I always wondered what the fuss about Chimamanda was. I had opportunities to read her books, but never did. When I first picked a copy of one of her books to read, I ended up whining about how boring and unappealing the titles were. I tried to figure out story lines to suit the titles, Purple Hibiscus, Half Of A Yellow Sun and the other one, without success.

Last Friday, I decided to read Half Of a Yellow Sun(six years after it was published). I wanted to see what the book was about and try to relate to all the noise people make about Ngozi Adichie. After reading it, all I can say is, she deserves every bit of the hype she gets. I even think she is underrated. With awesome story-telling skills like that?! *sigh

Not to bore or spoil the fun for you, but there’s too much I have to say about the book and my perception of Chimamanda. I would try and refrain from narrating the entire book. You know, I haven’t posted anything here in a while and when friends ask, I say to them, “I have been busy”, but that’s really just a big lie. I’m either too lazy or at loss of what to write about. While reading Half Of A Yellow Sun, I got to the point where I was sure I would write about the book. I think it was inspired by the oyibo boy, Richard, who also had difficulties with finding what to write about.

Half Of A Yellow Sun is a story of twin-sisters, Olanna and Kainene before and after the Nigerian Civil War. It is the story of courage in the face of war. I felt like I was a part of this book, as though I watched the different characters play their role. At some point, it felt like I was watching Ugwu, peep into Olanna’s room while she and Master made love.

I was reluctant about writing this initially, because I thought it would seem as though, it were a review; but I guess the desire to write about it was stronger than the reluctance. Yes, the book is bad(in a good way) like that. Half Of A Yellow Sun also reminds me of a very good friend, Tahir who hails from Borno state and works as a journalist in Abuja. Sometime last year, when we first got talking, he kept going on and on about how much he liked Chimamanda, how he really wanted to meet her and all. Until I read this book, I didn’t understand why. Chimamanda writes beautifully, it’d be hard not to fall in love with her.

She gave very fine details and was unafraid to cross boundaries. I imagined Master’s house as one in the Senior Staff Quarters, University of Benin. I pictured him playing table tennis with other lecturers at the UNIBEN Staff Club. Half Of A Yellow Sun made me feel sympathy, fondness and admiration for ‘Ndigbo’, so much so that I thought to myself, “Maybe it’s actually high time an Igbo person got a chance to lead this nation.” I had to remind myself that the book was fiction.

I have never really taken time out to read about the Nigerian Civil War, but Half Of A Yellow Sun, whether or not I was interested, gave me an idea of what it was like for people across the River Niger, Biafrans as they were called at the time. In the words of Bertrand Russell, “War does not determine who is right, only who is left.”

My favourite character in Half Of A Yellow Sun has to be Kainene. I liked everything about her. Sense of humour, sarcasm, bravery and stubbornness. Unfortunately, she didn’t get back from ‘afia attack’ before Chimamanda’s ink finished.

In the midst of all the on-goings in our nation, Boko Haram insurgence, militancy in the Niger Delta, mob killings, kidnappings, release of Tonto Dikeh’s songs, etc one can only hope that we don’t experience another war. makes me wonder if the other half of that yellow sun would ever rise, when it would rise and how intense it would be, if it does. Kainene said, “O dikata njo, o dikwa mma”, it gets worse before it gets better. I hope sincerely, that this is that darkest hour before dawn for us as a nation.

May the labour of our heroes past never be in vain.

Oghogho Omorotionmwan is a freelance blogger who enjoys gisting, sleeping and surfing the net. She is also very interested in fashion. she is currently a Geology major at the University of Benin, Benin-city. You can also follow her on twitter: @owggee



Add yours

  1. She definitely gave you an experience thru it all. Reminds me of the same I had while reading it. Though the ending made me feel like not reading any of her books again. Same with ‘the purple hibiscus’. Sad endings. She’s a good writer in all.


