Chapter Two Summary of “Efuru”

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“Adizua no longer worked as hard as before” (p. 20). Adizua is now feeling too lazy from always being with Efuru, who has refused to farm and is becoming lazy.

Efuru questions Adizua for coming home late lately, and Adizua says farming is tiring. Efuru advises him to change his occupation to yam trading, and he succumbs.

When the market becomes bad too, they shift to trading in fish and crab. They amass a fortune from this new business, even though it is full of risks.

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They could be robbed. There could be a typhoon, which could result in the canoe capsizing. And where they get the goods from is very far away. It is on the Great River, and it takes 3 days to travel there.

Aside from the risks involved, they make enough profit in four trips—”one hundred percent” profit. It’s this time they decide to pay Efuru’s dowry (after a year of being together). Efuru’s family is however happy to see their “prodigal daughter” back home. 

On the night of proper introduction, Ochia, Mazi, and Ogbukea are the elders who put peaceful water in Nwashike’s mouth. They plead for his forgiveness of Adizua, and it’s accepted without much ado. Efuru’s dowry is finally paid. 

After a year, she is unable to conceive. This bothers her so much that she begins recounting her mother’s story, whether or not it is repeating itself. Her mother found it difficult to bear a pregnancy, and when she eventually did, it was a single child, which turned out to be Efuru.

Efuru seeks help from her father, and she’s taken to a dibia (spiritual father). The dibia, having seen father and daughter from afar, admonishes Efuru to stay behind because she’s menstruating and that could make his power ineffective.

They go back home and come back five days later. Dibia reveals Efuru’s problem without being told, which astonishes both of them. Efuru is nonetheless told to offer a sacrifice to the ancestors every Afo day, and she will bear a child in the next year, unfailingly.

She has to go get uziza, alligator pepper, and kola from the market to make her sacrifice with. The dibia collects one head of tobacco as a charge. 

After a while, when there are no changes, Adizua’s mother begins to feel despair. Three months later, Efuru too begins panicking. The Owu Festival is approaching, and nothing has changed. She advises him to go for a young girl, but Adizua refuses, saying, “Not yet, my wife. The Owu Festival has still not come. Let us wait till it comes” (p. 26).

On the Owu festival, Ajanupu, Efuru’s mother-in-law’s sister, whose son is always faced with “convulsions,” informs her sister that Efuru is now pregnant from the look of things. Ajanupu says, “She smelled it.” Adizua’s mother gets home, and she confirms the pregnancy.

Ajanupu visits them one day and sees Efuru eating Ogbono soup, a forbidden soup for a pregnant woman. She yells at her sister. Before she leaves, she tells them all the dos and don’ts of being pregnant. 

After a long, stressful, and partying day, Efuru delivers a bouncing baby girl with the help of Ajanupu. Efuru never believed it. Efuru and Adizua go back to Dibia to show gratitude. While going, Efuru suggests they buy two heads of tobacco, kola nuts, a fowl, and some yams along with them. 

The dibia sees something strange when breaking the kola nuts. He only sees two pieces, and it’s a bad omen. He tells them to be calm but should come back on Eke day.

Unfortunately, on Nkwo day, a day to the appointed day, Efuru hears that the dibia died in his sleep.

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