Today, I completed reading the book; I Do Not Come To You By Chance, written by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani.
Ironically, the book came to me by sheer chance and was selected among the pile of other books by sheer happenstance but I loved every chapter of the book!
Whenever I feel like I drool over every African literature I read, I remind myself that I have been reading some awesome books lately and African writers are becoming more and more amazing. If only I were like them…
Anyway, the book title was gotten from a mail sent by the lead character; Kingsley a.k.a Kings (the son of Paulinus and Augustina, an over-educated man and his breed of superstitious and educated wife).
So you see, the story centers around King’s family. First and briefly around his mother and father who both rose above village sexist victimization and African undereducation respectively.
They got married and travelled abroad to further their respective levels of education but then relocated to Nigeria. Their refusal to cut corners and their belief in the Nigerian government lurched them into abject poverty.
Here comes Kings. Kings is the opara (the first son) who studied Chemical Engineering in the university, came out with a 1st class and is the saving hope for the family’s economic situation. He hopes to secure a job with one of these rumored gold mine oil companies and then also scatter his girlfriend, Ola’s life, with money. She has been with him through thick and thin and his best shirts were received from her. They are in love…
Then comes Cash Daddy (actually Uncle Boniface Mbamalu) – who dies at the end of the book (sorry). He is a 419er and the brother of King’s mom who her husband Paulinus utterly detests for his unclean practices.
Long story short.
Kings has to fend for the family.
So Cash Daddy lures him into 419
Kings does really well. But this was after Ola and her mom gave up on his wretched ass and married her off to a very rich (but illiterate) Igbo business man.
Kings becomes an awesome 419er; duping people and getting mad cash.
(Many things happen in the body of the story)
Cash Daddy dies and Kings is faced with the opportunity to take over the 419 business or turn a new leaf (his mother already hates him because of this business)
He chooses the right road.
Becomes a good guy… Or so we think.
Marries someone from nowhere called Thelma (even though at some point in the book he had chemistry with one Merit girl)
Is happy and clean.
But at the end of the book, we witness Kings having a telephone conversation with his former Mugu; Mr Winterbottom, in a language that suggests that the guy is still being duped. But he says to his mom, ‘He is one of my foreign investors’.
So it turns out that Kings did not actually change his ways. He only decided to start his own 419 business and launder his 419 money on a legit business, thereby making his dead uncle proud and making his mom also proud (she was clueless).
Likes: Style of writing and invariably, the ease of reading.
Dislike: something I can’t really place a finger on.