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“My Most Memorable Book is ‘Fishermen’ by Chigozie Obioma”

By Oghoghomena Adediran

Emmanuel Awosika is a student of Mass Communication at the University of Lagos, majoring in Public Relations and Advertising. He’s also a freelance writer.

When he’s not reading a book, or writing an article, you can find him hunting for new music online. Read some of his works on Medium.

His choice of a most memorable book is Chigozie Obioma’s ‘The Fishermen,’ yet he wouldn’t hold back his love for ‘The Winner’ by Baldacci, and Nnnedi Okorafor’s ‘Who Fears Death.’

Why do you read books?

I have always read books because I find them entertaining. I lived in a strict household where TV time was limited, so books were the best diversions for me. Over time, I found that I’d rather get lost in a novel than watch a movie.

What is your earliest memory of reading?

In all honesty, I started reading quite early. I’d say I started my reading really took off when I was aged 8 or thereabout.

What is your most memorable book?

I have many memorable books. The first would be ‘The Fishermen’ by Chigozie Obioma. The plot is relatively simple, but the author tells the story in a way that grabs interest.

‘The Winner’ by David Baldacci is another book that I find interesting to this day. I use to read a lot of thrillers, but that’s one I’ll never forget.

And then there’s ‘Who Fears Death’ by Nnedi Okorafor. Pure Gold.

Kindly give a brief summary about your favourite of the books

I’ll give a brief summary of ‘The Fishermen’ since it’s my favourite.

Three brothers get interested in fishing, as a way of passing the time. Of course, they hide this from their parents who are strict, educated working-class individuals.

The plot really takes off when they meet Abulu, a mentally deranged person famous for issuing prophecies. He tells the eldest of the brothers that he would die in the hands of fishermen, and that’s where the story gets interesting.

Because his brothers are the only fishermen he knows, the eldest becomes paranoid and starts to distance himself from them. The parents later finds out, but it was too late to convince him that his brothers cannot kill him.

Why is this book memorable to you?

It’s memorable because the plot is really simple, yet gripping. I’ve read epics and mythology books, but none have stayed fresh in my memory.

It’s one of those books or movies where you see a normal family, and you think: “What can go wrong?”

But then you read, and you realise that a lot can definitely go wrong.

How did you come across this book?

I think I came across this book after a classmate brought it to school in SSS2. Then I read it with a book club I joined later in university.

Are there any particular lessons this book has taught you?

Self-fulfilling prophecies are a thing. I don’t know if this is giving the plot away, but the eldest —can’t remember his name— eventually died at the hands of his brothers. But that was because he tried to kill his younger brother out of paranoia and fear.

He believed the words of a madman, and while we don’t know what may have happened if he ignored them, we do know that his actions in the book may have caused the prophecy to come true.

It’s the same with things in life: If I think, “I’m going to fail the exam.” I’ll likely fail it, because my belief is going to make reading harder and decrease my ability to answer questions properly. That’s how self-fulfilling prophecies work.

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