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Adaobi-Tricia-face-1_miniMaking light of the situation [Boko Haram] helps us cope with the constant threat of violence. Every Sunday morning when I pull up to the concrete road blocks outside my church, policemen surround my car. One peeps through the window at my driver, his finger hovering close to the trigger of his gun. Another slides a bomb detector beneath the vehicle, then ransacks the trunk.

“We apologize for the inconvenience,” my pastor often says from the pulpit. “We’re only doing this to make you feel safe.”

But not every school or office can afford to hire guards and bomb detectors. I’ve heard some Abuja residents rationalize their insecurity by saying “something will end up killing you, anyway.” Especially in a place like Nigeria, with its many opportunities for death made easy. The plane in which you are flying could fall from the sky. The “doctor” performing your brain surgery may have never attended medical school. The bottle of water from the supermarket could have been scooped directly from someone’s bathtub.

Terrorists are just one more addition to the roster. They cause enough damage when they strike; we must limit their interference with the rest of our lives. That’s why we welcome events like Crack Ya Ribs. We must continue to go about our business, to live and to laugh. Read More

Nwaubani is a Nigerian author based in Abuja. I Do Not Come To You By Chance is her first novel and was published in 2009. While Nigerians love her novel, her essays haven’t been as popular. Earlier this year she got a lot of criticism for the NYT piece on house-helps. Read it here.

Anyway, I find this one quite confusing. Is she saying that Nigerians should keep calm, keep smiling, and carry on” in the face of an on-going violence that has so far claimed thousands of Nigerian lives? Or is there a deeper meaning to this piece that I’m just not getting? 

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.
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2 Responses to “Nwuabani Says Nigerians Should Laugh About Boko Haram? Is She Being Ironic?” Subscribe

  1. Eniola Ladapo November 4, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    I liked Adaobi’s debut novel – ‘I Do Not Come to You By Chance.’ It was a really funny and enjoyable novel. I fear But I have to say that this op-ed is even worse than the one on househelps. She’s written rubbish! Absolute rubbish!

  2. Fufeyin November 5, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    It reminds one of Rome’s asking for more shows at her amphitheaters; while rot and decadence were eating away, and demise beckoning at her.

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