“… I am filled with hope that a new and urgent generation of Nigerians is emerging. An impassioned group of people who have been set on fire by the determinate and incessant demand for change. A people who will not be silenced.”
To define Nigeria is to tell a half-truth. Many have tried, but most have concluded that it is impossible to capture the true scope and significance of Africa’s most populous nation through words or images.
And yet here, through personal essays from 24 of its writers, a more accurate picture comes into view: one that details the realities and contradictions of patriotism, examines the role of class and privilege in Nigerian society, juxtaposes inherited tradition with the diasporic experience and explores the power of storytelling and its intrinsic link to Nigeria’s history.
Within these pages, acclaimed and award-winning writers share memories and experiences of Nigeria that can be found nowhere else, bringing to the fore a country whose influence can be found everywhere.
Nigeria is more than scams and con artists claiming to be Nigerian royalty asking you to help by wiring funds. Nigerians are making their mark in the fields of performing arts, creative arts, fashion, human rights activism, sports, medicine, and media, to name a few. As I’ve noticed in the last two years, many Nigerian writers are being recognised globally in the world of publishing. This is my third book by a Nigerian author and I have a few more lined up on my TBR.
This anthology, bringing together 24 established and emerging writers from Nigeria, explores the country through their pen. The authors reflect on the Nigeria they know and remember. They relive the memories significant to their Nigerian heritage and share the experiences that bind them to their culture and traditions.
The essays tell a powerful story of a country pulled in opposite directions. They weave deeply personal experiences of living in Nigeria, visiting Nigeria, or meeting other Nigerians away from home.
I am sharing an excerpt from Abi Daré’s essay titled You Are Not Going Back:
And as the wind of change blows, the tide is beginning to turn. In it, I see a future where the patriarchy pyramid is dismantled, where accountability is demanded and given by those in leadership positions, where there is equitable distribution of wealth, and where our voices are not allowed to be silenced by threats of citizen arrest and violence. I look forward to constant and stable electricity, to swift justice for perpetrators of crime and corruption, to affordable education for all. This wind, fuelled by the power of social media, is quickly becoming a tornado. It is whipping up a storm and sweeping across the nation, and bringing along with it, the possibility of a revived and reconstructed Nigeria, one which a mother, full of the promise of a bright future, can someday tell her child with confidence : ‘This is home now. You are not going back.’
I recommend this beautiful, yet complex portrait of a country relatively unknown to outsiders. Profound, hardhitting, these essays will tear at your heart for the joy and pain behind them.
Book 44 of 2021.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2.
Available on Amazon.
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