Half of a Yellow Sun

I am very very excited because I booked one of my holidays for summer this evening! This isn’t my first holiday without my family but it IS the first time I’m going abroad without my twin sister, so this is all super duper exciting and a bit scary but still very very exciting, BUZZING.

Anyways I’m back at uni, and it’s like I never left because I’ve settled back into my #studentlyf routine. I’m done with lectures for the year so all I’ve got left is my clinical placement next week and my exams in a couple of weeks. I have even MORE free time than I did last term, so I made a revision timetable to make sure I make the most of it. I realised last term that I wasted a lot of time by taking naps, so that definitely won’t be happening this term. I revise by making notes and going through lectures, because I’m a reader/writer learner, so that’s what I will be doing. Fun fun fun!

In other news I’m reading Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie right now, and it’s made me realise that I really don’t know much about the history of Nigeria. The plot is based around the Biafran Civil war after Nigeria’s independence in 1960, and I came across the book when I saw the trailer for the film adaptation a couple of months ago. Before reading the book I knew nothing about this war, didn’t even know it’d actually happened, and that made me think, “Wait a minute, apart from the ‘big’ events like Independence Day, what do I actually know about Nigeria’s history…?” The answer? Not much. This made me feel bad because I claim to be proud of my dual citizenship, but I’m slacking in the Nigerian side of it even though I was born there! Absolutely TAI-rrible.

I guess as a kid I was never really interested in history (I was a pretty self-absorbed kid to be honest), and I left Nigeria just before starting secondary school there, which is when the curriculum really goes into the history of the country. So it’s not really my fault I suppose, I just feel bad for not caring back then because I really took having my grandma around to give a first hand account for granted. Found out that granddad actually fought in the Biafran War, which is pretty cool!

Half of a Yellow Sun is a really really good book though; it’s taught me so much about Igbo culture, which is very different from that of the Yorubas, my family’s ethnic group. I can understand how comparisons can be made between Half of a Yellow Sun and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, because both are about the Igbo and discuss the impact of British colonialism on Nigeria. A quote that’s stayed with me from the book is something Odenigbo says during one of his rants, “I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.” So so interesting.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is brill and her talk on why we should all be feminists is worth listening to.


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