There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra

352 pages
By Chinua Achebe

Book Review

One chapter in, and I ask myself why it is my first time reading Chinua Achebe—the genius articulation of vocabulary, detail in storytelling and subtle humour left me in awe. I was simply excited to continue reading.

Chinua Achebe took me on a journey–highlighting three significant events in his book. He highlights the nearly perfect times just after Nigeria gained her independence, and the Nigerian Civil war that claimed the lives of over two million civilians, displacing countless people (mostly children) from the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. He later shares the aftermath of the civil war and its impact on both opposing sides.

In a nutshell, this book challenged many beliefs I grew up with; those of “our heroes past”. It also made me ever so proud of my heritage.

More importantly, the final chapter of this book sheds some light on what activism meant to Mr Chinua Achebe—his final remarks were a testament to his patriotism. Today, we only get to hear stories, but really, there was a country.

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