In Akata Woman by Nnedi Okorafor, Sunny and her team go to retrieve Udide's ghazal from the House of Power, they see a number of other dangerous items, such as the Black Pages, a book that is a black hole and has the power to end the world.

They also pass some other items, described as "a pair of tiny glass bottles labeled FORMULA 86, a dusty but oddly futuristic-looking tablet, a pair of sandals, and a pile of black stones," all of which Sunny judges to be "potentially lethal."

What are these items? Do they reference anything in Okorafor's past work, West African or world folklore or religion, or secular history?

1 Answer 1


FORMULA 86 is likely a reference to "Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse-Maker" from Roald Dahl's The Witches, mentioned in the table of contents for any version of the book.

Possibly, other items also reference witches, given how the first book in the ''The Nsibidi Script'' series, that ''Akata Woman'' concludes, is called ''Akata Witch''.

  • Good point about the correct tag name for the series.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 22:41

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