“Many westerners already have the impression that Africans, especially Nigerians are criminals and fraudsters. Stealing from them would further confirm what they already feel.” -Amaechi, Chima Nwoke.
Amaechi is a collection of 11 short stories written by Chima Nwoke. The stories span across three timelines- the past, the present and the future; pre-colonialism, colonialism and post-colonialism in no particular order. The book discusses themes on reincarnation, death, police brutality, Afrofuturism.
One of the stories I found interesting is “The Day I Die”. It tells the story of Kachi who just finished his undergraduate thesis and has a couple of days to his graduation. He hangs out with a couple of friends to celebrate and falls a victim of a drunk driver’s carelessness. The story struck me because I could relate to the setting and environment. It felt very close to home.
I have a lot of questions. Why did the author have to kill off a lot of the characters in each story. One minute you are getting lost in their lives, getting wrapped up in their hopes and dreams, sympathizing with them; the next they are being ripped away from the plot. The author did a great job luring me in, I put the book down to scream so many times.
However, PSA to all the Authors, if you know you’ll take characters from us don’t bother introducing them at all. I don’t want to experience them and have them taken away from me, on behalf of all the sensitive and emotional readers like me. 😭😭Thank you!
The second thing that stood out for me is how the author tried to amplify the Igbo culture while exploring Afrofuturism. I think it is phenomenal.
The collection is an easy read – Picture hanging out with your siblings and cousins listening to your grandparents tell you stories. It glides through you in the most captivating way. I experienced a buffet of emotions while reading this, pain, anger, laughter.
The author’s writing style is easy to read, nothing ambiguous, he really tried to carry the readers along in the most simplest yet effective way.
I really enjoyed this and I recommend it.
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