Weekends beckon as a time for relaxation and a temporary escape from the pressures of the workweek. It’s an opportunity to unwind and prepare for the upcoming challenges. However, why ponder how to spend your leisure time at home when we have an enticing suggestion for you? What better way to enrich your weekend escape than by immersing yourself in captivating books?
In contrast to the conventional inspirational or romantic novels, we propose delving into a collection of thought-provoking African books, predominantly written by African women—hailing from Nigeria and beyond, if necessary.
For those who may not consider themselves ardent book enthusiasts, this is the perfect chance to explore recommendations that you can embark on right away. And for those already well-versed in the joys of literature, we salute you!
Without further ado, here are six must-read African novels by women that should grace your reading list this weekend!
1. Do Not Come To You By Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
Delving into the perilous world of Nigerian email scams, this novel narrates the story of a young man and the family who holds him dear.
2. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin
Bolanle, a graduate and the fourth wife in a polygamous family, navigates the intricacies of marriage to a rich patriarch. Lola Shoneyin weaves the voices of Baba Segi and his competing wives into a vivid portrait of a bustling household.
3. On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe
Four diverse women embark on a journey from Africa to Brussels, seeking the promised riches of Europe. However, when tragedy strikes, the remaining trio begins to share their stories, drawing them together in unexpected ways.
4. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This novel traces the love story of Ifemelu and Obinze from their teenage years in Lagos. From romance to heartbreak, it explores race, love, and identity from a distinctly Nigerian and African perspective, touching on themes such as African brain drain, diasporans returning to Africa, and racism in the US and Britain.
5. So Long A Letter by Mariama Ba
A poignant testimony to the struggles of articulate women in social environments that suppress their rightful place, this novel unfolds the reminiscences of a recently widowed Senegalese school teacher. Her letter addresses the emotional turmoil after her husband’s decision to take a second wife.
6. My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
A darkly funny and concise novel revolves around Korede, a Nigerian woman whose sister has an inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends. As Ayoola’s latest boyfriend meets an untimely end, Korede faces the dilemma of protecting her sister.
7. Freshwater by Akwaeze Emezi
Centered around Ada, a young Nigerian woman with multiple selves, this novel explores a rare way of experiencing the world. As Ada’s selves gain power, her life takes a dark and dangerous turn.