  2. Owgee cnt say which is mre beautiful bw u n ur writing.. And to ca it up, u quoted one f my tyt philosophers, Bertrand Russell… May God bless u dearie


  3. That lady, Chimamanda, is gifted sha. And Half of a Yellow Sun is arguably the best modern Nigerian novel I’ve read. I also don’t know much about the Civil War but the history I got from reading that book? Like you said it showed another side to a story that’s not often told truthfully. She inspires me to go back to the kind of creative writing that I started with. Thank you for reminding me of such a great novel.


  4. A very interesting, well-structured, captivating and intelligent piece! Lol @ tonto dikehโ€™s songs leading to war..May Nigeria not see any darker hour than it already hasโ€ฆKeep up the good work


  5. Ok…now I have a new resolution: to read half of a yellow sun and ‘the other book’ within the next the way u related it to present day Nigeria.
    Nice review.;)


  6. Beautiful piece with nyc use of words.very mature….honestly neva read her I think its a must.hahhahahaahah @ tonto’s song leadng to war.indeed……kudos gal


  7. Dat book made me feel same way..graduated from UNN Nsukka so I cud relate with almost all d locations mentioned! Chimamanda is a brilliant writer indeed!


  8. I learnt to heed Tahir’s recommendation after he introduced me to a an app that offerred the best of radio stations from all over the world. I hate to read, alwayd did. This time though, I’ll head to the closest bookshop with ‘THE OTHER HALF OF THAT YELLOWย SUN’ tagged to my forehead.

    …Liking the way you write owgee.


  9. I must confess, I haven’t ever read any of her books: what,caught between studying for numerous exams and trying to have a modicum of a social life, how and why would I?

    I’ve only been opportuned to see her on one of TEDtalks’ episodes…her “Danger of a Single Story”,a recount of her journey ,mirroring how human’s perception of any race,ethnicity,creed and other areas applicable in our lives today,limits us from actually seeing the bigger picture of what such has to offer(in my opinion) ; actually confirmed how much she deserves all the accolades,awards and more! She truly is a story teller, the Achebe of our time…!


  10. Og,never knew u write this good.Only got 2 know earlier this wk from Ebube.Anyway,nice write up & maybe if u wanna relate better with the Biafran war,u could read Chukwuemeka Ike’s “SUNSET AT DAWN”


  11. There are books, and there are books. There are some books that after reading them, you close your eyes, and think about life. About human beings. About the existence or not of a God who created this species called human beings.
    Half of a Yellow Sun is one of such books. The Sicilian is another of such books.

    My parents fully experienced the Nigerian Civil War. They survived with their scars. I have read several books about that war, but I never felt the war story like I did while reading Chimamanda’s “Half of a Yellow Sun.”

    Here are some links for fans of Chimamanda Adichie’s works:

    And here’s a link to her speech โ€œWhy Are We Surprised?โ€ at the Nordic Africa Institute some months ago. I downloaded the video, uploaded to dropbox, and you can download them here: and .
    Complete audio:


  12. I just realised that I’ve forgotten about a lot of the characters in that book (*covers face*). I read it like over 6 years ago, I think, so I guess that’s expected. I definitely need to re-read. Meanwhile, I’m just recovering from the awesomeness that is her new book, Americanah. Hope you’ve read it, or are planning to read it soon?


    1. I’m currently reading Americanah. She just never disappoints! I hear they plan to release Half of a Yellow Sun (the movie) soon. I hope it come out as good as the book.
      Thank you for reading, Muyiwa. ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. You’re welcome :). There’s been a lot of controversy about the proposed movie and I’ve chosen not to keep my hopes too high. Besides, I’ve never been much impressed with movie adaptions; especially if I read the book before I saw the movie


      2. I think the main thing people aren’t happy about is the choice of Thandie Newton as Olanna instead of a Nigerian. She insists the choice wasn’t really hers’ to make.
        They say books are more interesting than their movie adaptation. I’m not sure about that. I like Game of Thrones as it is. I’m not sure I want to read the book sef.


  13. i read purple hibiscus about 5 years ago and since then I’ve read it about 4 more times. I love half a yellow sun and I can’t wait to read americanah, I’m just patiently waiting for the price to fall (as u all know, her books are quite expensive) and lmao @ the release of tonto dikeh’s songs. she really needs to be stopped.


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