Podcast Episodes


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

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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”. half of a yellow sun, chimamanda ngozi adichie, americanah, purple hibiscus, that thing around your neckI get asked what my own name means all the time so I figured I might as well give the meaning of her name as well.

This book is about relationships and war as well as relationships during a time of war.

I have a special guest with me on this episode of the podcast and we discuss the book. The ups, downs, and in-betweens of this captivating story. The backdrop of the story is the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran war, which lasted for about two and a half years from 1967-1970, and it follows the lives of five main characters just before and during the war. I have to say that even the “minor” characters, turned out to be really strong characters and left very deep impressions in the story as well.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t yet read the book there are a couple of spoilers but I give fair warning when we are about to give them away, so if you don’t like knowing the end before you get there then you’ll want to fast forward through that section.

half of a yellow sun, chimamanda ngozi adichie, americanah, purple hibiscus, that thing around your neckThis book has now been made into a movie and as I mention in the podcast, I have included the movie trailer here in post.

If you’ve read the book please join in the discussion and leave a comment or feedback below.

You can also subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (just click on the iTunes icon in the top right corner of the page) and get new episodes delivered to you as soon as they’re published.

Photo courtesy of Okey Adichie


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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