NATASHA Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda’s debut novel No Be From Hia is a fascinating, wide-ranging tale that traces the lives of two cousins, both of mixed family heritage, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood: one from a man and the other from the distant side of the family.
Maggie Oluwaseun Ayomide and her Zambian mother Stella Kombe live in Lusaka, Zambia, while Bupe Kombe resides in London, United Kingdom together with her parents, Jasmine and Charles Kombe, fondly known in family circles as CJ.
The book, which is divided in three parts, with a prologue at the beginning and an epilogue at the end, is made up of 30 chapters. Written in a back and forth style, the story is narrated by the book’s two main characters, Maggie Oluwaseun Ayomide and Bupe Kombe, in three different locations, except for the period that Bupe comes to live in Lusaka, Zambia, with her aunt Stella and cousin Maggie.
This is a book which has to be read slowly, savoured and devoured for its aesthetic and literary value, rendered all the more engrossing by the engaging narrative style and robust dialogue employed by the author, adding to the overall value of the work.