29-year-old Edikan has lived her whole life in abject poverty. When she departs her hometown in Ikot Ansa for Lagos, her expectations are high.
A roof over head, a high paying job and a man she can finally call her own tops her priority. Months after, she is forced to grapple with the reality that the city of her dreams is not all that. With constant pressure from her family, the stigma associated with being unmarried and dark memories haunting from her past; days become nights and nights become torture.
29, Single & Nigerian is an emotional, gripping, mesmerizing and humorous tale of survival you won’t forget in a hurry.
Edikan is easily the most ridiculous human being I have ever met; She is naïve, materialistic, incredibly thirsty and bordering on delusional. This lady has nothing going for her and is completely unprepared for ‘Adulting’. You would think the reverse would be the case, considering her background, but it turns out growing up in poverty doesn’t necessarily make you realistic. I’ll give her points for going after what she wants though, even if she doesn’t necessarily think things through.
There are some real pressures on her though, I can’t say I sympathize because I tend to block out unpleasant things but Edikan is highly sensitive. She has internalized every expectation her family has placed on her, and the pressures on her are not a joking matter. Her family literally expects her to be their messiah, but one they can control of course. So, it’s not surprising that it doesn’t take long for her to lose sight of her purpose in life, if she ever had one, and start engaging in pretty risky behavior just to find ‘Mr. Right’.
I really enjoyed this book, not surprising, if you are familiar with NSG’s blog. It is absolutely hilarious; but it’s not all fun and games and in the midst of the humor, she touches on some pretty serious issues. Like the experiences of unemployed graduates in this current clime, with unscrupulous people looking to swindle you at every point (Of course, Edikan falls for the biggest scam of all: CV Rewriting), Everybody’s obsession with marriage (and a woman’s womb) in this country, and the patriarchal system that dictates that a woman is nothing if she doesn’t have a man in tow.
What really struck me is how this system puts women at the mercy of men who are ready to take advantage of these poor creatures. There is no balance in the expectations for men and women when it comes to marriage, which is ridiculous since women can’t marry themselves (at least, not in Nigeria). So there is this immense pressure on women to marry and start breeding, while the men they are supposed to marry are praised for having 5 girlfriends… I refuse to participate in this madness. Thank you very much.
This book is such a fantastic read; It is totally relatable and it could easily have been my life’s story, except for the boy crazy part though. (I don’t have anything against boys, relationships and marriage, don’t get me wrong, it just pisses me off when these are used as measuring sticks to define a woman’s success in life.)
At some point while reading this; I was on the bus, seating beside the driver and I kept laughing so hard the poor man kept glancing at me out of curiosity and I had to stop before we found ourselves in a ditch. I would recommend this book for anyone who has ever been young, unemployed and single in Nigeria, which is pretty much Everybody!!!
P.S. I also think it’s noteworthy the accurate way introverts were portrayed in this book. This is the first book I’ll read that doesn’t have introverts presented as weird, shy, and genius. I think it’s funny how people assume all introverts are secretly mad scientists. Of course, a large percentage of us are Geniuses but this stereotype is the same as assuming that all Men are good leaders.