Here's Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani reacting to Nigeria's criticism of BBC's documentary, "Welcome to Lagos":
"...hardly have I come across passionate expressions of "Oh my goodness! There are people in our country living like this? What shall we do about them? How fast can we act?
The Nigerian obsession with image often approaches neurotic proportions. What people think of us appears to take manic precedence over who we really are. You might imagine that the rational response to some of the infamies we are accused of across the globe would be: "Are we really like this? If we are, then let's do something about it – quick." Instead, we perpetually harangue and speechify to "correct" the world's impressions of us.
To be a good writer all you need is to know your way with words. Tricia is dexterous; no, she is ambidextrous with words. Okay.
To be a writers' writer, and the conscience of your generation and the world, you have to have your heart at the right place; you have to be able to see more than meets the eye and to set the tone of discourse for your generation. Tricia does that not only in her novel, but in her writings especially this reflection on Nigerians' phony patriotism.
God, how I love smart writers.
Anyway please ENJOY her beautiful piece on Guardian.