It is with a sense of excitement that we present Afridiaspora’s August Book of the Month.
Born On a Tuesday was written by two time Caine Prize shortlist, Elnathan John and was published by Cassava Republic in 2015. It is easily one of the most important African narratives of 2015.
Born On a Tuesday tells the story of Dantala, who lives in Bayan Layi, Nigeria and studies in a Sufi Quranic school. By chance he meets gang leader Banda, a nominal Muslim. Dantala is thrust into a world with fluid rules and casual violence. In the aftermath of the presidential elections, he runs away and ends up living in a Salafi mosque. Slowly and through the hurdles of adolescence, he embraces Salafism as preached by his new benefactor, Sheikh Jamal. Dantala falls in love with Sheikh’s daughter, Aisha, and tries to court her within the acceptable limits of a conservative setting. All the while, Sheikh struggles to deal with growing jihadist extremism within his own ranks.
This novel explores life, love, friendship, loss and the effects of extremist politics and religion on everyday life in Northern Nigeria. This book is an easy read with a clear and concise language. A worthy debut from an author so much was expected of.