‘Who is like God’ mirrors a society through the eyes of a family. Akwaeke challenges the issues of love, identity, sexuality, and religion in this resounding short tale.
Kachi finds himself in a mono-society with a lot of reservations for the unconventional. He grows up in the shadow of a woman who loves her children the way every mother does, but reserves an even greater love for God whom she has not seen. Bound by convention and unvoiced societal vows, she beats the devil out of her son, when she finds him all made up. He wouldn’t shame her, her son wouldn’t be a weirdo, he wouldn’t deviate from what she know is right and what the society approves, she crushes him with the weight of her anger and revulsion.
His father an age long enemy, repulsed by the overly feminine attributes of his son, would remain a figure of terror throughout this tale.
He was still battling with identity and what he actually was, when his sister, Ure, after pushing him off a bike and subsequently breaking his lips in the process, kissed him, he kisses back after a while, discovering emotions, love for his sister, that would further perplex him. He wakes up one day to discover that the love of his life, all grown and beautiful, had moved on from their childish fantasies, and would break his heart, when she watched, unfeeling, unflinching, as their mother drop blow after blow into his body.
Akwaeke Emezi is a Nigerian writer and video artist. Her short story ‘Who is Like God,’ first published by Granta was the Africa regional winner of the 2017 Commonwealth short story prize. Her debut novel ‘Freshwater,’ has since been published.