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The Joys of Motherhood

The Joys of Motherhood


by Buchi Emecheta

Adaku Timeline and Summary

  • Adaku arrives in Lagos as Nnaife's newly inherited wife.
  • (Adaku was the youngest wife of Nnaife's eldest brother. When the brother dies, Nnaife inherits all of his wives and children according to Ibo custom.)
  • She is attractive to Nnaife and quickly becomes pregnant.
  • Adaku and Nnu Ego go on strike. When Nnu Ego spends her money making a luxurious meal for Nnaife in an attempt to make up, Adaku believes that Nnu Ego has secretly struck a deal with Nnaife for more money.
  • When Nnaife is conscripted into the military, Adaku chooses to stay in Lagos while Nnu Ego goes back to Ibuza. Adaku is able to create a thriving business.
  • Adaku is angry when Nnu Ego mistreats one of her relatives. She takes it to the men in the family, who arbitrate the dispute. The men favor Nnu Ego because she is the senior wife, even though she was in the wrong.
  • As a result of this incident, Adaku realizes that she has no power or position in the family, and that she will always be a second-class citizen as the junior wife. She decides to leave to become a prostitute.
  • Nnu Ego sees Adaku later and Adaku is a thriving businesswoman, independent, and making enough money to educate her daughters.
  • Nnu Ego realizes that though she would never have the courage to do with Adaku did, she is somewhat jealous.
  • Adaku comes to support Nnu Ego through Nnaife's trial.