naija blues review

The Nollywood Virus

[dropcap style=”dark”]I[/dropcap]’ve been looking fwd to reading the Americanah novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and would go by the bahnhof bookshop to gaze at it but was a bit too stingy to pay 13euros for a paperback. Then I got it as a birthday gift and was over the moon with joy, slobbering Gorgeousness with my sincere kisses.

I don’t recall when exactly I heard about the authour but I remember thinking…hey it’s time we get some new groups of authors. I read Wole Soyinka, Elechi Amadi and Chinwe Achebe in secondary school among others. I grew up with books like Things Fall Apart, The Iroko Tree, Arrow Of God, No Longer At Ease, and a lot others I can’t pick off the top of my head. Literature was of course my fave topic in school and I used to write short stories during the holidays and remember feeling good when a classmate took one of my manuscripts home for the hols and returned with it in a4 print outs. I was so excited and began dreaming of dropping everything and becoming a word famous writer like Achebe. I was religious with my stories and had another classmate edit each story. It was exhilarating but yeah I never did become that world famous writer…..but you never know.

Anyways, I picked up a copy of Purple Hibiscus with the last money I had saved but never finished it. My sister needed my copy for a school project so I gladly gave it up cos I truly wasn’t intetested in the story anyways. I was more excited about a young girl who seemed to have excelled in something that seemed to be so tough to achieve.

Then Half Of A Yellow Sun was released and I fell completely in love with the book. The story was so incredible and I felt myself drawn into every single scene. It felt so real and I kept thinking about how if it were a movie I would play Olanna but have a lot more of Kainene inside. So when the movie was released, I was totally excited as Chiwetel Ejiofor was going to be in it. I have loved that man since I first saw him in Kinky Boots. I followed him from then on and i’m a total die hard fan of that dude.

Sadly, I hated the movie. I get that movies hardly ever do books justice but come on, how hard was it to direct that movie? The book was explicitly written so how could they fail it so well? The only character who almost stayed true was Kainene. Anika Rose played her so very well. Every other character was so badly directed. Genevieve Nnaji played her part so badly I nearly cried with anger. She made the character so pointless and it seemed as if she was trying to hold her own weight around three famous characters.

Onyeka Onwenu, a woman I totally admire broke my heart with her acting. It was too terrible to watch. I was in physical pain with her crap acting. Richard was portrayed like a helpless dog who went wherever the wind blew. The sex scene between Amala and Odenigbo was so sadly done I just couldn’t take it.

Olanna had on braids from the first scene to basically the end. Ugwu was played really well in my opinion though. John Boyega I had no idea is originally Nigerian. I first saw him in Attack The Block and then in the final season of 24 as the pilot who flew the famous computer controlled jet. I read he will be playing a key role in the new Star Wars movie.

So yes I hated the movie and was very very totally very disappointed with it especially as the author made fun of the Nigerian movie industry in her book Americanah. Well her character did but that’s not the point…. Ifemelu thought little of Nollywood films, with their exaggerated histrionics and their improbable plots….by the way, she is so right but that’s another post for another day. Do pick up a copy of the book though. For me, it is her best work so far. The movie just wasn’t any good.

I’m on the 100th page of the said book and I did get a bit side tracked from the memory lane trip but it def started well. I totally love what I’m reading so far. Will def update on the book when done.

What I find really cool about the book is how true to the Nigerian lingo it maintained. It certainly keeps a Nigerian air about it. I really don’t know anything about people lying how long they have been with Uncle Sam but I do know that the American dream has def been the dream of many young Nigerians.

Obinnze‘s story definitely started good too. From his rapport with his driver to the ease at which he handles his wife and the smooth way he waltzed into the character that was expected of him with Chief.

Aunty Uju‘s character I like ironically and it was written quite well I might add. Ifemelu’s mother is also well done. The simple reasons she gives for switching churches was just classic. I’m not one for politics so I always skipped on that easily.

