Ugbabe, Isaac Oine. “Water Thy Shadow”
Transnational Literature, Vol 13, Issue 1, Oct 2021
Special Edition: Follow the Sun
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An extract from the novel

Water Thy Shadow
Isaac Oine Ugbabe

From the confines of a North London bedsit, Boka embarks on a journey to find a job and escape his mother’s hold on the future; the same grip she held on his late brother’s life. As we follow him down the narrow streets of London and wander across his expansive memories of Nigeria and India, the tragic story of his family begins to emerge, as does that of their houseboy, a foreigner in his own home. Boka's mother's harsh introduction to Nigeria collides with the houseboy's desperate attempt to claim his country as his own, resulting in a perspective only Boka can claim. Boka’s path takes its final turn in a violent crime, the destiny he’d hoped to escape. But as his mother’s tortuous journey from India to Nigeria meets the flat rays of a setting sun, Boka’s left wondering if rather than being trapped in her shadow, he’s simply filling the space she inspired.

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Isaac Oine Ugbabe

Isaac Oine Ugbabe is a novelist of Nigerian and Indian parentage, who was born in Scotland, raised in Nigeria, and attended university in the United States and England. He spent several years in the UK pursuing a career in football and completing his masters in International Business, but now writes from Boston, Massachusetts, where he lives with his three daughters.