We read Ogadinma Or, Everything Will Be All Right at the height of the COVID-19 crisis (at least here in the Netherlands) and for a few days we could forget all about it. Instead, we found ourselves wandering the dusty streets of Kano and escaping the roasting sun to Lagos. We followed the brave journey of Ogadinma, a young girl who finds out the hard way that she needs to push back if she wants control over her life-choices.
While Ogadinma grows up relatively happy and free with her father, she finds out early that a woman’s place in society is not the same as a man’s place. It is not a man, but a woman who brings shame to a family for allowing herself liberties. And for this shame, the woman has to bleed, literally. After a rape and unwanted pregnancy, Ogadinma’s dream to study literature is over and she no longer has a say in where to live or who to marry. Her happily ever after turns out a nightmare when her husband starts deciding where to go and when to speak. But this novel is not called “a modern feminist classic in the making” to end there.
Everything Will Be All Right
After her husband continues to abuse her, Ogadinma chooses her own life. She visits her past, discovers her identity and very carefully starts dreaming of a future. All of this is written in wonderful language, easy to read yet captivating. Despite the trauma, this book is not heavy or depressing but a real page-turner. After 249 pages, you’ll love Ogadinma just as much as we do.
Buy the book here.
Auteur: Ukamaka Olisakwe
Uitgeverij: The Indigo Press