By Elnathan John

“The Nigerian God loves elections and politics. When you have bribed people to get party nominations, used thugs to steal and stuff ballot boxes, intimated people into either sitting at home or voting for you, eventually, (through God’s grace), win the elections, you must begin by declaring that your success is the will of the almighty and living God and that the other candidate should accept this as the will of God”

Elnathan John

I give you Elnathan of the House John, First of his name, the Unburnt, King of Tact, Protector of the Realm (Nigeria), Shatterer (not a word…don’t judge me) & Breaker of Tables and Father of Satire.


Elnathan John
Be(com)ing Nigerian
My Summary:

I don’t know where I got the notion that this was going to be a fun book, packed with humor and that I would be belly laughing with each turn of a page. In my personal opinion, whosoever tells you that this book is funny, probably has not read a word of this book (in blatant terms the person is a bloody liar) or has a very warped sense of humor.

Elnathan John succeeds with his writing in providing a mirror that reflects the true nature of us as a nation and as a country; a reflection that we often choose to ignore or push aside. With each turn of a page, I could almost taste the pain and frustration of being a Nigerian as he took well deserved jabs at the Nigerian Society. I for one loved the Fact that he called everyone out on their bullshit. From the highest individual in the society to the lowest of the lows you are guaranteed to catch your sub in this book.

The book reflects various aspects of the Nigerian life and portrays this in several parts: The Spiritual; In Sickness and In Health; Temporal; Working Class, Working Hard; Law and Law Enforcement; ‘Politricking’; International Connections; Saviours, Local and International; All these unique portions are satirical chapters that tell the complicated and twisted Nigerian story.

My Thoughts:

The book starts throwing punches right from the acknowledgements.In order words, he lets you know from the get-go that he intends to offend you and by God does he deliver, it’s almost like I could hear him in my head screaming on the cold and corrupt streets of Nigeria, bell in tow, “THE GOOD BOOK SAYS THAT JUDGEMENT WILL START FROM THE CHURCH AND SO SHALL I !!!!!!”

Elnathan John
Be(com)ing Nigerian by Elnathan John

Initially this book made me so mad and defensive, so I had to take a step back and educate myself about satire and Elnathan John (because I couldn’t believe someone could be so audacious.) So a quick dash to get a dictionary and voilà.

Satire (n)

The use of humor, irony, exaggeration to ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity (yikes) or vices particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Synonyms: mockery, ridicule, derision, scorn, caricature. (Geez these are some tough synonyms)

Then I took a trip to Google to Check out Mr. Elnathan and he didn’t disappoint. The man is a pure spit-fire. His twitter was an absolute goldmine; best believe I clicked that follow button without a single thought. In an interview, (yes…. I stalked the man….carry your judgment elsewhere.) He talks about satire. I quote, “Satire depends upon people’s ability to respond to shame. We live in a post shame world.” Then my Plato/Confucius juices started flowing; hmmmm, defensiveness often reveals an aspect of our lives where we are in denial. So I piped down and soon enough all that righteous anger subsided (just a little) and I was able to complete the book.

The Verdict:

One thing is for sure Becoming Nigerian is going to make a lot of people really, really angry. But before you start chopping wood to create a bonfire to set this book ablaze, remember one thing; people only get mad and upset about certain topics when they know they are guilty so my advice is to get a chilled bottle of coke to go with this dish of harsh truths Elnathan John has served us.


Cheers! *sips Coke