This was such a refreshing read, definitely different from the norm. Today’s book review is The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Micheal Afenfia.
I love the fact that it was set in Bayelsa not the conventional Eastern or Western areas in Nigeria we are used to seeing in most Nigerian authored books. It intrigued me how it was woven around the life of a mechanic Ebinimi and his ‘colleagues’.
I loved how much they spoke pidgin, when I did my NYSC in Abia state, I had a couple of South South friends especially Warri and Bayelsa guys, the way they used to speak pidgin that year too dey sweet my body😂😂. I’ll just sit with them at mammy market and be laughing. I’ll never forget the day one guy called ‘Governor’, pure Bayelsa guy called me ‘Aje’, I was so confused till they explained to me that it means ‘Ajebutter’ or ‘someone boujie/spoiled’. The pidgin in the book definitely took me back to my days in Abia.
I’ve definitely learnt more about Bayelsa through this book and I’ll love to read more stories from different parts of Nigeria. This was beautiful, now I wanna go to Bayelsa👀👀😋
The book brought me so much laughter, information and intrigue as I followed the lives of Ebinimi, Blessing, Asuni, Aguero, Saka, Broderick, Ebiakpo, Reverend Ebizimor, and it’s even more interesting because it highlighted their lives and societal dynamics so well.
From being an usher in church who has premarital sex, sugar daddies, bureaucracy, paternity fraud, to the political power and influence, career paths, greed, entanglements and everything in between. Just shows we all live the same lives just in different bodies.
There was this part I thought Ebinimi died and my heart shook. Micheal Afenfia is an excellent storyteller because he weaved so many realities onto one book which I found incredible. There was joy, love, heartbreak, back-stabbing, laughter, sex, confusion, dishonesty all layered together.
The different plot twists left my mouth gaping ajar, from finding out Ayintari the bouncer was actually Oputi’s sister, to finding out Agueros secret babe was Adinni and Ebiakpo was actually aware her husband married another wife. Bruh, the drama in this book was non stop.
One thing I’ll say sha is that Bayelsa men have really high libidos because their konji levels were something else. Ebinimi was dating Blessing yet was having an affair with Adinni then later moved on to Oputi and this guy proper had serious sexual relations with all of them. Even Saka!!! Saka was having sex with Sister Agnes🌚🌚
Another thing I enjoyed was how they involved modern day social media culture into the book like Instagram trends- how Saka blew up and landed opportunities from remixing songs and then became a social media sensation to the point where he started landing opportunities. Micheal Afenfia really has his pulse on the society.
The ending definitely broke my heart with Ebinimi dying but in some weird twisted way, I loved it, not all good stories have a happy ending and that’s the reality of life.
I definitely recommend this book, it’s an easy read and will definitely put a healthy smile on your face. Btw I’m really enjoying books and reviewing them, let me know any African books you’ll love me to review😉
-Your Favorite Neighborhood Slay Queen