He had not been back in Nigeria in years and perhaps he needed the consolation of those online groups, where small observations flared and blazed into attacks, personal insults flung back and forth. Ifemelu imagined the writers, Nigerians in bleak houses in America, their lives deadened by work, nursing their careful savings throughout the years so that they could visit home in December for a week, when they would arrive bearing suitcases of shoes and clothes and cheap watches, and see, in the eyes of their relatives, brightly burnished images of themselves. Afterwards they would return to America to fight on the Internet over their mythologies of home, because home was now a blurred place between here and there, and at least online they could ignore the awareness of how inconsequential they had become. (Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, pg. 117)
It is startling and at the same time hilarious that many of us think that your situations are unique, when there’s a very good chance that others are going through the same things. Coming across the above paragraph as I read the book, I can’t help but reflect on how similar the situations of migrants and those in self-imposed exile are despite their nationality/country of origin. Although the setting of her novel is between Nigeria and the United States, Adichie could very well be speaking of Eritreans in the Diaspora.
To talk of how those in the African Diaspora engage with themselves through the world wide web is an interesting and telling tale of the contemporary postcolonial situation. And to reflect on the issues revolved on such a situation through literature is truly what Adichie does best. Her book is not about the similarities among those in the African Diaspora, but by talking about those from Nigeria, she explains (intentionally or unintentionally, I’m not sure) the issues the African Diaspora has to deal with in today’s postcolonial world. I have every intention to be done by this book by the end of this week, and maybe I’ll write more about it soon.
Having that been said, I intend on writing a lot more blog posts on postcolonial literature and postcolonialism in general and will even create a new blog category under those names.