Imagine you were born in England. Thirteen months after you were born, your parents marriage falls apart. You and your brother are thrown into the care system and are lucky enough to be caught by loving foster parents. You live happily with your foster parents and brother. You see your father every now and again but that’s okay. Your world is sunny, your future looks bright. Eight odd years roll on by. One day you father shows up for a visit and before you have time to comprehend what is happening, you find yourself in your a village in western Nigeria with your grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins and other members of your extended family whom you’ve never met. Life as you once knew it changes irrevocably.
Imagine This, written by Sade Adeniran, was a random discovery. I stumbled on it while searching for another book on Amazon. I’d never heard of the author but as you know, I’m on a mission to explore African Literature (I hate that term by the way) so I coughed up £9 for a copy. It was £9 well spent. The book is a journal of the experiences of a young girl Lola, whose life is turned on its head when her father, afraid of permanently losing parental rights over her and her brother, all but hijacks them from their foster home and whisks them off to their village in western Nigeria to be raised by his extended family. The journal chronicles Lola’s slightly sweet, largely bitter experience of village life, her dysfunctional relationship with her Father and her struggle for survival in the new world she find herself in.
As always, read and tell me what you think!