4 Nigerian Novels That Messed Up A Generation Of Children

July 8, 2020

As any Nigerian who grew in the Nigerian school system knows, there were certain novels we were made to read in literature class. Some of them were clearly written for kids while others were adult books we had to read anyway. I always assumed these books were picked just because they had lessons to teach or whatever, but I recently realized that it was much more than that.

The authors of these books seemingly aimed to teach lessons in the most horrifying ways possible. Some of them went so ham that the messages got lost in the horror. Here are a couple of offenders:

1) Ralia the Sugar Girl

Ralia is a happy-go-lucky village girl who everyone loves because she’s so…happy-go-lucky. At some point, she wanders into a forest and gets lost. While there, she runs into so much weird and scary shit. The worst of the weird shit is an evil topless witch with sausage boobs who threatens to dig out Ralia’s eyes and suck her blood, just because she trespassed on the witch’s property.

Ralia eventually finds her way home and the book ends. But I’ve always thought of writing a sequel, set three years after the events of the first book, where Ralia is in an asylum because she had a mental breakdown and murdered her entire family. The epilogue would see Ralia get a visit from a mysterious woman offering to get her out in exchange for her joining a secret organization.

The mysterious woman is Alice.

Alice from Wonderland.

2) A Mother’s Choice

Mother’s Choice is about a boy named Ade. Ade has just graduated from primary school and his mother insists (despite her husband’s concerns) that Ade go to secondary school in the UK. As a weird form of foreshadowing, Ade’s father tells his wife that whatever happens to their son during his time overseas will be her fault. She agrees and lives to regret it because Ade goes to England, becomes an alcoholic, gets hooked on drugs, engages in orgies with prostitutes, gets arrested, and ends up in a psychiatric hospital. So much shit happens that by the end, you’re left wondering what lesson you were supposed to learn.

3) A Chained Tomb

The narrative of A Chained Tomb spans a couple of decades in the lives of a couple of people (most of them relatives) living separate lives in the same town. The main character is a boy named Uze, and he is the absolute worst kind of offspring. He joins a gang, steals, beats his mother to death in a violent rage, etc.

By the end, Uze in prison for murder.. A friend of his named Jade comes to visit him. The warden informs Jade that Uze died two days prior. After asking to see where Uze’s grave, the warden takes her to a patch of land behind the building that serves as a burial ground for deceased prisoners with no family on the outside. Uze’s grave has an unmarked tombstone with a chain around it. Seeing the confusion on her face, the warden lets Jade know that chains are put around the tombstones of prisoners who died without finishing their sentences, to KEEP THEIR SOULS BOUND UNTIL THE END OF THEIR SENTENCE.

And that’s how the book ends.

TF?!

4) The Gods Are Not To Blame

You know what? I don’t think 12-year-olds need to be reading the Yoruba version of Oedipus Rex. I mean, the story’s themes of how free will is a myth, and fate is inescapable are awesome. But this story also contains patricide, incest, suicide, and self-mutilation.

Your kids don’t need this.

Damn.

RECOMMENDED READING: 5 Nigerian Novels That Deserve Movie Adaptations

You'll like this

November 5, 2019

PyschoYP — “OPPS” PsychoYP has finally released his new mixtape, YPSZN2, and it’s every bit as hard as we expected it to be. Out of the 16 tracks on the project, however, the track that truly goes the hardest is “OPPS”. On the exceptionally produced song, PyschoYP raps about not being able to find anyone […]

November 21, 2019

BUJU has been one of the year’s most exciting new talents. He landed his big break with “Spiritual” — a Zlatan-assisted hit that ranks among the best songs of 2019. He then went on to earn a well-deserved nomination for ‘Rookie of the Year’ at the Headies. Since then, the rising star has continued to […]

Astor George

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

Watch

Now on Zikoko

August 8, 2020

We like to think our bodies are our own. Like we own and control them. But you see this body you call your own, it chooses to disgrace, embarrass and betray you, occasionally at the worst of times. Read on to see the  6 terrible ways your body can betray you so you can cast […]

Recommended Quizzes

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

June 14, 2020

Have you ever been with someone so horrible that you swore to never date again? Yes? Well, do you know that one or more of your exes probably feels the same way about you? You never thought about that, huh? Thankfully, this quiz is here to let you know just how much of a hassle […]

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding:

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

More from Pop

August 5, 2020

There are a few new kids on the block in the Nigerian music space, but not many are as exciting as Divine Ikubor, popularly known as Rema. The youngster currently signed to Jonzing World, a subsidiary of Mavin Records has within such a short time dropped a surprising amount of great music and he’s becoming […]

August 3, 2020

Without thinking too much, you can already picture some of the evergreen Nigerian albums you’ll come across in this article. Well, let’s get to it! 1. Adio, 33- YBNL “This joint dropped at the point in my life where I was hustling and the energy from the album just supplied me with constant ginger to […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.
September 24, 2019
A group of Zikoko staff go on a road trip to every mainland country in ECOWAS West Africa

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X