Letters to my sisters written by Fatmata Conteth -Book Appreciation week!

The novel Letters to my sisters took me on an emotional journey and I felt sorry for N’damba. She chose to take her own life so that she could save her younger siblings and generations to come. N’damba chose to be the sacrificial lamb and she wanted her sisters to be free. I will discuss some of the themes or ideas from Letters to my sisters.

Death
It refers to the end of one’s life. N’damba goes on to describe how her family members will react when they receive the news of her death. Her mother will wail and no one will be able to console her. This is because when reality sinks in ,one will realize that you they will be unable to see their loved one. Some people will never be able to process their grief and in some cases people will struggle to accept the fact that their loved one is dead. One can ask their Maker why something tragic had to happen and they begin to believe that it is was a punishment.

N’damba goes onto to mention that her father will not cry even though he is sad. Baba was sad because he had lost his daughter and the breadwinner of the family since N’damba was a medical doctor. Baba was hurt because a parent should never bury his child.

Intuma, one of N’damba’s sibling would sing and weep because she had lost her elder sister. Intuma had lost someone she looked up , someone she adored and loved her. Intuma would cry because she would realize that she has lost someone who had motivated to follow her dreams and she could not believe that her sister had died. Although it is hard to believe , N’damba’s sisters would finally accept that it is the will of Allah the greatest that their sister had to die.

The boys would cry because they would remember how kind N’damba was .The boys will always recall of the good times when their sister used to shower them with gifts.

Men are not allowed to cry

In many African societies boys are made to believe that sheding a tear is a sign of weakness and it makes one become lesser of a man. Many men have bottled their pain and anger inside . This has resulted in some men they have struggling to bear the burden. Some men have used their women as the punching bags and this is because they were brought up in a society were sheding a tear was seen as shameful. Even though N’damba’s father was hurt because had lost his daughter he did not shed a tear.

Suicide
Suicide happens to be unacceptable in many societies because one would have decided to take their life voluntarily. This is why N’damba’s writes about how her father will hurry and bury her before it is too late.

Religion
Can imprison and liberate a lot of people. In N’damba’s case her family members believe that N’damba’ s death was the will of Allah. This is because one’s Maker happens to have the final judgment in every situation. Baba will also find comfort in Allah during this difficult time which could be through prayer. On the other hand N’damba’s mother will believe that Allah has punishment her and this is why her daughter had to die.

Human dignity

Ya-Yanoh had lost her dignity because she had an ulcer that had been incurable for sometime and people in her village had accused her of being a witch . Ya -Yanoh had become an outcast in her village since she was unable to bear children too. N ‘damba had managed to restore Ya-Yanoh’s dignity since she had managed to cure her ulcer. Ya-Yanoh was going to be deeply hurt after receiving the news of N’damba’s death . In the event that Ya-Yanoh told everyone about how N’damba had managed to cure her ulcer ,how would people react when they realized that the person who had cured Ya-Yanoh had decided to take her own life ?

N’damba was in a male dominated industry but she had managed to excel and bring nothing but joy and relief in her patient’s lives.

Nkodo who was N’damba’s brother had two children out of wedlock and Baba had accepted Nkodo’s children as his grandchildren. If one of the girls had a child out wedlock Baba would definitely dishonour her . Ajara had an induced abortion and almost lost her life since having a child out of wedlock according to her father brought dishonour to his family. This shows that Baba favoured the boy child more than the girl child.

N’damba decided to take her own life because she could not accept being a prisoner in another home since her father wanted her to marry off to an older man . She longed to be able to make decisions on her own without anyone judging her and anyone questioning her decisions. All she wanted was to be free .

“I hope that you feel that life is worth living not something that you have to endure.”

Published by tcndangana

The girl with an overactive imagination

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