Would you accept an invitation to lunch if you knew that the menu would be jollof rice, barbecued chicken and salad? We bet you would. The Nigerian Jollof is unarguably one of the most popularly served meals at events around Nigeria. This signature delicacy has for decades been the mainstay for many Nigerian families no matter their location, tribe, culture or financial status.
This week, we present to you what we will call party Jollof – Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi. The kind of Jollof rice that you would definitely want to take home, especially if you are a friend to the caterer or the host.
Much like the title itself, Judging You condemns; the ugly societal ills afflicting humans in general, including but not limited to criticism and condemnation of fellow humans (racism), infringements of rights, views, actions, inactions, that are largely partial. Luvvie clearly exposed what individuals have to go through in life, yet find a way to come out strong and unhurt and how challenging it is to be normal in spite of it all. Many lessons are learnt.
But like serious party Jollof with the playful garnish, Luvvie’s work was not all serious talk; there were points of comic relief. She made us laugh even though we knew she was serious. For example, when at age nine, she first arrived in the United States and went to school for the first time, the embarrassment she felt because of her heavy Nigerian accent. Then at lunchtime, everyone brought out a sandwich but she a plate of white rice and stew. How odd!
Settings Language and style.
Luvvie alternated between formal and informal language, which made her book stand out like the party jollof, that certainly tastes different from home-made jollof. It’s just not the same.
She did not mince words as she courageously and fearlessly x-rayed the most sensitive issues, that most writers would likely be afraid to talk about. Keep your dictionary handy; you may have to consult it when Luvvie decides to go formal.
She used her personal experiences to mirror what many people experience daily. But she did not just stop at revealing the oddities. She gave specific counsel on what to do and what not to do. Literally telling offenders to “Stop!”
One drawback from this story though is that Luvvie spent too much time talking about events and happenings, that sometimes we got bored, almost like when there is too much water in the jollof rice, and it becomes sticky, mashed up and hard to eat. A perfectly cooked jollof rice has just the right amount of water, not too little, not too much.
Chef Verdict: we give this book 3.5 stars of deliciousness.
Turn up the volume to Ras Kimono’s Under Pressure as you read, you’re sure to stay glued until the last page.
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