In this first collection, Halima Sekula has declared a confident entry to the broad terrace of new Nigerian poetry. The poet's sensitivity to the human condition is only equalled by her deep concern for the familiar tribulations of the African woman. She explores such issues as surrogate marriage, polygamy, child labour, poverty, hypocrisy, betrayal, divorce, and wife inheritance with such assurance of metaphors and images; by giving voice to these precarious narratives of lives in society, the poet joins a handful of new writers who have dared to speak on behalf of others.
Tongues of Flame reads in part like Okot p'Bitek's Song of Lawino without its fatal lamentation. Mature, frontal and clearheaded, Sekula's brilliant imagination shines through.
By Remi Raji
Halimat Sekula currently lectures at the Department of English, Nasarawa State University, Keffi. Her poems and short stories have been published in various national and international journals, anthologies and newspapers like Nigerian Newsday, Leadership, Poetry from A.B.U., and Penwomanship.