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

Astor George

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

January 16, 2020

If you grew up in Nigeria and aren’t Igbo, chances are that you probably heard about the Nigerian civil war in detail at a later part of your life. This is because shockingly, an important part of our history is left out of the school curriculum. Seeing as we are entering the decade of intense […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 12, 2019

Are you a single pringle, stuck in a complicated situationship or happily married to the love of your life? This quiz is here to guess your current relationship status, and as you know, Zikoko quizzes are incredibly accurate (don’t quote us). So, give a shot:

November 28, 2019

There are so many talented and stunning Nollywood actors that make it hard not to fall in love with them. So, while we all know the likelihood of us ending up with any of them is super low, it’s still fun to imagine a world where we actually stood a chance, and that’s why this […]

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

November 4, 2019

After successfully predicting when y’all are getting married (please, email any complaints to noneofourbusiness@nayousabi.com), we are back to tell you how much is currently in your account. How, you might ask? By using your taste in Nollywood, of course. Shhh. No questions. Just take it already:

More from Pop

October 15, 2021

CAN DO! The consumer-facing brand for Nampak Bevcan – Africa’s largest manufacturer of aluminum beverage cans is championing the unbreakable spirit of the Nigerian Youth which in reality mirrors the CANS they manufacture. Youth It is undeniable that the Nigerian Youth is an embodiment of strength, determination and  resilience; qualities that are unique to Beverage […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 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.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
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.

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