Ogadinma by Ukamaka Olisakwe

After reading Daughters who Walked this Path, and hearing people say that it shares similar themes with Ogadinma, I concluded I did not look forward to reading Ogadinma and therefore did not add it to my reading list.

And now, I am happy that I did read this book. I got a copy from the_swapng in an exchange for my honest review.

Ogadinma, a 17-year-old who lived with her father in Kano, was left in desperation when she learned her chances of getting admission into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, were very slim. She was left with just one choice. A path that uttered the course of her life and landed her in a marriage with a man who abused her physically and verbally.

Her relationship with Tobe was far from what I had imagined after reading several reviews online.

I thought Ogadinma was forced to marry an older man. Forced, as per, completely against her will. I did learn, however, that what happened here was manipulation. She was made to think that marriage to Tobe was what she needed at 17, and the only way she could fix her life and win her father’s love back.

Tobe is not the kind of man you imagine. Outside character, he is a spec. The kind of guy Lagos women chased after, Rich and handsome. I rooted for this relationship initially that I thought there would be some kind of twist to the story and Ogadinma would wind up marrying some older man I had pictured in my head. The likes of Barrister Chima, sort of.

In the end, Ogadinma sought for what was best for her, leaving behind her past, and although weighed down by uncertainty, she fearlessy stepped into a new and completely different life where she knew what she wanted and never hesitated to speak up for herself.

Ogadinma by Ukamaka Olisakwe

Ogadinma was a lot to take in. It took me a while to get through because I needed to take pauses in between. At the beginning of the book, I struggled to get into the story. I honestly did not like and couldn’t connect with any character. Including Ogadinma herself.

What I did like, however, was the author’s prowess. How she constructed her sentences, her choice of words, the few Igbo phrases, and how she artfully refrained from describing the body features of her main character.

If you are looking forward to reading this book, here are a few things you must know

  1. The main character was raped severally. More times than I can count.
  2. She was abused by her husband, which led to premature labor.
  3. Ogadinma was not outspoken at all. I found this very disturbing.
  4. Patriarchy was prevalent in this story.
  5. Display and abuse of power.

Ogadinma is one of those books I would shove down everyone’s throat because even though it is set in the 80s, the themes that it explores still very much plague our society in this time and age.

I totally recommend this book to everyone and will be more than glad to share my copy with anyone who is interested in reading it.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it?

My rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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