I Do Not Come To You By Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

I really loved this book as it was hilarious and serious at the same time. The author tried to tell the depressing story of my country without letting it get to her readers, and it worked.

Although I laughed through this book, I felt sorry for everyone stuck in Nigeria. At the end of this book, I doubt you’ll have a bias or a good and bad hero or villain theme. The characters were relatable; they’re your everyday people, neighbors, family, friends, etc.

This book portrays the story of most Nigerian young men saddled with responsibility in a country where the depths of your pocket measure your masculinity. The MC’s journey is the story of every Nigerian youth mentored by parents who taught us that education was the way forward.

Whatever happened at the turn of the century, we don’t know. However, we ended up with the degrees, high-functioning brains, proper English, no opportunities, and not even a chance to try and fail.

The MC walked into a world that systematically killed his hopes for the future he wanted for himself. After losing his sweetheart to poverty (after all, what can love buy), he had a choice- remain a man of integrity, forever subject to the embarrassment of poverty or follow those who know the road, as we say in this part of the world.

There’s the initial discomfort and guilt, but as with all crime, he gets used to it. There’s this dangerous resignation that any Nigeria-affiliated individual knows about. It’s this sense of acceptance, a sort of “just get on with it” brand of self-destructive apathy.

The MC’s foray into the 419 industry that Nigeria is famed for abroad is a betrayal of everything he stands for. Although he starts out with the best intentions (I’m doing this for my family and my future children), Kingsley soon knows he won’t let go of this new life, no matter what beckons.

The man has finally divested himself of all he holds dear for the so-called better life- the never-ending story of our lives, isn’t it?

This book is a light-hearted retelling of what every creative, talented, intelligent youth in Nigeria goes through. Those lucky enough to get out through whatever means know that no matter how much of a patriot they may seem, they are never going back.

I loved Ozoemena’s character. Although she comes across as a bit puritan or rigid, she’s a stark reminder of what the standard is. There are no blurred lines or gray areas with her; she was true to herself, and I admired that.

If you need a distraction from the ongoing sham they call an electoral process, or you feel that you’re alone in your struggles in this country, I highly recommend I Do Not Come To You By Chance; you’ll laugh it off and be fine. 🙃🙂😉

Oghenetega Elizabeth Obukohwo

Hi I'm Tega, I am a microbiologist with a lifelong passion for reading, I fell in love with books as child (where I was briefly obsessed with Enid Blyton, lol) reading is simply my escape and hobby and sometimes doubles as therapy for me . My favorite genres are African lit, historical fiction, memoirs/biographies and fantasy. I do beta reading and post book reviews which you can check out on my Instagram @ te_ga_o.

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