African writers have been known to tell their stories in their many pieces. Being that the African story is full of colourful cultural displays together with gloomy images of war and slavery; many of our books have danced around these same topics. In Nigeria, the narrative isn’t farfetched. We have books that tell you about the different forms of war, novels with plots that are set in villages miles away to paint the picture of what was, and many non-fiction books that talk about the old Nigeria. However, the narrative cannot stay the same forever. Young people need to tell their stories in ways they best know how to and it starts by reading the right books. We need to read the books that talk about the new Nigeria. Books that define the country we are presently in and not a time of slavery. Here are some books that you should read as a young person or millennial, to know more about the Nigeria that you live in.
- How intelligence kills by Okechukwu Ofili
If there’s anything this book is known for, it is humorous controversy bathed in a lot of truth. The author has been known to stir up the waters and provoke action through unbridled words. This book talks about the Nigeria we live in. One where we talk about our suffering as a thing of pride – wear it ‘as a badge of honour’, in his words; one where our need for ‘respect’ is slowly eating us up; one where our educational system decapitates creativity by making kids ‘dead-head memorizers’, and one where our addiction to Religion has made us dangerously optimistic. This book talks about the many issues we face today and it is a wonderful read. You’ll laugh your hearts out for sure.
- The smart money woman by Arese Ugwu
The reason this book is on this list, is because of how it clearly shows the beautiful parts of Lagos. Generally, this book talks about the financial challenges young people go through and how to manage it. It uses a story of a typical rich Lagos girl and points out the many issues faced by different kinds of young women today. The one that depends on her rich boyfriends for money, the one that spends all her money on a complacent husband, the full housewife, and the oil and gas worker that spends on her family members. What you would also see in this book is how the author talks about the big Nigerian brands and paints Lagos as the Las Vegas of Nigeria. Showing Nigeria as a set of Ankara wearing people that stay in villages is overrated, so I’m really thankful for books like this.
- The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Finally, we have ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’ by renowned author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.’ Being that Chimamanda is one of the major writers of the country as we know it, it is not surprising that one of her award-winning books fall under the list; however, this is probably one of the least expected. This book is a short story collection that tackles 12 different topics on religion, intercountry dilemmas, love, and so much more. Here’s how Penguin house summarizes some of the stories:
“In “A Private Experience,” a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to confront the realities and fears she’s been pushing away. In “Tomorrow is Too Far,” a woman unlocks the devastating secret that surrounds her brother’s death. The young mother at the center of “Imitation” finds her comfortable life in Philadelphia threatened when she learns that her husband has moved his mistress into their Lagos home. And the title story depicts the choking loneliness of a Nigerian girl who moves to an America that turns out to be nothing like the country she expected; though falling in love brings her desires nearly within reach, a death in her homeland forces her to reexamine them.”
If you’re a millennial, these are three books you have to add to your reading list. Which other books do you think millennials should read? Share with us!
COLUMNIST BIO Ejiro Lawretta Egba is a young chartered accountant and writer from Nigeria. She thrives as a ghost writer, a development editor, and a writer for a number of websites and platforms both home and abroad – including the Premier Pan-African media group on African affairs, Face2Face Africa, as well as Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global. An ardent reader in her own right, she reviews books, and peeks into African issues as well as matters of the human psyche on her blog, lawrettawrites.com. She intends to write her own book(s) sometime in the future, amidst the biographies and non-fiction books she currently ghost writes and edits.