefon, I had to tell this story, with the hope that more women all over the world would find courage to stand strong when the society attempts to suppress them. It is also a tale that reminds us to listen to that inner voice, and follow through until our dreams become a reality.
I believed telling this story would also honor the women who struggle with daily issues like child marriage, female illiteracy, discrimination and albinism.
I also knew that the world would want to hear the story of the pre-colonial African woman, told by an authentic young African author, from a fresh point of view, for a change.
I came up with unique characters, who each had compelling a journey that the world would love to discover.
Even though the story is set in an unfamiliar world, I knew it would be universal because every woman worldwide can read it, empathize with it and understand the story, as well as the lessons of courage and fearlessness, that must be learnt and applied in our various homes, schools and offices.
In my times of hardship, I remembered that the prospect of a twenty four year old African female author would greatly inspire literacy amongst other young people all over the world, including the women whom this story is written for, especially because as a child growing up in Cameroon, there were no books written by black female authors studied in the school curriculum. The only female author I studied in school was Charlotte Bronte. On the other hand, we studied several male (African) authors, including the Ngugi's, Kenjo Jumbam, Chinua Achebe, Dipoko and many others.
So to answer this question directly, I wrote this book for three types of people: The Nelson Mandela's of the community, who see a problem and fix it: to inspire them to continue their good work; those who are experiencing any type of suppression, to induce them to leave that situation, and lastly for any one who is interested in Africa- our story and our culture... to paint beautiful pictures in your mind and tell my summary of Africa in one line ''Order in Chaos''.
To conclude, I thank you immensely for taking the time to read my letter and I hope that this book brings you as much joy as it brought me, sharing this unique message from my ancestors with the world.
I wish you the best, and I thank you for your great patience.
Sahndra Fon Dufe