In this week’s podcast I review Secret Son by Laila Lalami and the Nollywood movie Last Flight To Abuja.

Secret Son by Laila Lalami

laila lalami, secret son, african lit nollywood hitThis story is set in Morocco, in the city of Casablanca. I for one have never watched the classic movie Casablanca though I have heard about it a lot, and after reading this book, I must say that I am now very curious to watch the movie to see how much of the Casablanca Hollywood portrayed matches up to the Casablanca portrayed by Ms. Lalami in this very intriguing and immediately captivating story.

As you might guess, Secret Son is about a boy, Youssef El Mekki, whose birth was kept a secret from certain people. As we journey through the young man’s life, we go through the ups and downs that he also goes through in the quest for his true identity. In my review, I share some parts of the book that really stood out to me and why.

There wasn’t much about the book that I didn’t like except for the fact that outside of the basic French and Arabic phrases, a lot of the other non-English words went over my head. That does not detract at all from the story though, but I am sure if I spoke those languages better I would grasp the true depth of the message being conveyed. The author did explain that basically, translating some things into English would result in too much being lost in translation and I can totally respect that.

Secret Son is a smooth flowing story and a very engaging book to read. I highly recommend it.

Last Flight To Abuja

Starring – Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Jim Iyke, Jide Kosoko and Celine Loader

This movie was based on true events and is about a plane that experiences some technical problems and then has to make an emergency crash landing. This has got to be one of the best-made Nollywood movies thus far. The film quality is great and it doesn’t have that usual “home video” quality that a lot of   Nollywood films do. The story lines are very well set up and well developed and they do an excellent job of inserting flash forwards and flash backwards in to wrap the entire story together in a neat package.

The actors and actresses in this film are some of the top Nollywood talent and they don’t have that whole “over-dramatic” thing going on. One of the things that was also very impressive was that whoever did the music score was spot on. The music played for different scenes actually matched what was going on in the scene…amazing! The movie also had a good soundtrack.

Even for those who aren’t typical Nollywood movie fans, this is a good watch. It is just under an hour and a half (which is considered short for most Nollywood movies) but the length is just perfect.

Check out the movie trailer below.

Final rating: Must See


I love thrifting!

For me, thrifting ranks right up there with reading, sleeping in and days off work. I almost have it down to a science. When you get the type of thrill I do from acquiring stuff at a steal of a deal, you soon become an expert at ferreting out bargains and hunting them down.

One of my favorites are library book sales. Move over Amazon… I used to think that getting my books on Amazon was getting the deal of a lifetime compared to buying them at a brick and mortar store (well, other than thrift stores), but then I stumbled, literally, on a library book sale. You see, I started doing so much reading that I decided that I would need to patronize my local libraries if I didn’t want to spend all my discretionary income on new books. So there I was one fine Saturday, moseying on down to the library to get my stash for the week and I saw books spilling out of the library on neat racks and shelves all around the garden and courtyard surrounding the building. Yep, it was a “Friends of the Library” book sale. All I can say now is that I have never looked back to regular retail ever since, and I am a very good friend of just about every local library in my area now… 😉

I still buy on Amazon, because of course not everything is going to be found at a library book sale. I can’t help but think that I am part of the reason there is such a dearth of physical book stores nowadays. But alas, I am just one person.

I even discovered that I could get the schedule of not just my own local library book sales but those for my entire metropolitan area. I was in heaven because “Have Car, Will Drive…” 🙂thrifting, african literature, library book sale

So this weekend I hit one up and I came back with a bounty of books. I am so excited because I found a ton of books by African authors. Some I already had on my “Must Read” list and some I just discovered there at the book sale. I basically have just stocked up on fodder for lots of future podcasts to come and I’ve already started working my way through the pile.

Right now I am reading Secret Son by Laila Lalami. Her writing is so smooth and easy flowing, the story just comes together so fluidly. I haven’t finished it yet but at this rate, it will most likely be my next book review. Okay, now back to reading…


002 Half Of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

September 16, 2013

In this episode, I review the book “Half of A Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Published in 2006/2007, this is her second book and is still very much a best seller today. Just for your trivial knowledge, her name, Chimamanda, means “my God will never fail”. I get asked what my own name means […]

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001 African Lit Nollywood Hit Introduction

September 2, 2013

Welcome to the African Lit Nollywood Hit podcast! This podcast developed out of two hobbies of mine – reading and watching movies. Yes, very simplistic 🙂 More specifically, the podcast is dedicated to exploring African culture through books written by and about Africans and films acted and produced by Africans about Africa or Africans. Africans […]

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