Take a seat please, you are in for a rollercoaster ride!
When I first saw this book, 29, Single & Nigerian on Instagram I had a clear idea of what I was expecting from this book. Being a 20-something and living in Nigeria has its perks and definitely the scary parts.
29, Single & Nigerian gives a relatable experience of every “20-something” year old Nigerian woman. From her experiences, while growing up, her NYSC experience, her endless job hunt as a fresh graduate and her love life. As complicated as things got, Edikan rose to fame through her gory experience.
As a “20-something” year old, there are expectations from even the tiniest part of the society-Family about your life. While some have gone through these pressures and come out victorious others have let the pressures consume them.
Edikan Umana, is the main character in the book. Her life as a 29-year-old is full of battles from every step of her journey to freedom, independence, and self-acceptance. Edikan has been the “victim of circumstances” but she finds her way through it at every point in time.
When a 29-year-old writes “I wondered how I was going to pick up the pieces of my life. 29, unemployed, unmarried, homeless, no source of income and almost broke save for the money I had in my account..” you wonder how a woman got to such a stock up situation and to worsen it all in Lagos! the most unfriendliest environment.
Edikan being the second daughter of her parents has always been brilliant and strived for excellence in her studies. Like most poverty-stricken home, there are lots of circumstances from the inability of one’s parents to sponsor one’s education to poor feeding, lack of good friendship, prying eyes and ” yammerings” of neighbours. It doesn’t end there, if the poor situation of things continues, the parents are bound to “share” the children to other people who can take care of them.
This was Umoh (Edikan’s sister’s) situation but Edikan was the “sacrificial lamb. She felt strong enough to live with her Anty Agnes. Her decision to live with her changed her notion about boys, religion, relationship etc.
I was definitely not going to skip this part! It is not expected that a 29-year-old isn’t married in a society like ours. There would be family pressures and general pressures from the society one lives in. One cannot escape the gossips, hardships, struggles of being single. Men would always want to take advantage of such women.
Edikan has not had the sweetest experiences when it came to love. She never met a man who didn’t want sex from her apart from Ifeanyi who wanted a relationship with her but she rejected him most of the times. Edikan was “raped” (refer to page 87) by Austin, was romantically involved with Nathan (a younger guy she met in camp), she was almost raped by Chuka (a “good Samaritan”), her virginity was taken by George and she “curved” Ifeanyi.
Her parents tried to betroth her to Ndufreke but In all of these, she came out strong thanks to her friend Bibi who had been her friend through the storms of life.
Bibi is an epitome of true friendship- a friend that is by your side through thick and thin. In Bibi, she found solace, strength, energy and motivation. She found a new strength to overcome her circumstances. Without the presence of BIbi, Edikan would probably not have gone this far.
OVERCOMER OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
There is always light at the end of the tunnel they say, Edikan’s journey had been bitter-sweet but this time it was going to be sweeter. The beam of hope shone when Ifeanyi (who she had always rejected) proposed that she made her diary into a book. First off, she learnt how to reconnect to God and started her journey afresh.
29, Single and Nigerian is a must read!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The author of the book remains anonymous but still widely read among people.