Tag Archive > Nigeria

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

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The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives By Lola ShoneyinBolanle, a graduate, disappoints her ambitious mother when she announces her intention to marry. Not only is Bolanle rejecting the path her mother hoped for her, she’s going to become the fourth of a polygamous man. The other wives, illiterate all of them, treat Bolanle with suspicion; they don’t like the way that Bolanle is regarded as some kind of trophy because of her academic achievements and they make no secret of their dislike. However, things take a sinister turn when Bolanle unwittingly threatens to expose a terrible secret in the household.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives” is narrated in turns by the adult members of the household. While this has some advantages in revealing the story bit by bit, building up the tension and gradually exposing the web of deceit on which the household precariously hangs, I did find it difficult to distinguish between the voices of the first three wives for at least the first half of the book. While this didn’t really act as a barrier to my understanding of the story, or my enjoyment generally, it does highlight a weakness in characterisation.

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Purple Hibiscus

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Purple Hibiscus By Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieBased in Nigeria, 15 year old Kambili is desperately trying to keep her head above water, alternating between tip-toeing around her father and trying her hardest to make him proud (and keep him happy). Kambili is different to most girls her age in Nigeria, and even her cousin thinks that she is a stuck up snob with everything she can wish for from her big-shot father.

The truth of the matter is, Kambili is just plain terrified, and her family life is not what its cracked up to be. Whilst the whole community is in awe of her father and his godly, almost angelic ways of helping out the community, Kambili, her brother Jaja and her mother live every day in fear that they might upset him; just putting just one foot wrong in the eyes of their father (and husband), Eugine (or papa as Kambili and Jaja call him!) causes him to erupt with such force that they are left shaken for days.

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Is it Always Right to Tell the Truth?

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The Other Side of Truth By Beverley NaidooThirteen-year old Sade and her younger brother Femi live a pleasant suburban life in Nigeria, with a nice house, a loving family and a great school nearby where they enjoy their studies. It’s certainly not the ‘deprived’ impression that we’re so often given of life in West Africa. The trouble is that their father is a man for whom Truth is the only way and as a journalist who expresses opinions that the authorities would prefer not to see, his life and that of his family is endangered. The idyllic childhood is shattered when the children’s mother is savagely killed on the doorstep of their home. The assassins make it plain that it’s the father that they are really after. A sinister phone caller tells the family that the killers don’t mind in the least if they need to kill the entire family before they get round to dispatching the father.

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