(A Review of Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani’s I do not come to you by chance)
What is the difference between yesterday and today? When we sin for those we love, killing ourselves that ours may live, what lines do we cross? In the struggle to make ends meet and turn from being the scourge of society, what sacrifices do we make? And when we reap from the greed of others, are we really to be blamed?
There are a million and one questions like these and others that life places on us every day but imagine this: you are a first son with a million needs. You graduated summa cum laude in Chemical Engineering and have tried every single job opening without success. Add to this: your babe leaves you because you are too broke. Everyone scorns you like the wretched of the earth. Well, truth be said, when poverty chews life’s essence out of you, what else are you? But still putting ourselves in the shows of this man that for a moment we assume we are: imagine your father falls ill and there’s hardly any money to take care of him. He’s admitted…and then you get some really good news; your brother has gotten admission into the university. Before you can cry at this ‘fortune’, your dad dies leaving the burden of his funeral and your family on your shoulders…
Oh well, what next is there to do?
But let us add this part, to make it better for you: You have an uncle is a 419 Lord who has been asking you to come and join him… You have held back because of your family’s high value on education above everything else. They hope you will get a job despite the gazillion interviews you have not passed. So… Morals or money? To follow family honour and the words of your father on integrity or face the challenge of reality? What would you do especially now that the honour of your family is engraved in a life that is now outspent?
Have heard of the book I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. It is a novel whose Nigerian versions were published in 2009 by Cassava Republic and more recently, in 2019 by the revolutionising publishing house, Masobe Books.
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The summary of this short review: I love the movie, Bruce Almighty. I just watched it again for the millionth time. You should watch it too. Especially if you are feeling blue, if your country is happening to you or if you generally need to watch a funny, inspirational, feel-good movie. It is the perfect movie to get your mind out of the rut and rethink things while laughing.
I remember one the times I watched Bruce Almighty (2003). I was with Mr. Charles Ayede, my sub-dad. He had been a journalist, was a journalist himself so he got all the inner jokes. He took time to explain several things that I might have missed – like the roles of the editors, the teleprompters etc etc. It was a fun moment because growing up, we were used to him telling us to watch news. 9 o’clock network news which we would have to explain later. Even at that moment, it was usually ‘Change the channel to Aljazeera.’ So, being able to share a movie with him was special. And wow, he laughed hard. Indeed, it is hard to watch classic Jim Carrey in a comic role and not piss yourself laughing. See, you would not understand why I am doing this long introduction but if you understand that Dadi (mentioned above) was not much of a movie man, and was mainly the news or documentaries kind of person, yet sat through the entire movie and enjoyed it, then you would get that truly this movie is not just a movie for movie people but for everyone.
The movie is inspirational. So inspirational and you have the lovable Jennifer Aniston, the equally funny Steve Carrell (the now famous voice of Gru), and gosh, Morgan Freeman playing the role of God.
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The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (2019) notes that at least forty per cent of Nigerians (translated to about 83 million citizens) live below the poverty line. Most of these numbers stay in rural areas. This tale of poverty seems only to get worse by the day. Indeed, the 2019 figures have currently grown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, current economic hardships, among other harsh realities of life. One of the more popular ways of trying to escape this poverty cycle for many families is migration either from rural areas to urban areas or from Nigeria to foreign countries. People are desperate and thus seek what sustenance they can to make life better. Many become house helps in the cities or try to find their way through any means possible. This narrative often ends in people being maltreated in the city or trafficked within or outside of the country. Daisy Odey in a safe underestimation of this notes in a recent Aljazeera article that beautifully captures this societal issue there are hundreds of underage girls work as domestic help in cities across Nigeria. It is the narrative of these people that Emeka Ukwuaba focuses on.
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You know the value of books. The process of making them intrigues you. You want your name on the front cover of a book and, like an earthworm inches through dirt into the ground, you want to make your way into people’s homes, heads and hearts. I am here to help you achieve that. … Continue reading HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN WRITER by Elnathan John
Life is one big contradiction in every field but it is more so when you are a writer—or so I think. You think you are there, you think you have the right words. You are in the moment and you bask as Mother Muse slowly pours herself unto your pages through the medium of creativity. … Continue reading RISE, LIVE TO YOUR WRITE!
Title: Promises on Sand Author: Amina Aboje Publisher: Kraft Books Year of Publication: 2017 Number of Pages: 87 Category: Poetry Reviewer: Paul Sawa Although I write the occasional poem, I do not see myself as a poet. Avid reader that I am, however, I consider myself … Continue reading Unalloyed and Revitalizing: Thoughts on Amina Aboje’s ‘Promises on Sand’
I once learnt that the title to a piece of work is like an abstract, letting the consumer in on what the work is about. My head is still dancing around how the idea was begat that the title of this documentary should have anything to do with ‘dancing mask.’ Whoever thought up the idea … Continue reading Documentary Review: Dancing Mask: The ANA Story by Carl Terver
If you know anything about Abuja, then you know it is the new city of sin. Not so new. It has taken over from Lagos and all those other evil lands. Preachers have done their best but it seems there are a lot of people who are fighting the prophets… Have you heard about the … Continue reading WHEN SATAN CAME TO ABUJA: WRITERS BEWARE!
I was recently admitted into the new age spirit of an e-reader, a Kobo specifically. It took reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini to remind me that I still love that traditional smell of a fresh book that reaches to you like the smell of fresh fries on a hungry stomach. In The Kite … Continue reading RAMBLES, ATONEMENT, HEALING AND RENEWAL: READING KHALED HOSSEINI’S THE KITE RUNNER
Hi, my name is Su’eddie Vershima Agema and yes, except working with a publishing house and holding some literary administrative positions, I LOVE BOOKS, WRITING AND PEOPLE! I also like bringing books to people’s attention and finding a way to share works I love and works of people I come across… Now, we have a … Continue reading REVIEWERS WANTED: WHERE ARE YOU?! [INTRODUCING SEVHAGE REVIEWS!]