Dear Nse: Purple Hibiscus and defamation of character

by Tayo Adelekan

Some “Twitter activists” are guilty of this and more. They incite bile and attack needlessly. This administration needs to be criticised, I agree,  but tact should be applied.

Dear Nse,

Hello Nse. It feels good to write you again. I’m excited at the thought of watching the films you are currently shooting. ‘Journey To Self’ being the first on my list.

Please imagine a wide grin planted on my face at this point.

How was it though? Did you break an arm and a leg? You know who else has got me robust with mirth? Carol King. Boy can she act, I hear she was on set with you. Reminds me of this soap that aired back in the day, Edge Of Paradise. She played the lead and I fell in love since then so yes, I am eagerly waiting for this film.

So I am reading Purple Hibiscus and 65 pages in, I understand the hype and I dare say it’s a very powerful prose. You see Chimamanda Adichie has a way of drawing one in, refusing to share attention with anyone or anything else and as you leaf through the pages, she manages to subtly explain all the characters and their experiences through the eye of Kambili and as The Hartford Courant writes: “Remarakable. Kambili’s voice is sensitive and unassuming. It is also, by turns, funny, full of young and passionate longing, and crushingly sad. In addition to its lovely, spare writing and complex characters, Purple Hibiscus has a swift, seamless story line and makes politically tumulltous and intricately textured Nigeria completely accesible. Adichie is a budding star on the rise.”

You see, I agree with them completely. As I navigated from one major character to another, I began to liken them to actors who could pull off a perfect portrayal if the book were to be adapted in to a film. Ramsey Noah should be cast as the father, Brother Eugene who is a stern man and a firm believer set in his fanatical path even though I think he is a hypocrite despite his religious thoughts, words and actions.

Ah, the heroine of the book. My dearest Kambili. I can’t think of a girl who will bring her to life because her character is the core of the book and whoever will be cast must eat, drink and sleep the character, Kambili.

The househelp, Sisi, I believe should be played by Chica Chukwu. The book says Sisi has high cheekbones which gives her an angular expression but Chica doesn’t possess such attributes, nevertheless, she’ll slay. I saw what she did in Amazing Grace and Phone Swap hence my decision.

For the boy, Jaja, can’t think of anyone but the Mama, should be portrayed by Nse Ikpe- Etim. I have seen your performances in the Ibibio and Owerri dialect so I’m convinced you’ll do well.

On the other hand, David Mark may be somewhat right. He expressed concerns about the level of antagonistic tweets we hurl at the leaders everyday and I agree with him. Many are still left with the scars from  when our Dear Jonah removed the cushion from under our buttocks -fuel subsidy removal- some are angry at the idea of Cassava Bread and most are furious about the incessant killings by Boko Haram but there is no cause for defamation of character. There are words which can be used to register utter displeasure as opposed to kicking, biting and tearing. Some “Twitter activists” are guilty of this and more. They incite bile and attack needlessly. This administration needs to be criticised, I agree,  but tact should be applied.

I hope this letter meets you well. Makes you smile and inspires you like you, me.

Love always,




Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

One comment

  1. Poorly written article…started well but somewhere along the line lost the readers trying to make an abstract point…also the end was sudden and unexpected.

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