The Trouble with Nigeria is the work of one of the world’s most gifted writers, Chinua Achebe. A short yet potent piece of literature that encapsulates the woes bedeviling Nigeria in the 1980s (and today).

That the issues he raised then remain germane to Nigeria’s situation today only work to ennoble his literary immortality.

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The winner of the 2006 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa delivers a thrilling tale in this novel. Set partly in Nigeria, London and Atlanta, Sefi’s penmanship explores the defining shades of our societal architecture.

Her lead character, Adeola, is born into an affluent banking family. Her life is planned out until she decides to go against the grain. She studies accountancy in London and gets a job as an auditor. On an assignment in Nigeria, she meets a man, Wale and leaves Nigeria with more than just memories.

Sefi confronts the tones of classism, ethnicity and religion. How these three co-exist and their implications on human relations.

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Adaobi Nwaubani delivers a fascinating tale in her inaugural book I Do Not Come To You By Chance.

Set in Nigeria, this novel follows the life of Kingsley. A young Nigerian graduate of chemical engineering. As the first born of his family, all hope for better fortunes rest on him. However, a corrupt system of governance and esoteric job opportunities cast a huge cloud on his plans for the future.

His father’s sudden illness would steer him to his cousin in the city for financial help. There, he’d be introduced to the sordid world of economic fraud and scamming.

I Do Not Come To You By Chance is an accurate mirror of the Nigerian society. A broken healthcare system, mismanagement of poor resources, wanton systemic corruption and apathy make for a dangerous concoction.

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You Must Set Forth A New Dawn is an insightful autobiography by Africa’s first recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature – Wole Soyinka. 

He chronicles his artistic contribution to the democracy of his country Nigeria. He details his tribulations at the hands of military dictators, his incarceration and inevitable exile. 

With the wisdom of a man who has seen it all he potently reminds that nation building is a difficult process. 

His eventual return from exile heralded a new dawn in Nigeria. A return to civilian rule. 

Almost presciently, understanding that nation building is a life-long process, he instructs his readers to set forth a new dawn!

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Dr. Nwando Achebe is a professor of History at the Michigan State University. She served as a Ford Foundation and Fulbright-Hays Scholar-in-Residence.

 The Female King of Colonial Nigeria was submitted as part of her doctoral thesis. It is the result of cumbersome piecing together and constructing the life of an extraordinary woman, out of scattered vignettes and scanty documents. In it she details the life and times of Ahebi Ugbabe. The only female warrant chief and king in colonial Nigeria. She offers her readers a sharp, scholarly assessment of women, gender, sex, sexuality and the colonial encounter. 

Unlike other texts, Dr. Achebe’s biography of Ahebi Ugbabe seeks to encourage new ways of seeing, reading and interpreting African worlds beyond received categories of analysis. She challenges the notion of homogeneity with regards to masculinity. She posits, convincingly so, that there exists a multiplicity of African female masculinities such a female husband and a female king. She encourages her readers, as Judith Halberstam did years before her, to reimagine masculinity without men. 

In addition, she details the challenges of conducting field research on a topic as engaging as this. She recalls the conundrum of an audience that is skeptical of her, custodians of oral literature whose memories wane with time and the tedious task of scouring through endless documents. 

Most importantly, she has told the African story from an African perspective. In her words;

People who have been lucky enough not to have had their stories told by others without respect might not fully understand nor appreciate the gift of being able to tell one’s story on one’s own terms. I come from a world where our story has been told almost exclusively by others. Therefore, in my own writing, I have worked to privilege the indigenous point of view so that in the final analysis, the people who entrusted me with their histories and lives can see themselves emerge within the text.”

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