Sistah Girls, I don’t know about you, but whenever I see the words “inspired by a true life story,” or something of the sort, on the front page of a book or movie, I pick up immediately, because the aproko (gossip) in me is piqued.

I mean, come on, you’ve got to admit that these types of stories are much more gripping.

Ogechi Okafor’s Nkemakolam is a story of hope, redemption, and faith. Okafor stated that she wrote this book to encourage her readers and remind them of God’s saving power, and our minds’ capability to chart a new course in the face of dark storms.  

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So, what is it about this book that I dig?

The protagonist Benedicta, experiences things that give Nollywood Movies a run for their money. At several points, while reading the book, I was like, “Ah!, things dey occur o.” The kind of roller coaster Benedicta’s life had me on ehn: angry one minute, not fully over it, then relieved, only to become anxious, then happy for her. 

There is a lot of depth in this story, it addresses faith and redemption, domestic violence, childhood trauma, and romantic love.

With flashbacks, the Igbo cultural setting, Benedicta’s story details the journey from childhood to adulthood navigating life without a mother.

Ngozi doesn’t mince words, and her writing style has a dry sense of humor that adds flair to the story. 

The Naija lingo was another element that drew me into the story, I found myself cracking up at her description of things. There is a specific Nigerian way of exaggerating things that is hilarious to me. 

Anyway, it didn’t feel like reading a book, more like a Saturday morning gist rolled into old Nollywood Movies, the kind that comes with life lessons.

I liked that even though the book is Christian, Benedicta is not a spineless syrupy sweet girl, and later, woman. She is willful, confident, and assertive, and for me, it is a much-needed departure from the nice girl Christian trope. Don’t get me wrong o, those types of characters are not bad but is that the only way to be a Jesus babe?

Now Benedicta’s love life, I will not lie, I was rooting for Ayo, but of course, he went ahead and proved that the Yoruba demon is no myth, chai, hand faller! Anyway, Bro Jude is… I’ll leave you to find out for yourselves.

Okafor’s Nkemakolam delivers on what it says it would: giving you a non-fictional read that is as enthralling, as it is thought-provoking.

The message… trust God, he’s gotcha.



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