The book has about 55 chapters and I’m only just beginning chapter 7 but I was really eager to talk about it.

Eine Deutsche übersetzung ist noch nicht vorhanden aber sie kommt nächstes jahr. Hier kònnt ihr nach lesen wann es kommt.

Mayersche (a popular buchladen) has some good books by Soyinka and Achebe in case you can’t find anything in the regular train station bookstores.

So that’s about it so far with just 6 chapters down. The book certainly started good. Let’s see how it ends. I read it every day in the bus on my way to school and back home so may be done with it before the Christmas festivities really kick in.

Gute Nacht Folks

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  • When Americanah came out, I was so eager to read, went to Amazon, asked to book down that wit will be out by march..I decided to wait until march….baby arrived…got occupied..then read the review in a blog..lost interest. ..but the way you explain it, I might reconsider.

    I have read the purple Hibiscus and half the yellow sun, infact, I won that from Toin’s blog. I have also read, the review on the echo the same dissatisfaction.

    p.s I don’t receive reply comments.
    Compliments of the season.

    • Twice I’ve been told its crap but i love the start so will update when I’m done!!
      The movie was too distasteful i hated it and it was worse than regular nollywood movies. You would think that having famous american actors would improve it. There must be something in the water haha. Don’t waste your time jor, its the crappiest movie ever

  • Chioma

    The half of a yellow sun has a lot of flaws like you said, even though I watched it with a phone, but the anticipation is totally better than the watching. I haven’t read Americana, still waiting fortheday someone will gift it to me I guess.

    • I heard about it and was so eager to watch it. Gorgeousness got it at the start of the week and we could only see it weekend. I was literally panting to see it. 30 mins in i got pissed.

  • Hey J,
    I read Americanah at the beginning of the year. Initially I was wary, because of all the hype it had generated (I had read a highly talked about book by Taiye Selasi – Ghana must go, and was bitterly dissapointed). However, I was very pleasantly surprised with Adichie, and I remember being unable to put the book down even though I was visiting T, and knew I was being impolite and antisocial. It is true it was a bit of a struggle getting into it though, so keep going it will reward you in the end 🙂

    Have a lovely restful weekend and happy anniversary! xxx

    • Coming from you …the book wonder, i will def finish it and i get what u mean about being antisocial. I ride the bus to school with a classmate who always wants to talk but my head gets buried in the book so she knows not to bother starting a convo. Impolite i know but thats the only time i get to read it. I havent heard about Selasi though. The one author im searching for is Sefi Attah.
      Thank you. Four days left!!! Wink wink

  • heheheheheheheh I love the way you showed your distaste about the movie depiction of the HOYS, lmao, its amazing right? how motion pictures can totally kill the value of wonderful scripted works.. lmao! it is well ooo. Nollywood and me? nope Not gonna happen. 🙂 Soooo you wanted to be a ghen ghen writter yeah? Please tell me the dream is still alive some where there? Bubba, dont give up oh, in this age and time yeah, every imaginable thing is achievable, so we your disciples gat your back. In other news, i am a 24 freak, i hate watching Seasonal movies, but 24 was ghen ghen like that, so Boyega was obviously some one to watch all the way with enthusiasm. Cheers bubba, and Merry christmas in advance. xx

    • Ha! Duru the movie was just too unbelieveable. I was so upset with the way the director axed the book. Ah ah na small kill the value of wonderful scripted works.
      Hmmm i so did o, but life just got in the way but yeah, im still thinking about it. Thanks for the support!!!
      Yes i know what u mean. When i first saw 24 on tv i didnt like it cos the suspense was just too much. Gave me high blood pressure. So i waited until all 6 seasons were available on dvd and the next 2 seasons as well.
      Thank you and im def wishing you a very merry christmas as well.
      Enjoy your week

  • sogie

    Up till now I still haven’t finished that movie. I got tired and bored. Me and nollywood still have a sketchy relationship.

    • I would safely tell you not to bother. The movie is nothing to waste your precious time over.

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