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4296Book Review: Growing up in Nigeria

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  • africanmusicgroup
    Feb 20, 2013
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      I recently finished reading Gods of Noonday: A White Girl’s African Life by Elaine Neil Orr. It is a memoir of a Missionary Kid (MK) who grew up in Nigeria, West Africa. She writes it while she is waiting for a kidney transplant and possibly facing death.

      I’m still not sure what I think about this book. I don’t usually identify with MK’s since they often have issues regarding their faith and feelings of abandonment I just don’t relate to. However, her description of life in Nigeria is beautifully written and brought back a flood of memories for me. The book is also interesting historically because she lived there during the Nigerian civil war. The war was all around her.

      Elaine was born in Ogbomosho, north of Ibadan in southwestern Nigeria where her parents worked at a mission hospital. She moved around Nigeria and lived in the east for a while and then during the war she lived in Oshogbo. The Biafran War lasted from 1967 to 1970.

      War is always ugly. It is estimated three million people lost their lives in the Biafran War. They mostly died of hunger and disease. The Igbos, the main tribe living in the Eastern Region, wanted to secede from Nigeria. The people living in the north and the west did not want this to happen because, among other things, there was oil in the east. The Igbos lost the war and surrendered to General Yakubu Gowon in 1970.