Introducing- HUNTING TEARS, A Novel by Sharon Onyinyechukwu Okey-Onyema

Sharon Onyinyechukwu Okey-Onyema is a budding writer whose passion for the literary arts is deep and remarkable. She started writing short stories at the age of eight; some of which have been published in magazines. Hunting Tears is her first published novel.
Sharon is an avid reader and an advocate of Peace in the contemporary world. Her vision is to be a renowned agent for change through her writings. She has the following works to her credit: More Wives More Trouble and Other Stories, Peter and Friends, Jungle War, Rape of Mother Nature, Miss Kamson, Joshua and Strange Man, Hopeless, Just One Week, Ade and the Parrot, Intelligent Children, Behind the Bars, The Cause of My Tears, Adventures of Bernard, At your closet, Destiny, Destiny, and Father.

Desperate and resolute for a child, the protagonist, Nneoma runs to the shrine of Aka, the mouthpiece of the gods for a solution to her barrenness. Meanwhile, Gozie , her son, learns early in life to have little or no expectations from home, so he is driven to seek financial independence even when it involved crime, and illegal intrigues. In the midst of all the turmoil, he mistakenly kills his mother in a state of drunken stupor. Meanwhile, Nneoma dies with her secret: her visit to Aka shrine. Her ghost’s recurring appearance to her son sets him on a search for healing and answers.

The narrative is compelling and full of promises. 

The inspiration to write the book was a flow that came naturally. At the age of eight, I already had the urge to write stories. When I write short stories my parents would gather them together and keep. I remember when my family friends would tell me to write short stories and they would pay me. Though they never actually paid but there was this joy I derived from writing the stories. I also remember bargaining with my siblings to wash the plates for me while I tell them stories. What those moments did was that they tasked me to stretch my imagination and creative ability. As I grew up my parents explained the opportunities in my potential if I develop it.

Hunting Tears examines the causes and the consequences of child labor. When parents are unable to provide for the needs of their children, the children are sent out into the street to fend for themselves. They will be exposed to undue labor and crime. The biblical undertones set the novel as a good tool for moral direction of young people and families in Africa. The setting in different ethnic zones depicts a Nigeria of unity where every man has the liberty to dwell and trade in any part of the country irrespective of his/her state of origin. Desperation as a negative attitude to life is depicted in the novel. In the world, women out of desperation to be mothers go to any extent such as kidnapping other people’s children. People go to any level just to get rich. We have a very recent case in Nigeria of Evans the millionaire kidnapper who will disguise as a driver to kidnap people and demand a huge sum of money from their family members.

Love is a strong theme that the novel exposes. Gozie has his grandparents to run to. Pastor Emeka welcomes him irrespective of the truth they know about him. In each of these people, Gozie found reason to live again.

Hunting Tears upholds African culture where there is communal existence. A child born into a less privileged home is taken up by another family and not left on the street. Chiekpu a child born into poor Okafor’s family is taken up by Gozie’s grandparents and not left to suffer.
There is deployment of idioms, Igbo language, proverbs as well as Pidgin-English as a replica of the African society.