“Growing My Hair Again” Chika Unigwe

Growing My Hair Again is a story by Chika Unigwe that describes a young woman, Nneke’s, struggle with her abusive husband who has passed away.

Throughout the story we are constantly reminded of her husband Okpala’s “busy hands.” Until she further explained in very little detail what the busy hands actually symbolized, I felt a little confused. One moment where we are made aware of what is going on is when she states, “I saw flashes of lightning as Okpala pummeled me. And when he dragged me naked to the bed, all I could see was this huge darkness that started to consume me.” What Okpala is doing to Nneke becomes very apparent throughout  this entire scene of their wedding, but this quote stuck out to me most.

After reading this story, I do believe that Nneke is a moral woman. I think a lot of people have their own definition of what is means to be a “moral person” or to have morals but, in my own personal opinion she is. When it comes to domestic violence, sexual assault etc., there is no reason to blame the victim. It all goes back to the old phrase, “you have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes before you’re so quick to judge.” Imagine being in Nneke’s position, someone who most likely is stronger or more powerful than you has this strange control over you and throws themselves on you and does horrible things. Scary, right?

After a while, I think the victims become so frightened of their perpetrators they don’t want to do anything that might upset them because they are afraid of what they might to do them. It’s sad but it is reality. I believe that in Nneke and Okpala’s relationship he forced her into making people believe they were in a happy and “normal” relationship which was not the case.

For putting herself through all of this I believe Nneke was a moral woman, because sadly she didn’t have much control or was to frightened to take control of what was happening to her.


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