The Prologue of Buchi Emecheta’s The Slave Girl delves on how Ibuza was founded and its structural composition. Ibuza town is said to have been founded by a young Prince Umejei from Isu, an Igbo town in the eastern part of Nigeria. The prince had been sent on exile from Isu for accidentally killing his opponent in a friendly wrestling match.
His father, the Obi of Isu, has no choice but to comply with the law of the land and do the needful. He, however, gives him a gourd of medicine to guard him, noting that the prince should settle down where the gourd drops.
Thus, Prince Umejei goes on to found Ibuza town with his mother, sisters, and others in his entourage at a spot known as Omeze where he had a fall.
Ibuza is flanked by River Oboshi and Atakpo stream. Ibuza means ‘Igbos living in the middle of the road.’ Her neighbours who had been there before her had to come to terms with her presence through battles and her rapid growth. The Ibuza people are said to love fighting more than food.
The town has a popular market known as Eke market surrounded by a cluster of houses known as the village of Umuisagba. Ibuza has such nine clusters.
In this section, the novelist sets the stage for the story she is poised to tell that happened in the early twentieth century.