Sunday, May 24, 2020

Book Review: Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide by Elnathan John

Nigerian-born and looking for the right directions and incentives of reaching your full potential? There is a book waiting for you - Be(com)ing Nigerian, by Berlin-based Elnathan John - whose release coincided with Nigeria´s general elections in 2019. 
Its motto: ´Never, never explain satire´ suits the book perfectly. But you can fully experience the pleasure of a big fat laugh while reading satire. This book is the perfect occasion.
The introduction into the many facets of this identity is perfect: becoming Nigerian involves, among others, learning how to fly private to the glory of God, including as a private jet owning pastor, how to be into business - which ´can mean anything from importing cheap substandard goods from China to having a rich generous lover´, how to be a kidnapper, how to run a Nigerian NGO, how to be a mechanic, how to be a Nigerian writer. For further understanding, keep in mind that though: ´In Nigeria, there is no good or evil. There is only for and against´. 
Elnathan John gathered all necessary knowledge in order to guarantee the success. For instance, about how you have to design your business card: ´Make sure you have at least three phone numbers on the card. This shows you have at least three phones´. With a very serious warning: ´Whoever criticises your three phones, may their own business collapse´.
Further advices applies to other categories with an interest in Nigeria: the foreign journalists covering Nigerian elections and the foreigner in Nigeria. And no, there is no reference to the famous Nigerian scams we all, e-mail provided public persons received at least once a long ago. Those are so passé it seems.
Be(com)ing Nigerian is such a satyrical gem of a book. Hard to put down, hunting you long after the end. Because it may be that you are not Nigerian, but you know a couple of countries that deserve a good satire too. Lucky Nigerians for already having their own!

Rating: 5 stars

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