Onwukwe Chimdinma Adriel is the founder of THE AFRO READER - A social enterprise aimed at promoting African Literature through book reviews, literary conversations and podcasts. She is also a Lawyer with a great passion for International Development, Education and Literacy. She manages a Lagos based book club - Kawe Africa - and strongly believes we can all change the world, ONE BOOK AT A TIME!
i am running into a new year and the old years blow back like a wind that i catch in my hair like strong fingers like all my old promises and it will be hard to let go of what i said to myself about myself when i was fifteen and twenty and twenty-one even twenty-four but i am running into a new year and i beg what i love and i leave to forgive me
—My tweaked version of Lucille Clifton’s poem.
I turned 25 on Wednesday, 27th March 2019. 25. A whole me. This new age came with the feeling of achievement blues. I felt I had not achieved anything. I felt and still feel like I am floating through life. Everyday I ask myself what value I am adding and what difference I am making.
The past one year has been overwhelming in all sense of the word. I finished from Law school and got called to the Nigerian bar. I traveled to Kwara State for the compulsory NYSC and ran away from camp after three days because the place was so horrible. I redeployed to Lagos State and began hunting for a Place of Primary Assignment and I found one. I had relationships that went sour.
Now, the normal me would have written about all of these experiences here. But I just couldn’t bring myself to write about anything. I do not even do my daily journal entries anymore.
Writers block or laziness? I will never know.
I guess this is my way of saying GOOD BYE to this blog and to you all amazing people that have followed me since 2013 – 2019. I began this blog in June 2013 and it has been a wonderful 6years of writing about my random thoughts and musings. I have made and met amazing friends through this blog and I have measured my growth in a way through the posts I made here. I will definitely come back to “blogging”. But for now, it is Good Bye.
I’m back with the Book Reviews. I was going to follow a schedule and say “watch out for book reviews every Sunday”, but I really do not know if I would be able to stick with the schedule. I can only try!
Remember I have a website dedicated solely to everything LITERARY – BOOK REVIEWS, BOOK EVENTS AND LITERARY LIFESTYLE of our favourite authors are creatives. So please do well to stop by THE AFRO READER and subscribe so you don’t miss out on any of the fun stuff!
Here’s a review of Collective Amnesia. I wouldn’t call it a review per se…but…Yeah Enjoy Still! 😊
In the month of October 2017, we read HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN by PETER ENAHORO in my book club – KAWEBOOKCLUB . We loved the humour and we decided to expand the stories by starting our own HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN SERIES – THE KAWE VERSION.
I wrote this one.
THE THIRD (LONG) LEG by Chimdinma Adriel Onwukwe
When God moulded man and gave him the breath of life, his plan was for everyone to have TWO LEGS. But on the seventh day while God rested, the Nigerians made for themselves THIRD LEGS!
This THIRD LONG LEG is highly INVSIBLE. Can’t be seen but it moves and aligns everything.
Having a Third Leg simply means to have connections in high places; to be close to the power house and this third long leg moves ONLY when there is a NEED!
*A typical Conversation*
Mr. A: So how Njideka take get PPA for that Hospital?
Mrs. B: That girl get leg o. Her papa leg long pass sef.
Mr. A: Because I come dey fear. I just know say no be luck.
Mrs. B: Na so we see am o
This third leg makes you realize that in Nigeria, opportunities for competition are circumscribed by unfavourable social and economic development and for many people; resort to unofficial channels is almost inevitable.
It is also important to note that another name for this THIRD LONG LEG is “GOD’S GRACE” and “THANK GOD O”
The Third Long Leg reveals its invisible cloak during National Youth Service Corps; postings of young people begin to change by “GOD’S GRACE” so that those who were intially posted to Adamawa end up in Lagos by “GOD’S MIRACULOUS HAND”.
During my Law school posting, I saw the manifestations of various third long legs. 60% Percent of my classmates who were to go Kano and Yola ended up in Abuja and Lagos. I asked them how they managed to do it and they all replied saying; “IT WAS GOD’S GRACE. I REALLY PRAYED ABOUT IT”
We all know they never pray and they never prayed. It was the invisible third leg working.
You can’t truly call yourself a TRUE NIGERIAN if you are lacking in the THIRD LONG DEPARTMENT because truth be told, IT IS A NECESSITY!
Visit the KAWE BOOK CLUB BLOG to read more HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN STORIES. If you are interested in sending your story on HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN, Please, drop a comment.
One night in July, I was coming back from work. It was raining. I stopped at the Ajah junction looking for a Keke that would take me down to my estate. No keke stopped for me. It was unsual, but I figured it was the rain that made them Ignore passengers. After about twenty minutes of waiting under the rain, I finally found a keke. It was just one space left in front. I hesitated because this one actually stopped for me! But I had been waiting forever, so I had no choice but to…
A lot of us are obviously making new year goals and all that – It is an amazing thing. The end of something calls for refelections and the beginning of another calls for goals and lists.
