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The Joys of Motherhood

The Joys of Motherhood


by Buchi Emecheta

Nnaife Owulum Timeline and Summary

  • Nnaife sleeps with his new wife, Nnu Ego, and gets her pregnant.
  • Nnaife loses his job with the Meers when they go to fight in the military. Nnaife sits around for months, drinking and playing his guitar, believing a job will fall into his lap.
  • Desperate to prove his manhood and find a job, Nnaife follows a group of white men around the golf course and begs them for a job. They take him on a ship to Fernando Po.
  • Nnaife returns from his job at sea and celebrates the birth of a second son.
  • Nnaife inherits his brother's wives and children when his brother dies. Nnaife gets his brother's youngest wife, Adaku, pregnant almost immediately.
  • Nnaife is conscripted into the military and is gone for four years.
  • Nnaife offers his military salary for Oshia's schooling.
  • Disappointed that Adaku has become a lady of the night, Nnaife goes home to Ibuza to assert his marital rights with his elder brother's senior wife. He gets her pregnant and returns home with another wife, sixteen-year-old Okpo.
  • Nnaife is angered that Oshia wants to continue schooling and doesn't understand his responsibility to provide for his parents.
  • Nnaife is ready to take it easy, to drink palm wine with his friends, and wants his children to provide for him in his old age.
  • Nnaife begins to slide downhill.
  • When Kehinde runs away with a Yoruba man, Nnaife takes a cutlass and attacks the family during the night. He wounds one young man and is imprisoned for five years.
  • He has so much contempt for Nnu Ego that he never reconciles with her after he is released from prison.
  • He moves back to Ibuza but does not have any contact with Nnu Ego or her family.