I Do Not Come to You by Chance

Nigeria Prize for Literature, 2012

ebook / ISBN-13: 9780297858720

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“This is a fast, fresh, often hilarious first novel, by one of the remarkably talented young African writers who are rapidly making everyone else look stale” The Times

Kingsley is fresh out of university, eager to find an engineering job so he can support his family and marry the girl of his dreams. Being the opara of the family, he is entitled to certain privileges – a piece of meat in his egusi soup, a party to celebrate his graduation. But times are hard in Nigeria and jobs are not easy to come by.

For much of his young life, Kingsley believed that education was everything, that through wisdom, all things were possible. But when a tragedy befalls his family, Kingsley learns the hardest lesson of all: education may be the language of success in his country, but it is money that does the talking. In desperation he turns to his uncle, Boniface-aka Cash Daddy-an exuberant character who suffers from elephantiasis of the pocket.

He is also rumoured to run a successful empire of email scams. But he can help. With Cash Daddy’s intervention, Kingsley and his family can be as safe as a tortoise under its shell. It is up to Kingsley now, to reconcile his passion for knowledge with his hunger for money, to fully assume his role of first son. But can he do it without being drawn into this outlandish milieu?

Reviews

[Nwaubani] not merely explores a side of modern existence that touches millions every day, but does so with wit, warmth and insight
INDEPENDENT
Sparklingly funny debut novel
WIRED MAGAZINE
In this touching tale, the Nigerian author traces a "419" plot back a generation - a generation full of hope and promise
PRIDE MAGAZINE
[Nwaubani's] pointed and poignant first novel is a lively, good-humoured and provocative examination of the truth behind a global inbox of deceit
WASHINGTON POST
This is a fast, fresh, often hilarious first novel, by one of the remarkably talented young African writers who are rapidly making everyone else look stale
THE TIMES
Nwaubani does a great job of detailing the frantic pulse of urban Nigeria
TIME OUT
Beautifully written... More than just a brilliant read, it also turns the whole idea of Nigerian 419 scams neatly on its head, using wit and warm humour to bring to life the stories of the email recipients themselves
SUNDAY HERALD