I have always been an avid reader. I've been told that I read like a person who inhales their food without chewing. I loved that description!
As an English major in my undergraduate years, I adored sitting down and analyzing books in my classes. My favorite class was an "African Female Writers" class taught by a Haitian, feminist, and liberal PhD student, who had these long beautiful dreadlocks. The class was small, about 10 girls and one guy, and we explored the works of Ghana's Ama Ata Aidoo to Egypt's Nawal El Sawaadi. It is also in this class that I was introduced to Chimamanda Adichie!
I missed those days greatly and decided to start a book club that was a safe space with women from allover who are smart, committed and would offer different life perspectives. Almost a year later, we are eight women, ranging between the ages of 25-30 and are from Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Peru, Panama, El Salvador, Togo, US and Venezuela among other places.
We read books from allover the world but this July, we read "I do not come to you by chance" by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. I wanted to recommend it to anyone looking to read contemporary african lit. Here is the book's synopsis (which doesn't do the book justice ---but whatever):
A deeply moving debut novel set amid the perilous world of Nigerian email scams, I Do Not Come to You by Chance tells the story of one young man and the family who loves him.
Being the opera of the family, Kingsley Ibe is entitled to certain privileges--a piece of meat in his egusi soup, a party to celebrate his graduation from university. As first son, he has responsibilities, too. But times are bad in Nigeria, and life is hard. Unable to find work, Kingsley cannot take on the duty of training his younger siblings, nor can he provide his parents with financial peace in their retirement. And when a tragedy befalls his family, Kingsley learns the hardest lesson of all: education may be the language of success in Nigeria, but it's money that does the talking.
The book is a fast read, and a riot! For a debut novel, Nwaubani did a great job with the characters and the twisting plot will keep you on your toes.When Kingsley turns to his Uncle Boniface for help, he learns that charity may come with strings attached. Boniface--aka Cash Daddy--is an exuberant character who suffers from elephantiasis of the pocket. He's also rumored to run a successful empire of email scams. But he can help. With Cash Daddy's intervention, Kingsley and his family can be as safe as a tortoise in its shell. It's up to Kingsley now to reconcile his passion for knowledge with his hunger for money, and to fully assume his role of first son. But can he do it without being drawn into this outlandish mileu?
If looking for the next book to read, I highly recommend this book!