Magazine article New African

Welcome to Lagos

Magazine article New African

Welcome to Lagos

Article excerpt

Nigeria has a rich literary heritage, which includes not only such literary titans as Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka but also writers from a younger generation, most notably the author of Half of a Yellow Sun, the extraordinary Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Chibundu Onuzo (pictured above) is a writer whose name may soon join their ranks. Her novel Welcome to Lagos looks at the consequence of a Nigerian army conscript's decision to desert and set out on the road to Lagos. On the way he is joined by another wayward private, a naive innocent militant, a vulnerable young girl and a runaway middleclass wife.

Welcome to Lagos is in many ways a kind of road movie, which focuses on this ramshackle group and their shared goal of a search for freedom and a new home. When asked about how she began writing, Onuzo states, "My favourite subject in primary school was composition. You had to write short pieces about how you spent your last holiday or what you wanted for Christmas and my pieces always went on for pages and pages. …

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