Contrary to popular opinion among non-Yorubas and some Nigerians or Africans who does not understand this word, akata does not mean coton picker …moreakata
Contrary to popular opinion among non-Yorubas and some Nigerians or Africans who does not understand this word, akata does not mean coton picker or slave and it is not derogatory.
It means a cat that doesn't live at home like a wild non domesticated cat, this is used to reference mostly African Americans as they are considered Africans by all Africans but the fact that they don't live in Africa make them akata while those of us who live at home can be considered as Ologbo (cat).
It is no different from an African American calling his buddies "cat" , it is just that the Yorubas recognize the fact that this is a cat that isn't at home.
I am Yoruba who also studied Yoruba in high school and have a better understanding of this word than any none Yoruba or Yoruba who have never studied Yoruba as a language.
It is also another word used to identify Africans who have visited America.
On a recent visit back to Nigeria, a friend was asked about the Iraq war and he directed the question to his friend another Nigerian who was visiting home from America.
" why are you asking me that?, ask the akata here , he can answer it"
The Nigerian have also become an akata because he no longer lives at home.
This is a Yoruba word and only a Yoruba can truly know what it means, for more information search online for Yoruba dictionary, then email the Yorubas listed on the contact page for meaning of akata and they may be able to help you further.
by Waheed ALABEDE March 13, 2007(less)
Our main character is Sunny, a twelve-year-old girl born in the U.S. but recently moved to her parents’ homeland of Nigeria. Sunny stands out in more ways than one – she’s albino, she’s a prodigy at soccer, and she’s teased at school for being an akata (literally a ‘wild animal’) because she i ...more
Sunny was born in New York, but recently moved back to her homeland (Aba, Nigeria) and that transition has not been easy.
We embrace those things that make us unique or odd. For only in these things can we locate and then develop our most individual abilities.
She's bullied for her "American-ness", her weirdness and above all, for her skin, she's an albino African American.
All Sunny wants is to do what other, normal, twelve-year-olds can do - play soccer in the sun, laugh with a bun ...more
What is really compelling about Nnedi Okorafor's Akata Witch wasn't the plot (which is solid), but the sense that you were reading about a totally different magical world which exists alongside a reality which is equally unfamiliar (in Nigeria). Okorafor draws from Nigerian folk beliefs and rituals, and lets us into this world little by little as our protago ...more
Okorafor's, Akata Witch, is an absolute treat for any YA, or MG Reader, who loves magic training or competition tropes.
I was blown away by how invested I became in this story. The lore, the action and the relationships were all beautifully done.
Sunny, a 12-year old albino girl, who recently moved from New York City to Aba, Nigeria, has a difficult time fitting in due to her albinism.
When people look at her, they seem to immediately pass judgement because she looks differ ...more
I listened to this on audio and it was so immersive. This was a unique magic system based in Nigerian folklore. Our MC was raised in America but has lived in Nigeria for years. This story explores themes of ethnicity and race, belonging, ancestry, and sexism. This book did struggle with some pacing issues and the characters not always feeling as young as they were supposed to be. But overall, I enjoyed this story and world, and I plan to ...more
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I loved AKATA WITCH so much. It was so different and yet it also shares so many similarities to the dark academia fantasy books I love. I guess with a young adult book about magical children, comparisons to Harry Potter are inevitable, but this reminded me more of VITA NOSTRA, a dark work of speculative fantasy penned by a Ukrainian husband and wife duo, where magic is intensely philosophical and transforms you physically and mentally th ...more
It shouldn't have felt milder. Objectively, there were child mutilations and a serial murderer on the loose. And there wasn't some gigantic castle with enchantments up to protect the students. So theoretically, if I were one of these four kids, I'd be creaming my pants.
Brushing that aside, the setting is deeply fascinating to me, with magics very tied to the place and cu ...more
In terms of setting, this book is fantastic: it's interesting, different and a nice change from the super-Euro default setting of most urban fantasy novels. The world-building, although we're not shown much outside of the character's immediate area, is fantastic and gives a good impression of what the glo ...more
Pros: Love that the story is set in Africa, with African and African American main characters, as well as an albino. Also, it goes the Percy Jackson route of explaining that what we call "learning disabilities" like ADD and dyslexia, are just bi-products of their uniqueness as magicians. The world building is fantastic. We often see magic from a European point of view and it was really cool to see this fresh take.