As book nerds and bibliophiles, we constantly have books piled up which we ought to read but have not yet found the time. It is really difficult to read books, especially literary works, if you work a 9-5. And if you live in a city like Lagos, it is almost impossible!
We know you want to read those books in 2018. So we have come up with tricks and ways to make you read more books…faster and better.
1) AUDIO BOOKS!!!
These are recordings of texts. They save time – You can listen to audio books while washing, cleaning the house, driving etc. Audio books are also very…
I am sure a lot of us have devoured meals in their numbers!
Christmas is such an amazing season. The JOY that comes with celebrating the Birth of Christ is second to none and highly contagious – beautiful Christmas songs, new clothes, gifts, love, laughter, FOOD!!! etc.
Something happened in Church yesterday. I spent the Christmas eve at Owerri West LGA, Okolochi – my Aunty’s village. Continue reading “MERRY CHRISTMAS 2017”→
Christmas has changed over here. No one bothers about christmas clothes anymore, no one bothers about christmas hair. No one travels to the village anymore – You know, the typical Nigerian Igbo Family Christmas. Maybe it is because we are all grown up and have “better” things to worry about.
I for one, have one “better thing” to worry about. I have been trying to read and study so hard. The only I think about now is my BAR FINALS – which is in AUGUST!
But all these do not change the MEANING of CHRISTMAS. Christmas is all about Jesus Christ and a reminder that he came into this world for YOU. For me.
While studying this morning – I usually read with music – cool, calm, soothing music, especially in the wee hours of the morning – I listened to a new single from the HILLSONG – PEACE PROJECT CHRISTMAS ALBUM.
My favourite from the album is SEASONS. Powerful lyrics that spoke to me. And once again, I am reminded that God has not forgotten us. We all have our seasons and when it comes???
I will put down the lyrics and I hope you get INSPIRED and meditate on the words – for days when the things you prayed for are taking forever to become realities.
Words and Music by Chris Davenport, Benjamin Hastings & Ben Tan
Have you ever seen a Giant Sequoia?
I was a 12 year old boy in this awkward phase of discovering fashion, so naturally I was wearing this delightful salmon shirt that was as about as far from fashion as we were from Ireland.
Ireland is where I’m from by the way, but on this particular year the Hastings family had decided to vacation along the west Coast of California, and after a long winded winding drive, we found ourselves pulling into the glorious Eden of Yosemite National Park.
Have you ever been? You should. It’s your favourite Microsoft screensaver, but in real life.
We parked, threw our bags in this quaint, quirky inn and rushed out the door to explore a paradise of colour. The deepest greens you have ever seen, water falling in the bluest of blues and dirt trails of adventure and sepia tones that we ran until we ran out of breath. As my brother and I stopped to catch some air, giving our parents a chance to catch us, I remember slowly lifting my head and for the first time stretching my eyes across the grandeur of a Giant Sequoia. It was the biggest thing I had ever seen. Effortlessly scraping the sky, but as wide as the highway that had brought us here, and with my eyes in even wider wonder I stood; my neck stretched back as far as it would go, engulfed in shadow and ancient magnificence.
I wonder if you’ve ever had a similar moment. Perhaps gazing up at a monument of nature or the biggest man-made landmark in your hometown.
For me, when I look at something of such enormity, I can’t help but feel like it’s been there forever.
In Sydney we have The Harbour Bridge. A masterpiece of design and engineering which I have the joy of sitting upon, in traffic everyday (I guess if you’re gonna sit in traffic there are worse views). But I can’t get my mind around the idea that there was a time when it didn’t exist. It’s hard to imagine the Sydney Harbour without it and yet my wife’s Great Grandma Phyllis (105 and as cheeky as ever!) was already a teenager when it was first opened.
Ithink in the same way, I’ve sometimes viewed God’s promises like that. Maybe it’s just me, but have you ever looked at the fulfilment of His faithfulness in someone else’s life and wondered…
“Where’s my Harbour Bridge?”
“Where’s that wife I heard you whisper?”
“Where’s the materialisation of that thing I know you put in my heart?”
If there is anything I know to be true of God it’s that He’s true to His word. But He’s also very okay with the process. Was the Harbour Bridge airlifted into place? Well no… of course not… Even the three thousand year old Sequoia, was once a seed.
I think Jesus is the perfect example of this. In the Song ‘Seasons’ from ‘The Peace Project‘ there is a line that sings…
“You could have saved us in a second, instead you sent a Child”.
We serve a God of the “Long Game”. Does He have the capacity to airlift the Harbour Bridge of our promise into place? Of course He does! And sometimes, He does. But if we can attribute trends to God (which we probably can’t) I’ve noticed that God often chooses something else: “The Jesus Model”.
From Bethlehem’s soil
Grew Calvary’s Sequoia
He takes His Word and He plants it like a seed in our lives. Watching and watering until it grows and ever so slowly but inevitably blooms into glorious fulfilment. And I think if we look for it, this divine methodology is written into everything from the narrative of the Bible to the beauty of creation.
Oh how nature acquaints us
With the nature of Patience.
Visit the link below to enjoy the beauty that is this music: