Aisha Batu is not a typical housemaid. She is educated, she wears expensive clothes, and her employers Henry and Teju Cole have become her informal, foster parents. But
It's not an old life that's disrupted, it's the way she's living now, in the present day, as the story unfolds.
Show us how she feels by what she does. Stumbles is a good word to convey that she's not doing well. Why does she have to keep the terrible betrayal to herself? That's the part of the story that creates tension. If this is discovered, what bad thing will happen?
But nothing in Aisha's life is that simple anymore... Not only is her return to Gaa Sabi complicated by a positive pregnancy test – but Teju has just been diagnosed with terminal leukemia and with less than three months left to live, specifically requests for Aisha as her end-of-days caregiver. Torn between grief and loyalty, she puts aside her intense fear for the man who has assaulted her and chooses to stay.
Why the everloving hell would she do that?
You have two very separate things in one sentence: "Not only is her return to Gaa Sabi complicated by a positive pregnancy test – but Teju has just been diagnosed with terminal leukemia"
Since Teju is NOT in Gaa Sabi, it doesn't make sense to have it follow the "not only is her return to Gaa Sabbi" clause.
Torn between grief and loyalty,
So you've set this up nicely and now you throw in all this other stuff, and it's so abstract as to be meaningless.
WHEN I WAKE, is a women's fiction complete at 95,000 words. I have included the first chapter
You don't need to say the first chapter is requested. Most agents are pretty familiar with their own submission guidelines.
You're getting closer.
Question, I'm an African, and this novel is African-themed, do I need to query agents who strictly represents African writers or do I generally query agents who represents books in my genre?
This isn't a log line (which I think you intended it to be.) You don't need a log line in a query, and if you did, a good log line is less about description (a young Fulani maid) and more about action.
Aisha Batu is not a typical housemaid. She is educated, she wears expensive clothes, and her employers Henry and Teju Cole
This paragraph is a much more dynamic set up than what you had for a log line. It's specific. It gives us a sense of the characters, and we have an emotional response to what happens. In other words: start with this.
Aisha isn't forced, she chooses. That's the actual strength of the story. You don't need to tell us Teju is Aisha's foster mom again since you introduced her in the preceding paragraph.
Reeling emotionally from the storm is just overwrought writing and really out of place here. Don't be afraid to be plain. Aisha was raped by a man she trusted. We don't need to be told she's reeling; WE are reeling with her.
Reticent is the wrong word here. It's a word that describes a person not a friendship. You might have meant nascent. But, nascent would imply she's just now becoming friends with Teju, and that doesn't feel right. Aishu is choosing to stay with her; surely that means they were friends of long standing.
I also don't understand what any of "risk of losing everything" etc means. She is going to lose Teju. I hope she's kicking Henry to the curb in terms of any kind of filial devotion. What else does she have to lose? Be specific here. Specificity will engage your readers; generalities will not.
WHEN I WAKE, a one sided narrative adult fiction is complete at 95,000 words. I have
I'm not sure what one sided means here.
Unless instructed otherwise, you'll include the pages in the email NOT attach them as a document of any sort.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
You should query every agent who represents commercial fiction, literary fiction or women's fiction. Do not limit yourself to agents who've expressed interest in African stories. As far as I can see here, there is nothing uniquely African in this story. It's much more of a universal story. That it is set in Africa (I assume) is a bonus.
I'm not sure if English is your first or second language. If it's your second, get a native speaker to review this with you to pick out problems like "reticent." If it's your first language, get a good copy editor to help you find problems like "reticent."
Revise with an eye to being very specific about what's at stake for Aisha.