Cons: When I was told that ...more
I really enjoyed the setting (Nigeria) and use of African culture and magic, but it really suffers from being too formulaic and derivative - it takes a huge number of its plot points from Harry Potter. Don't get me wrong, I loved Harry Potter, but I don't think this one did its own thing nearly enough.
For instance, the Leopard (wizard) kids took a magic train ...more
So What’s It About? (from Goodreads)
"Akata Witch transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, twelve-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and thus, incredibly sensitive to the sun. All Sunny wants to do is be able to play football and get through another day of school without being bullied. But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged in ...more
If you like books about magic, particularly teens finding out they have special abilities, learning to use them, and building a community with others like them, this is the book for you. Added to those well-loved tropes is a new landscape with new traditions and rules. Setting it in Nigeria, with Igbo people b ...more
This was House Salt's July book club read. Check out our live show here.
Things that worked: I went on a whole journey with the fact that this is usually compared to Harry Potter. On the one hand, I hate that we overuse HP as a comp title, especially for fantasy written by non-white authors. On the other hand, there were a lot of times that while reading this reminded me of Harry Potter. And because I'm writing this is 2020, when lots of people are looking to replace those books in some ...more
THIS WAS SOOO GOOD!!!
Honestly I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this up, but it didn't take me long to realize what a gem I had stumbled upon.
Okay so Sunny is an albino girl, of 12-ish, and she gets a glimpse of what is to happen in her world, but she isn't all the way sure of what she saw in the flames that night (not a spoiler, it's in the prologue). Normally she is reduced to name calling, being left out, picked on all because, kids are cruel, and albinism is not looked ...more
Okay. Let's discuss the elephant in the room. Akata Witch has been nicknamed the African (Nigerian) Harry Potter. While there are some influences, overall this story respects the cultural magic realism hailing from Nigeria and other African countries. Hate to break this truth to some readers, but J.K. Rowling doesn't hold the copyright to magical realism in books, particularly when you see cultural aspects she nicked for her stories. But, we'll save ...more
First in the Akata Witch series
"Lies are a thing of the physical world. They can't exist in the spirit world."
Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born in America. She is both Nigerian and American. An outsider who belongs. Sunny is different from her family in more ways than one. She’s albino, but she has also seen the end of the world in the flame of a candle. She’s a free agent— a Leopard Person who is not from a family of Leopard People. She has no knowl...more
It's set in Nigeria, and bounces back and forth between what seems like a smallish country village and a larger village set in the jungle. It's both lush and gritty. You get a sense of the dust in the air, the heat, the plant and insect life. The characters are unique, their voices believable. Sunny especially, I was i ...more
What I personally love best about the novel is how well it plays on the confusion of identities that affect so many Nigerians, especially those who've split time between Nigeria and the U.S. or Europe as children. I certainly remember returning from America to Nigeria at the age of ten, after seven years abroad, and encountering hostility and ridicule as an outsider, feeling as if I didn't really belong on any of the three continents I'd calle...more
I am in love with this story.
It felt kind of Harry Potter-ish, if Harry was a girl and the story was set in Nigeria. The whole thing with b ...more
Aside from anything else, this book does a great job delving into questions of identity. Although this is a typical theme for YA stories, it is also one that seems particularly important here. Sunny is confronted with understanding herself from many sides: her place as an American born N ...more
— Alison Dohe ...more
When I first finished this, my gut reaction was to give it 4 stars. I enjoyed seeing Sunny learn about magic and herself as she's thrust into this high-stakes world of Leopard people and dangerous foes. I liked that this magical world is quite dangerous and the adults of this world don't try to coddle the children. I thought how magic manifested in each Leopard person was really interesting because it always had to do with some perceived fault which turned out to be one of t ...more
Nnedi Okorafor creates a magical world where you follow a group of kids that form a strong friendship. And slowly you get to learn the magical culture of Nigeria. The country has beautiful names. And I loved that she used, I think, Nigerian words to describe things. It ha ...more
There’s something about Nnedi Okorafor’s writing that is extremely engrossing. Even though I wasn’t a massive fan of the previous novel I’ve read by her, Lagoon, I knew I would still continue reading her works because she has the impressive ability of weaving a beautiful story. ‘Akata Witch’ was no different.
I’d seen this readers compare this book to Harry Potter and that made me incredibly queasy at first, but I still took the plunge. And while I definitely saw a lot of imitation, read ...more
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