On “Literally What’s Hot” OkadaBooks exposes a whole new level of African writing that defies convention and shatters the literary landscape with boldness and class.
So I sat down today to read this book by a relatively new author Valerie Kerri who submitted her first book to us at OkadaBooks. It shot up to number 4 on our bestseller list in less than 3 weeks, so I was curious to read it myself.
“The JJC Handbook“ as far as titles go, was catchy but what really caught my eye was the book cover art. It could only have been dreamed up by a true Nigerian (none other than BellaNaija’s Poet Tolu). The over sized winter coat, the green passport and Ghana-must-go bag on what looked like Heathrow Airport … it brought a smile to my face.
The book promises to be a treasure chest of wisdom for anyone travelling out of Nigeria especially those travelling to the United Kingdom.
The book is divided into 3 main sections:
1. The International Student
2. The Migrant Worker
General Comments Some Other Stuff
It is a small book (0.1 mega bytes to be precise) and I read it cover to cover in one sitting but what it lacks in length it makes up for in humor and wisdom. She covers everything from choosing the right course to getting a job after your studies.
She is very funny … you can almost hear a girly voice with a Nigerian accent telling you “it is okay for you to still like drinking Garri and eating Bole even after getting your janded Masters degree” but in a sarcastic sort of way.
When she wrote about her mother saying to her, “they don’t have 10 heads” when referring to classmates who did better academically, I fondly thought of my mum as well.
Her writing is simple and easy and you feel relaxed reading. That comforting feeling carries throughout the book and the information comes across as very well-meaning and useful. I found myself laughing out loud at some points and began wondering what an audio book will sound like.
At the end, I feel like I have had a long talk with my big sister who has told me about my life and expectations. You get the feeling that you will let her down if you don’t come back from “Obodo Oyibo” as a superstar.
All in all, I feel like I should have read this book a few years ago before my first disastrous trip to the United Kingdom; where I jumped on a tube train heading the wrong way and got fined by the traffic enforcement for not having a ticket!
Will I read this book again? Maybe. It’s small enough to read over and over and I found it easy enough to read. Would I recommend it to anyone? Most definitely!
‘The JJC handbook- adapting to the UK with ease’ is Valerie Kerri’s first book, She lives in London and is an entrepreneur and writer. The book will be officially launched in the UK on the 26th of August, 2016.
Download a copy of Valerie’s JJC here okadabooks.com and tell us what you think about it.
Illustrations by: Poet Tolu
Photographs by: Zaynab Quadri and Valerie Kerri