FACELESS BY AMMA DARKO
Faceless is a strong engaging book of a society of indigenous yet classic women living in Ghana. It is a tragic-comedy of women and girls who live with the forces of dogma and illiteracy in an effort to be accepted as members of the society. The book simply reports rape, poor health, social behavior, effects of no education, poverty, mental pain and the disorder of the street people living in Ghana.
The story began with a problem, rape and ended with a resolution of just one of the problems, lack of education. It also ends with lessons of hope for the silent and poor and promise of a just and lawful society. It enlightens the reader of the reality of children bred from the streets. The startling beginning definitely would preoccupy the reader’s mind for a long time.
The main characters, Kabria and Fofo are smart women born with strength of character to survive whatever situations they find themselves in. The story depicts the psychological state of the women of West Africa who believes life without a man or no male presence in one’s home is a taboo.
Kabria who happens to be my favorite character is a woman that understands her environment and she uses it to get what she needs. She knows that although life may throw you stones, you can clean your wounds and move on to achieving your aims. She is a typical Mother Hen, (Mother Hubbard in my books) that is always available to assist and guide you.
Kabria’s character literally jumped at me, reminding me to keep reading to find out what happens next in the story. The most hilarious and engaging scene was her first meeting with Fofo, the smart street girl who pretended to be a male thief. All I could think of was an Indian movie’s Intermission which leads to the other part of the story. The character I could not relate with personally was the street Lord, Poison because I couldn’t understand how a street Lord would try to rape a child to send a warning to the family even though he can send his men to give that warning. Posion did not seem real because he didn’t follow the psychological pattern of Street Lords which we all watch at the cinemas, though I must admit I do not have a degree in psychology.
I couldn’t help but shed tears at the climax, when Fofo confronted her mother, Maa Tsuru with all the pent up tension in her heart. I would definitely recommend this book to all young and old generational readers so they dream and envision the consequences of not abolishing the trend of street children. We need to take up the responsibility of sending children to school and allow children be children. Cheers to the writer, Amma Darko.