Second-Class Citizen is the brilliant and affecting novel by Nigerian author Buchi Emecheta, originally published in 1974 by Allison and Busby. From when she was a young girl, Adah was determined to be educated, become independent and free herself from the limiting hands of Nigeria and make something of herself in the UK.
Read more about the novel in the next post, Revealing Racist, Misogynistic and Xenophobic Oppression in Buchi Emecheta’s ‘Second-Class Citizen’
Here are 6 Things We Love About Adah
- Her resilience: despite the physical and verbal abuse she got, her will remained sharp and focused. No number of beatings or berating could break her.
- Her ambition: no matter how much and what it cost her, she was willing to become educated and she did. She always looked at the future with a vision that said she could make something of herself.
- Her parenting skills. Despite not wanting to have more children but still falling pregnant, she loved and cherished her children, and was a brilliant parent who prioritised her children’s needs.
- Her independent spirit. Adah could have been married off to a man who would provide for her, but she was her own provider, she followed her own path, built her own career, and made her own money.
- She always showed up. Adah’s discipline shows in so many ways; when she was unwell, pregnancy ailments, problems in the house, she put on her shoes, worked, and did what needed to be done.
- Adah’s tenacity was commendable. When she said she wanted to go to school, to get a well-paying job, to find herself a home, to go to London, and others, she kept her focus on her goals and went at it with such force and unflagging determination.
Although an independent woman, educated, hardworking and intelligent, she’s still subjected to the so-called duties of a wife that are designed to suit patriarchal principles. There are other things about this character that aren’t so favourable but the above outweigh them and made me forget about the negatives.