BY ALI NAQVI – Art can transcend cultural, national, political, geographical, and ideological boundaries. In my view, social media is also doing the same. We can now interact with people irrespective of our caste, creed, and color. Recently I met a writer, Kemi Esho, in one of my Facebook groups. After a brief conversation, I came to know that she was a fiction writer and lived in Nigeria. Being an avid reader of fiction, I started reading her novella ‘Like Christ Loved’. The novella was set in the background of domestic violence in Nigerian society.
Domestic violence is one of the major social problems in the developing and underdeveloped countries of Asia and Africa. Thousands of women in Pakistan die every day due to incidents of domestic violence and abuse. The situation is not any different in Nigeria. As I looked at the stats, I was shaken by the gruesome reality of women suffering under unjust violence and torture. The story of ‘Like Christ Loved’ starts with a dysfunctional family. The plot revolves around Favour and David, the two protagonists whose stories run parallel till they meet in the latter half of the story.
Domestic violence is a crime that is committed not just against an individual but also a family rather a generation. It produces psychologically crippled human beings who tend either to repeat the crime perpetrated against them or simply resign to their ill-fated life becoming a useless member of the society. Kemi Esho has shown hope in the face of hopelessness and adversaries. The story in the end is a triumph of love, forgiveness, and compassion.
Kemi Esho’s novella tackles the issue of domestic violence and women’s rights abuse in a truly romantic and idealistic way. The solution to the problem of domestic violence must also be sought in education, law-making, and social justice. Crime, violence, injustice, and hatred are found in societies that are ripe with ignorance and where there is little or no education.
Kemi Esho is a person who believes in love. She is of the view that love and kindness are the best tools to make this world a better place. Apart from fiction writing she also blogs at Home Talks which is her own blog. She is also a public speaker with a vision to change mindsets through dialogue and healthy debate.
We need writers like Kemi who have the strength to challenge society with a mission to purge it of all its ills and evils. Domestic violence is a big problem but most of the time the bigger the problem the simpler the solution. Things will change if we just start with the simple rule; live and let live.