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“My Most Memorable Book is ‘Freshwater’ by Akwaeke Emezi”

By Oghoghomena Adediran

Jessica Okolo is a final year student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Enugu State. She is majoring in English and Literary studies, with a minor in Theatre and Film studies. Aside studying, she writes short stories and poetry, and she sings as well. Her most memorable book is titled ‘Freshwater’ written by Akwaeke Emezi, and she tells why the book is her choice.


Why do you read books?

I read books because it’s an escape for me. Oh, and because it is fun.

What is your earliest memory of reading?

My earliest memory of reading should be when I was in primary school, my mum got me this book titled The Twelve Dancing Princesses and I loved it. It was priceless, escaping with the princesses to their secret hideout.

What is your most memorable book?

My most memorable book – currently – should be Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi.

Can you give a brief summary of the book?

Freshwater centres on the story of Ada and the gods in her. Ada is an ogbanje(Igbo word for changeling), right from the time she takes form in her mother’s womb; we know that she is an ogbanje. Ada had We, Asughara and Saint Vincent as personalities in her and these are the spirits/gods of her ogbanje self. The story centres on Ada dealing with these gods, making blood sacrifices for these gods, losing the battle against these gods and Ada coming to terms with the fact that these gods are her and she, them. The story is of Ada coming to terms with the fact that she is an ogbanje.

Why is the book memorable to you?

It’s memorable because I love the way it was written. The switches weren’t boring and gosh, the plot twist and everything is out of this world.

Are there any particular lessons this book has taught you?

The lesson this book taught me is to see my reality in a different light. When we say someone has split personalities, is it really split personalities or the gods in them making themselves known?

How did you come across this book?

I came across the book because I saw a review of the book. The review didn’t do the book justice, just saying.


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