Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adochie


Dear Ijeawele is a series of questions that Chimamanda writes to her friend as a guide to raising her daughter. It’s a very short read. It will take you a couple of hours to finish reading and reflecting on it if you don’t have a busy day doing things in between. The book is neither character nor plot-driven.

This book was a stumble upon. A friend of mine shared it with me and a couple of other friends who are raising girls, late last year.

The concept of feminism was refreshed in me and I was inspired to share these suggestions with my daughters as they grow up. I may not do all the suggestions but I will certainly teach my daughters those that really stood out for me.

With regard to the writing style, it was captivating and unique and came with a certain sense of authority. For those of us who were socialized to accept and act upon gender roles, it will take a bit of time to unlearn.  For example this quote:

I personally grew up being told that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. So while dating one of the things girls do especially when the relationship gets to a serious stage is do her best to ensure her culinary skills are on point.

Another thing that I need to unlearn and this will take great efforts is people’s opinions.

This wonderful short read will stay with me for a long time to come. It is a book I will be re-reading from time to time just to remind myself and my daughter’s certain truths about women and relationships.

3 thoughts on “Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adochie

  1. Mh, I really like the sound of this one and the lessons especially on gender roles. I think it will take a lot to change that mindset especially in our setting. Just this weekend, I attend a bridal shower and that was the talk. Cook for your man, wash for your man, that is submission.

    Definitely intrigued enough to read this one. Thanks for the fab review!

    1. Gender roles are also talked about on ‘Things I will tell my daughter’ by Joan Thaitiah. I will review it in the coming days. It was interesting to see her observations on how Kenyan women and men are not on the same page when it comes to relationships. There are so many assumptions that take place

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