Book Review 16 : Half Of A Yellow Sun

Book : Half of A Yellow Sun

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Pages: 433

Half of A Yellow Sun explores what transpired during the civil war between Nigeria-Biafra in the early 1960’s.

Photo courtesy: Acom Victoria

Odeningbo is the ‘revolutionary lover’ ,optimistic and opinionated about Nigeria and the world at large. He is highly educated and has a lover-Olanna,whose beauty is as rare as a gem and equally captivating. Both are educated from “abroad/overseas,” they are nearly not “African enough” until the civil war.

Their house boy Ugwu is the epitome of loyalty,he is ready to please his ‘sah’ and ‘mah’. He is woven intricately into their lives that not even the war can break that bond.

The barriers between servant and sah are not evident,sah puts Ugwu in school and opens him up to possibilities because he believes education is for all and gives one a future.

Olanna like many African women who are unable to conceive quickly as per the mother-in-law`s timeline ,faces the cold truth about ‘another woman.’ She discovers that her lover,impregnated a mere ‘village girl”.She can’t seem to get past her betrayal until her Aunt Ifeka tells her,”you must never behave as if your life belongs to a man.Your life belongs to you and you alone…”

The war changes every one even loyal Ugwu,he takes part in a gang rape of a bar girl and deep within he loathes himself . Olanna`s rich parents leave the country because they are afraid of the war but their children choose to stay.

Kainene and Richard. Kainene is Olanna’s twin sister who seemed unruffled by life’s happenings.She happened to life,life never happened to her.In her steel demeanor,she loves Richard-oyinbo-‘white man’ though she will not say it. She is like the master and he the mistress. She manages her rich father’s businesses and knows who to trade with.

Olanna betrays her in cold blood when she has sex with Richard. Both parties are guilty.Richard was blown away by Olanna`s beauty. Everyone referred to her as the beautiful one and Kainene as the plain one with a steel demeanor

. Kainene tells them both,”it’s unforgivable” and a cloth of unforgiveness envelopes her never to go off but the civil war causes the sisters to forgive each other.They had more conversation during the war than happier times. Olanna suddenly enjoyed her sister’s sarcasm and even laughed along.

Olanna finally had a confidant when it came to ‘should I keep the village girl’s baby”, Kainene seemed to think it’s Noble and Olanna kept the baby. She became a mother to baby and loved her so much that she would do anything for her even during the war.

Kainene unbothered,unruffled woman of steel cannot be found,even after the war is over. I personally screamed and almost threw my book away, how could Adichie end the book just like that.How?? Kainene, strong and unruffled by anything was never found and both Olanna and Richard were never the same.

This book is real, compassionate and insightful.

War in any form is bad,tears families apart,causes wounds and leaves them exposed.War makes for strange alliances .War tears nation’s apart,there is nothing good about war.

Adichie weaves a superb book leaving one stunned and with a gruesome picture of what civil war can do to it’s Nationals.

I recommend the novel to anyone who needs to be reminded that starting a war is not a walk in the park .Whoever needs to be reminded to have a little compassion for their neighbors.whoever needs a stern reminder to be loyal to her people and all friendships.

Got my copy from Turn the Page Africa-https://www.facebook.com/TTPAfrica/

PS; Follow them across all social media platforms -Turn the page Africa

 

55 reasons why I love Uganda

I am joining the many bloggers writing my Ugandan story thanks to Ug blogging community and Kafunda creatives http://ugbloc.com/the-55ugblogs-kafunda-kreative-ugbloc-campaign/.

We are into our 55th year of Independence and here are my 55 reasons as to why I love my motherland.

1.I am a foodie so food had to take this spot.Uganda is a food basket.Have you had matooke in ndagala (banana leaves) with g.nut stew or meat ,fish and chicken? Try it.Did you know you can make fries with YAMS??The variety of food is insane and never boring.(Follow @AkitchenInUg for more tips)

2.Ugandans ooze hospitality and warmth.We welcome all people.You can’t get lost fwaaaa, people will help you get to your destination and even give you tips on how to avoid thugs.How cool is that?

