Nana Yaw Sarpong Reviews “Small Changes Within the Dynamic” by Martin Egblewogbe

Today’s Guest Post is written by Nana Yaw Sarpong, a poet and literary activist.  He’s a member of the Writers’ Project of Ghana and produces “Ghana’s foremost Literary Radio Show. He curates news of of literary events at Creative Writing Ghana. His twitter handle is @osarpong.

Here’s his intro to his post:
This week is Ghana Literature Week. An event where Ghanaians are asked to dedicated the week to reading fiction, poetry or short fiction once it is by a Ghanaian. It is hosted by Kinna Likimani. Here, I write a short review of “Small Changes Within The Dynamic”, a short story written by Martin Egblewogbe and contained in his collection Mr Happy And The Hammer of God & Other Stories. (The collection was first self-published by the author in 2008 and republished in 2012 by Ayebia Clarke Publishing Limited. It’s available on Amazon)


Starting with what seemed at first as a frivolous fixation on a boot, the reader is pulled along slowly with the narrative. Quite frequently, we are tossed to and fro – the boot still being the ne plus ultra of it all. Then we are teased with the thought of a camera recording and sex and the intention of a man to arrest a situation for confirmation.

This is how Martin weaves the story of an accomplished man who is married to Fidelia, a cheating wife who is shameless about her escapades, and yet triumphant in her illicit affairs. She has sex with other men in her marital home. And her husband, the narrator, becomes aware of her affairs and puts in place a video camera to capture all on tape. He does. He watches the lurid tape and contemplates murdering his wife Fidelia.

“Now is the moment for strength. I am going to kill her.”

In an instance, one could say that the man – fearing the ridicule of a society that sees him as successful, but would jump on an opportunity like vultures should he divorce Fidelia – decides to end things his way than face public ridicule of failure in marriage. This is telling of an all too familiar condition where individual suffer needlessly for the collective. The confused state of the man is shown in the ambivalence of the society: that the man married a whore, a woman less of himself; yet, the man cannot divorce Fidelia because that same society would ridicule him.

The narrative is slow but not painful. And the deliberateness of it can be exciting. When Fidelia comes home with Mike, her sex partner, the man says to himself:

“The cloying sense of her perfume makes me think of a funeral parlour… I will kill two people instead of one. I have become evil:…”

The end is fit for a Hollywood film adaptation. Fidelia looks at herself on the screen, engaging in sex with Mike. She adulates in it. She tells her husband: “That was an invasion of my privacy”. The man finally decides to kill them both. But Mike, he has an automatic pistol pointing at the man

“That cylinder on the snout is a silencer. I look at the boot.”



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