"I want to show that things are never simple," Nigerian writer and satirist, Elnathan John told The Guardian UK. And that’s exactly what the author did in his debut novel, Born On A Tuesday.
I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when I picked up the book recommended by the ’connoisseur’ behind the cash register. However, I was very familiar with Elnathan John’s work - political articles, angry tweets and everything in between - and so trusted in his ability to take me somewhere far from my own reality. You really know someone from following them on Twitter, you know?
The novel, published in January 2016, tells the story of a young man growing up in an increasingly fundamentalist, chaos-ridden and segregated northern Nigeria. Young Dantala (which literally translates to "born on a Tuesday"), whose age remains the object of a guessing game, struggles to find his place in the society, as he transitions from being a part-time political thug, to a devoted Muslim, second to the Sheikh.
On his journey of self-discovery, with little or no support from anyone he knows besides Allah, Dantala becomes Ahmad, a respected man in his mosque and community. He has no idea that it’s crumbling right beneath his feet, and it’s only a matter of time until the new world he has found is swept away by division.
"I was born in Kaduna, north-west Nigeria, in 1982. The place used to be v ...