3.The Ugandan Rolex; I honestly can’t believe it’s a big deal now.The creativity in the Rolex business is amazing.Rolex with minced mix flavored with chilli is my specialty.

4.The sunrise and sunset in Uganda are magical .It feels like God spent a little more time there.It’s simply B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.

5.The endless green cover that has no boundaries. It joins districts with trees, flowers of all sizes and colors.I don’t have to go to the Amazon to see green cover,I have it right here in Uganda.

6.The hills and mountains that sit in various districts.Have you seen Mbuya hill, or been to the Western part of Uganda?I visited Mbarara over the weekend and it was breathtaking.

7.Our weather or climate.We have almost 3 rainy seasons in a year and we are the real ”basummer” ,we have the sun out always.

8.The smell of soil when rain drops kiss the ground.That chemistry can’t be taught in a lab,it can only be smelt.

9.Great music.I am a lover of muziki and each generation comes along with it’s flavor but some flavors linger on.Like Elly Wamala , Afrigo band and Madox Sematimba.I am currently obsessed with Judith Babirye’s Mukama Talimba, Ddagala by Robin San & Fortune spiceUg.

10.Musicians joining politics!!This was unheard of but it’s happening.Bobi Wine got voted into parliament and is doing mighty exploits.#kisoboka

11.Catch phrases created from our music and current events. These become part of our lingo for example teka sente wolaba,okikolotya btw?, togikwatako. These spread like wild fire.

12.Taxi stories.People who talk loudly while having phone conversations,that woman who eats boiled eggs when traffic is at its peak,that man who fights with the conductor over 100/= balance.or the conductor saying,’aba since when temuyingira”πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

13.The parks(new & old as well as usafi)harbor taxis going to any part of Kampala and Uganda at large.As long as you know which park has what taxis,you can’t go wrong with taxis.

14.There are bus parks too which make it easy for people to locate various buses going upcountry like Arua Park,global buses park among others.

15.The entrepreneurial spirit is contagious.Any business can flourish in Uganda.Numerous entreprenuers are doing amazing things in various sectors like fashion, music, chocolate.

16.Ugandans love to associate with success.When Obama became president,children born during his era are called Obama, Rolex stalls in my neighborhood were rebranded to Obama.

17.The young people finally have a voice and are making things happen.Gone are the days when that had to look on as things happened.They can’t be ignored anymore.

18.The political atmosphere.Some of our MPs are married to the nation and doing their job too well.Did you see the fight they put up in the recent #agelimit debate that raised the #togikwatako slogan?. I am proud to be alive at such a time.

19.The revolution of the fashion industry.Many designers are making clothes that Ugandans are wearing to the red carpet,weddings and various events. Designers like Kwesh, Sylvia owori,Anita Beryl, Martha Jabo.

20.We have our own Fashion Week.Growing up I watched New York and Paris fashion weeks until Gloria Wavamunno birthed Kampala Fashion Week(KFW).

21.Modelling industry has grown too.This was an industry parents wouldn’t let their kids indulge in.Look at Aamito Lagum,girl is doing incredible things.The models signed to Joram Management are doing well too.

22.Ugandan material on the market.This is a big achievement since growing up I never knew Ugandan authors.Read some Ug literature and it’s good.Books like wealth files and called to greatness by Moses Mukisa, Forearmed by Michael Katagaya, Homegrown Love by Elma Asio & Evelyn Karungi. You can find them in bookshops. As a reader and writer, I am inspired.

23.Growth of the comedy industry.I love a good laugh and Anne Kansiime is doing a great job.Anne Kansiime gets to travel to other countries to make people laugh.Comedians like pablo, Salvador who has a one man show this month,fun factory and many more.

24.Growth of content drama series.I can actually stand watching some Ug drama series like coffee shop,lies that bind ,among others.

25.Variety of TV stations. Gone are the days of UTVπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ only.

26.Variety of radio stations.I have close to four favorite radio stations that play super cool music and the hosts are great too.

