In the Silence
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In the Silence

Becoming and Beginning in Power | In The Silence

Visual of a young girl, bald head, hoop earrings, green glow, and an image of a tree overlay her face.
Cover of Remote Control

Note: This book was read in May 2021 and is a belated musing.

From somewhere deep within her soul, a primal part of her gave permission to her unearthly power.

If you’ve come across any of my other musings, it’s not hard to tell that I am a fan of young adult fantasy fiction/futurism/sci-fi, especially that which is based in African cultures, spirituality, and values. I am continuously prioritizing my reading of these books as much as I can and Nnedi Okorafor has been one of my favorite authors in this genre so I had to read Remote Control.

Continually shifting between terrifying and empowering, Fatima soon-known-to-be Sankofa is a young girl with the power, or gift, of death. With an ambition deeply rooted in a past that she is no longer connected to, Sankofa lives a whole new life figuring out her place in this world while holding such power.

It hurt because so much of it was terrible and still it was hers. Regardless.

Sankofa’s journey of embracing this power despite how it was mostly received and the separation it created between her and others is truly commendable. It made me think about the journey we take to become more of ourselves and honor our gifts. A year later after reading this book, I am deep in that journey with the intention of being everything that I am, trying the things I have always wanted to try, and stepping into the fullness of my power.

Then the pain came. This was the moment when Fatima forgot her name. It was a pain that tumbled to her soul. Later she would understand that it wasn’t just a pain. It was a beginning. And this beginning annihilated all that came before it.

Nonetheless, the thing about change and growth is that it isn’t easy. There is pain, discomfort, and deep emotions that has come in this journey that I would have never expected. There are parts of my soul that have been cracked open, explored, and sometimes have had to die but only to make room for a new beginning — to become and begin being all that I am.

“What am I?” she said. But she didn’t really care about that question. No. She was what she was and now after nearly dying, waking up in her own grace, and emerging from the soil, she was better.


favorite quotes:

If you hide forever, you’ll never find anything. And there is one thing you know you want to find. Go and find it, stupid nonsense child.

By this time, with effort, she could purposely call forth her light at very close proximity, enough to take a life. As long as everyone left the building. And in this way, Sankofa was able to give people what they needed and then moved on while they wept and pretended she wasn’t there.

Her story travelled like an ancestor, always ahead of, beside and behind her.

Mysteries are a mystery.

In Sankofa’s years on the road, she’d learned that people were complicated. They wore masks and guises to protect or hide their real selves. They reinvented themselves. They destroyed themselves. They built on themselves. She understood people and their often contradictory ways, but that robocop was not a person.

Death named her Sankofa because by the time the child was of age, Sankofa had the ability to send people back to their past, back to The Essence. Sankofa is The Adopted Daughter of Death. And now she goes from town to town snatching lives, sending them to her adoptive mother. You see her face and you will soon see no more. She looks nine years old because she is petite, but she is actually thirteen.

Also, Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, and associated documentary came to mind in this as well. I highly recommend the read and watch.

To read more of my book-based musings, visit In The Silence.





Welcome to In the Silence, a collection of book-based musings.

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Renée Gaillard

Renée Gaillard

reading + writing things.

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