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Obi Egbuna: The Madness of Didi

The story is mainly set in an African village, where the young Obi is growing up with his mother and adopted sister, Nkechi. Didi comes back to the village after having been in Britain thirty years. Immediately, all the young people – but Obi in particular – look up to this intellectual, vegetarian, anti-authority figure. He soon becomes a teacher and the students also look up to him. However, the rich, corrupt local chieftain has him fired and then tries to have him killed. In the meantime, Obi finds out more about Didi’s background. He had been in prison for the deaths of six policemen (as Egbuna himself was), served his time and then been deported back to Nigeria. In the meantime he dies and becomes a martyr and the corrupt chief is driven out of the country. The story is a bit simplistic but is well told and gives us a vivid picture of a Nigerian village and the power structure there, as well as the challenges to the traditional system that was going on at the time.

Publishing history

First published 1980 by Fontana/Collins