27.Our rich culture 1;have you experienced the traditional dances from all over Uganda??You need too.The dances are graceful, beautiful, passionate,energetic and above all,they tell the Ugandan story.

28.Rich culture 2;traditional outfits that add flair to all functions they are worn too. The baganda have gomesis,people from Western Uganda wear sukas though,different tribes drape them differently.

29.Traditional weddings that are so Ugandan.These pay attention to tribal traditions and fulfil them when it comes to dowry, dress code, and so much more.

30.Royalty talk.Our kingdoms still exist with their kings and elders.That’s a heritage that will never be taken away.

31.The beautiful cows used for meat, milk, horns used to make decor, jewellery and as dowry.

32.Freedom of worship.It is exceptional.All religions worship what they want,who they want,where and when they want.

33.Our tea.I am a tea lover .I love me some kisubi tea,ginger tea with mudalasini (cinnamon in it’s raw form not the processed one).I am no coffee person.

34.Our money which is familiar and very easy to count and tell apart.It has significant symbols that tell the Ugandan story.

35.Our anthem that is prophetic.Being a believer,each time I sing it,’Oh !Uganda May God uphold thee.”I surrender my beloved country to God.

36.Education is a priority and most parents are doing whatever is within their power to put their kids through school.

37.Adrenaline junkie activities exist in Uganda away from TV πŸ˜‚. I have experienced bungee jumping and ziplining and still looking forward to many more.

38.We love to dance and be happy.That’s why the Kampala city carnival is a hit each year.

39.The advertising of Ug products gives me life and has gotten better over the years.

40.The beautiful rivers,lakes and water falls.These create magical journeys and moments as they decorate our country.

41.Variety of fruits which are juicy and tasty. Some of my favorites include mangoes,jack fruit,water melon and pineapples.Plus they are affordable.

42.Our boys are being mentored in this generation.Check out http://pkahill.com/55ugblogs-who-is-mentoring-boys-to-men-in-this-55-years-old-country/

43.Generosity of Ugandans .People rally to give into various causes for example 4040 foundation building a dorm, baby Kayla’s operation in India,Mtn marathon,Buganda run, and so much more.

44.The beautiful animals in our national parks.They add a pop of color to the greenery.

45.We are a young nation with potential and every other day ,year and month there is a breakthrough for a young person .I am proud to be alive at such a time.

46.Natural hair is a thing of the future.Gone are the days when we had to relax our hair.Our very own Ugandans have come up with products that cater to our hair with a made in Ug tag.This is exciting .

47.Numerous opportunities to make wealth in various sectors.The market is growing rapidly. some youth have take advantage of this and others should too.

48.Our uglish that is tailor made just for Ugandans.Its our very own English.’ They stole me’ simply meaning they took/stole something from me.

49.Second hand clothes that are affordable.These can be found downtown and in various markets around Kampala like Nakawa, Kamwokya and Usafi.Who wouldn’t want to be stylish on a low budget??

50.Ugandans are so nice,cool,intelligent,funny with a pinch of sarcasm.We smile and greet each other in taxis.I tried this in Kenya and my neighbor gave me the look.

51.The various restaurants owned and run by Ugandans dealing in local food.These are exciting because some times I get tired of KFC and Java’s caribbean jerk chicken.

52.Nsenene (grass hoppers).I love these insects and when they spice them up ,I am undone.Though my Kenyan friends can’t eat them.

53.Youth and women empowerment is being done by fellow Ugandans.Organisations like Kyusa are problem solvers.

54.I almost forgot boda bodas.I got a bad accident while on a boda this year but I can’t deny the fact that they are convenient and super fast.

55.I love Uganda because it is home and home is where the heart is. Everything is familiar,the people,dialects, structures,food, airtime,money.I love Uganda in all colorsβ€β€πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’œπŸ’žπŸ’Ÿ.

Photos courtesy of Kafunda Kreatives, Imigani and personal archives.

Β©Racheal Kizza 2017