Published: June 2017 by Paperworth Books
Purchase on Instagram from @paperworthbooks or via this link Paperworthbooks/Authentic Mama
Publisher’s Blurb: Paulina Omoregbe aka Iye Baby rules the night life of Nimbe town from her beer parlour with her magic touch and society connections. In spite of the constant dramas from fighting wives and jealous friends, she has succeeded in creating a good life for herself as a socialite and the President of the Imose Sisters Association of Accomplished and Distinguished Ladies. Her life is however thrown into commotion when a business deal goes bad, ushering her on to a downward spiral of confusion, disappointment and disaster. Can she overcome these challenges as she once did and create a new and better life for herself? This is a hilarious satire chronicling the lives of local mistresses and their hustle. This book will make you laugh and shake your head at the ridiculous reality of some people.
The Author: Olunosen Louisa Ibhaze was born and raised in Nigeria. She holds B.Sc in Sociology and Anthropology from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Anambra State. She has an MSc in Medical Sociology from the Royal Holloway University of London and another MSc in Globalization and Development from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London. Her writing is influenced by her spirituality, women’s experiences and her passion for her local cultures and tradition. Some of her earlier publications have appeared on the World Pulse Project, Naija Stories and the Voices Project, She enjoys travelling and photography.
My Thoughts: Authentic Mama was quick, funny read for me and another one from Paperworth Publishers. The story is about Paulina popularly known as ‘Iye Baby’ who has moved up the social ladder in Nimbe town as the owner of the prestigious “Love your Neighbor Bar and Beer Parlor” and the President of the “Imose Sisters Association of Distinguished and Accomplished Ladies”. A single mother of two girls who was thrown out of her matrimonial home has found her “way” in the world and sees herself as a success even if some in Nimbe town may disagree. A turn of events occurs after her longtime friendship with her bestfriend is put to a test and an opportunity to show off her status and connections at her daughter’s wedding is truncated with unexpected chaos leading to a downward spiral and total loss of almost everything she has worked hard for. Iye baby’s redemption comes unexpected, from her past and she is given a chance to start all over again.
I love happy endings and this did it for me. Although I know that most Iye Babys’ don’t have happy endings. I loved the way the writer was able to develop each character to the point that you really felt like you knew them. My favorite character would be Iye Baby (of course) and my least favorite characters were “Sweet Banana” and “Promise” for obvious reasons. This story throws some light on the hardships a lot of women face when they suddenly face situations of separation or divorce with no income to fall back on. The choices some are forced to make (though not acceptable to many) is a present reality. This therefore, drives home the importance of educating the girl-child or at least giving them the opportunity to learn a trade which they can fall back on. If you are looking for a quick witty read, then this is your book.