Book Review: Of this our country.

Book Review: Of this our country.


To define Nigeria is to tell a half-truth. Many have tried, but most have concluded that it is impossible to capture the true scope and significance of Africa’s most populous nation through words or images.

And yet here, through personal essays from 24 of its writers, a more accurate picture comes into view: one that details the realities and contradictions of patriotism, examines the role of class and privilege in Nigerian society, juxtaposes inherited tradition with the diasporic experience and explores the power of storytelling and its intrinsic link to Nigeria’s history.

Within these pages, acclaimed and award-winning writers share memories and experiences of Nigeria that can be found nowhere else, bringing to the fore a country whose influence can be found everywhere.

Powerful, lyrical and entirely unforgettable, OF THIS OUR COUNTRY weaves together a living portrait of Nigeria, one that is as beautiful as it is complex.

With essays from: Nels Abbey, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, Yomi Adegoke, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Oyinkan Akande, Ike Anya, Sefi Atta, Bolu Babalola, J K Chukwu, Abi Daré, Inua Ellams
Chịkọdịlị Emelụmadụ, Caleb Femi, Helon Habila, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Anietie Isong, Okey Ndibe, Chigozie Obioma, Irenosen Okojie, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe, Lola Shoneyin, Umar Turaki, Chika Unigwe and Hafsa Zayyan.

Book Details

Format: 288 pages, Hardcover

Published: September 30, 2021 by The Borough Press

ISBN: 9780008469269 (ISBN10: 0008469261)

Language: English

My Review of Of this our country.

This book is a collection of sublime essays written by the finest Nigerian writers.

The 24 writers each narrate their experience of Nigeria, and what Nigeria means to them.

Nigeria is so complex and diverse that it means so many things to different people. And they see it in different lenses.

Book Review: Of this our country.

For Ayobami Adebayo, her early experience of what Nigeria means is through the recital of the national anthem and pledge during the morning assemblies in primary school.

Then she would later be exposed to the diversity and richness of Nigerian cultures when she is posted to Plateau state for her one year mandatory national youth service.

Chimamanda Adichie describes Lagos in the most beautiful way; “A city in a state of shifting impermanence.

Book Review: Of this our country.

A place still becoming.” To her, Lagos is the hub of entertainment and commerce, where everyone strives to visit for experience or for business.

In Lagos, everybody is weary about everybody. You might get robbed in the traffic in broad daylight, while everyone goes about their business.

In her essay, Still becoming, she talks about how Lagos is not yet developed, has not yet reached the final stage of being.

It is still becoming. Its wonder is not yet finished. Every day introduces you to a new wonder, and for you to survive in Lagos, you will have to shine your eye.

Book Review: Of this our country.

I particularly enjoyed Chika Unigwe’s essay, Amaechina, because her own experience of Nigeria is similar to mine.

The Enugu experience. Her essay brought in a nostalgia about my city of birth, Enugu, where we visit the Polo Park for picnics and Sports club for the pool.

She also talks about Nsukka, and I felt nostalgic too reading it, reminiscing my undergraduate days at the University of Nigeria.

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Lola Shoneyin’s Nostalgia is an extreme sport, is one beautiful essay I really enjoyed reading. I love the fact that she enjoys both her secondary school and university days, doing the things she loves best.

Being in a music band without her family’s knowledge is one brave act of living your life to the fullest, while doing what brings you utmost joy.

Being born and bred in Ibadan, it would be a refreshing experience for her to go up North during her service year, to mingle with people of religion, cultural backgrounds and languages.

Book Review: Of this our country.

This book oozes of Nigerianness from all its pores. It answers the question, what does Nigeria mean to you? Nigeria is one unique country with hundreds of languages and ethnic groups, but we’re bound together by the spirit of brotherhood and similar experiences.

A Nigerian will not mind roasting anyone in the defence of a fellow Nigerian. In Nigeria also, we’re bound together by the hardships and sufferings we share, as a result of bad leadership.

Most of the writers of this book are Nigerians in diaspora, they left home when they were much younger. So they are all amazed at how much Nigeria has changed and how different it is from when they left the country.

Whether a diasporan or a Nigerian living in Nigeria, we all share the Naija spirit of hard work, dedication and resilience.

Book Review: Of this our country.

An average Nigerian stands out wherever they are and creates a name for themselves. We’re sublime in almost all facets of life, be it arts, sciences and sports. I’ll rate this book as 4/5. You all should totally read it

Have you read the book? What do you think about it? Please share your thoughts with me in the comment section. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on all social media platforms. Thank you for visiting Bookish Pixie.

Of this our country.
Of this our country.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Of this our country.”

  1. I haven’t heard of this book before. But it sounds interesting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book!

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl


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