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Nnedi Okorafor’s “Akata Witch”: Magical Education

Sunny’s magical journey is closely related to the Harry Potter books’ plot and its character regarding the heroes and the action. However, the author excellently opens up about African ideas of magic, creating an engaging plot story, and educating on a rich cultural heritage; the following essay will discuss the storyline of Nnedi Okorafor’s book Akata Witch in relation to the J.K. Rowlings’s bestseller Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

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The book’s first distinctive feature is the use of juju magic, which is significantly different from the Anglo-American ideas of ‘magic.’ Juju initially sees objects for witchcraft manifestation and is the primary religious belief in the Nigerian region. On the other side, Anglo-Saxon magic ideas are mostly based on medical practices and used to heal people, which is the primary difference. The author successfully elaborates Juju’s history into the book through Sunny’s exploration of her own culture, making it the primary magic method.

Being identified as a “Free Spirit,” an alternative to a Muggle if Rowling’s book. Sunny naturally stumbles across a series of hardships due to her heritage. Nevertheless, the desire to defeat Otokoto encourages the protagonist to build up her powers and develop her magical abilities (REVIEW: Akata Witch, 2017). However, her experience in magical education did not start as smoothly as expected. An insult from a teacher for the refusal to fog her classmates gives Sunny an offensive nickname, “Akata witch” (“Akata Witch” Is on TIME’s List of the 100 Best Fantasy Books, 2020). Nevertheless, the girl shows superb magical abilities and a dedication led by purpose.

Leopard Knocks play a significant role in Sunny’s life, as the city finally gives her a feeling of belonging, allowing her to be herself through her character’s unique features. The town may be compared to Hogwarts, as a place, which accepts the protagonists, finding genuine friends. Thus, some teachers seem harsh, but others give a girl a lot of useful magical knowledge, which subsequently helps her fight Otokoto. The teacher characters display a close resemblance with the Harry Potter teachers like Hagrid, Dumbledore.

The book reflects a stunning African magic world, which simultaneously engages with its plot and educates on African heritage. A close resemblance to the Harry Potter books attracts readers and brings back the magical energy. Outlining Nigerian folk beliefs and rituals instead of relying on Western fantasy novels’ predictable tropes is what makes the book so unique.

References

Akata Witch” Is on TIME’s List of the 100 Best Fantasy Books. (2020). Time. Web.

REVIEW: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. (2017). Dear Author.

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StudyCorgi. "Nnedi Okorafor’s “Akata Witch”: Magical Education." March 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/nnedi-okorafors-akata-witch-magical-education/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Nnedi Okorafor’s “Akata Witch”: Magical Education." March 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/nnedi-okorafors-akata-witch-magical-education/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Nnedi Okorafor’s “Akata Witch”: Magical Education'. 14 March.

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