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The Joys of Motherhood

The Joys of Motherhood


by Buchi Emecheta

Oshiaju Timeline and Summary

  • Oshia is in and out of school, since his mother can't always pay the school fees.
  • Oshia tears up the paper money his parents were fighting over. He believes that if he makes the money into more pieces, it will beget more money.
  • Oshia hides some mice in his father's guitar. Later that night, when the guitar plays music, his parents think it's supernatural and consult a medicine man. But Oshia knows it's just the mice, and he learns to regard the local medicine men as frauds since they believed it was an evil spirit playing the guitar.
  • Oshia goes to an expensive high school. He tells his mother he won't imitate the wealthy students who go there, but he soon assumes their attitude.
  • Furthermore, Oshia believes that the twelve pounds a month he would earn upon graduation (compared to the twenty pounds a year his father makes) is insufficient to help his family.
  • Instead of fulfilling his obligations as the eldest son, he goes to America to attend university, claiming he can help his family when he's done with his education.
  • Oshia does not return to Lagos and does not help his family.
  • Oshia returns for his mother's funeral. He borrows money to throw her a lavish funeral, and it takes him three years to pay off the money he borrowed.