Americanah Ko, Britico Ni

Americanah Ko, Britico Ni

(A review of Chimamanda Adichie’s book “Americanah”)
I just finished reading Chimamanda Adichie’s “Americanah”, intrigued and spell bound are the least I can describe the experience. Ifemelu, the main character is almost a representation of Chimamanda’s person. Tough and unapologetic about it with the strong need to be heard. A tougher version of Kanniene as in “Half of a yellow sun”.
Ifemelu depicts in this novel, a usually opposing stand on what is considered norm although with a lot of depth than the superficial skimming a whole lot rather would. Her early teens full with observation and curiosity in her late teens with an edge of teeming adventure takes you back to the days when the unknown was a lot distant. America for Ifemelu brought a revelation, a clearer perspective on perhaps the most trivial of matters.
Falling out of love more often than being absorbed in its wholesome feeling, exposes yet another part of Ifemelu that might be a part of Chimamanda herself: looking back at Olanna and Richard’s risqué affair in HOAYS. With a likening for opinionated men, the impulsive reaction which they often regret – the trait of an African woman. In the eye of Ifemelu’s father is a man who would lose anything first before his honour- a lost trait in perhaps a lot of African men.
Over all, Americanah almost dulls the lustre “the overseas” has for many of us- Nigerians. Working with another man’s name, the hustle for the settlement of your papers, the irrelevance of education of our kind, the silent reproach that comes with failing expectations of going to the land of opportunity and plucking money off the cash-tree that seem to be there spoils the dream for the hopeful and not the desperate.

With a taint of aggression against the forced conformism of religion in passages such as “Obinze feared she would grow up to be the woman who, with that word ‘amen’, would squash the questions she wanted to ask of the world”. The book exposes once again what I argue and call the free soul of a liberal mind that is free from the entanglement of bigotries that comes with an overtly belief in religion.

The un-flinching chemistry that exist between the Obinze and Ifemelu shows that Ngozi (that name is easier abeg) beliefs in love and is not afraid to show it however subtle it might be.
Adichie teaches fulfillment in the simple life style of Ifemelu back in Lagos and the lack of it despite the big cars, mansion and friends who are as fake as the lives they live in Rich Obinze and Ranyinudo.
“Americanah leaves a salty want in you as it ends at what might seem like a crescendo and a good ending at the same time. Beginning of the end, you might say.

15 thoughts on “Americanah Ko, Britico Ni” by mobolaji oluwabi (@embIjay)

  1. adeniyi (@neyosaxy)

    hmmm. you go fear literary appreciation.. #GBAM!!

    1. mobolaji oluwabi (@embIjay)

      thanks for reading.

  2. Nur'ayn (new reign) (@newreign)

    Excellent review. Just completed the book only two weeks ago. With ‘Americanah Ko, Britico Ni’ I was able to see things I overlooked while I read the book. Well done.

    1. mobolaji oluwabi (@embIjay)

      @newreign thanks for reading

  3. A well-penned review. “Americanah” is one interesting novel that aptly captures the reality of racism focusing on the black man engaged in the international sphere. Ifemelu never thought she was black until she found herself in America and Obinze chose deportation rather than being held in a British prison. I think Chimamanda Adichie has done a great job and the clarion call should be heard that we all need to put all hands on deck as we combat racism against blacks in the Diaspora and the promotion of harmony, peaceful co-existence and tolerance in a pluralistic world.

    1. mobolaji oluwabi (@embIjay)

      thanks for reading. @innoalifa your comment sef na review.

      1. @embljay, I appreciate your affirmation :)

  4. Yet to read the book but with this well-penned review, I can say I get the gist of the tory.

  5. Enjoyed reading that book.
    While I liked Ifemelu’s strength and quick eye I thought her a very judgemental person( and an unhappy one) who hardly ever had anything good to say about anyone. My thoughts after reading the book was “Will it really be happily ever after for these guys.” My answer was probably not.

    1. mobolaji oluwabi (@embIjay)

      Was she really un-happy? @osakwe . She just was a critical thinker, if she was happy, there was a reason and it damn be a good reason. Not very particular of Nigerians you would agree…

  6. Not unhappy as in moping around sad. Did you think she was a happy person while reading the novel? A critical thinker yeah, a smart woman sure, an eye for details and the little nuances society ignores definitely, fearless absolutely, but happy I think not. My thoughts anyway. My friend did not agree when I said so. I am not exactly surprised you don’t think so either.

    1. And you know what, that was what Adichie was going for, a not too likeable character that was memorable and she totally nailed it

      1. mobolaji oluwabi (@embIjay)

        @osakwe one would almost think adichie was writing about herself in some parts

  7. Ironically i just saw the book by the bestseller section in a store by the bahnhof. I was so tempted to buy it as i was shocked to see a young nigerian writer in a german shop.
    Will definitely get it the next time i pass by.

  8. ivie9ja (@Ivie9ja)

    I loved this book, though in some parts it got just a bit slow for me. I must say I am happy that the author addressed the Fact that living abroad is not the heaven that most Nigerians assume it to be. In fact she was even generous to her characters as at least they had a roof over thier heads. I can not even begin to count how many homeless and unemployed Nigerians I’ve met here in the States. I think depending on your mind set everyone who reads this book will carry away their own peice of the story.

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