Modern Africa is a place that African novelists seem to flee from.
There is something romantic about past Africa where coming out of colonialism, culture was being re-defined and re-discovered. As much as I like reading about past Africa, I quite like modern Africa (seeing as we live here) and I’d love to read more things that are set in more relatable times. If you feel the same way, here are some books set in modern day Africa, that are definitely worth reading.
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is actually Chimamanda’s first book set in modern day Africa and it was super refreshing to read. A world of emails, blogging and cell phones? Yes please! If you’ve ever wanted to become a professional blogger, there are some tips in there for you too!
- Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
The majority of people I’ve spoken to about this book found it hard to finish it, if this sounds like you, I urge you to push through the first half to come out to a beautiful second half. It’s a stunning book set in modern day Africa (for the most part)
- I do not come to you by chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
I love love love this book. It’s relaxed and funny and so easy to read. Relaxed and easy is hard to find in African fiction, the themes tend to be so heavy, there’s no space for humour. Even the ‘bad’ characters here are redeemable. The characters are written in a rounded and it makes for joyful reading. It’s also set in the modernish world of cyber cafes (what, you think everyone has a computer?) and tacky shoes.
4. Hairdresser of Herare by Tendai Huchu
I read this a couple of years ago when it came out and it was funny how similar modern Zimbabwe was to modern Nigeria, I could relate to a lot of the scenes. It explores many contemporary issues that are similar to a number of African countries.