#FaveCoupleAfricanLit : Where the Love Is

“It was a heighten state of friendship.
Maybe it was also a bit of infatuation.
But what I knew for sure was that it was also love.
Maybe love was some combination of friendship and infatuation.
A deeply felt affection accompanied by a certain sort of awe.
And by gratitude.
And by a desire for a lifetime of togetherness.”
Chinelo Okparanta, Under the Udala Trees

Curating all of your responses to our #FaveCoupleAfricanLit is probably the most Valentine thing [the editor] has had to do today. Apart from the fact that they roll their eyes at this Valentine’s thing(and of course, secretly celebrate it because who doesn’t want love abeg? even if it’s just one day, don’t judge), it totally skipped their mind.


Esomnofu cracked us up with his comment, which was either really frustrated or amused couldn’t tell; “Oh my God! Most of these characters here are Adichie’s. Why always her? Why?” And we are thinking because she is Chimamanda, duh. But seriously though, if we got a dollar for the number of times Ifem & Obinze and Olanna & Odenigbo and Kainene & Richard were mentioned we’d probably have two festivals a year(that’s why we will not complain, the Lord just might hear our prayers).

Oh, the things you learn when you go through threads. Remember Waiyaki and Nyambura from The River Between? Of course you do. gossip for those who haven’t read Ngugi’s latest memoir The name Nyambura was inspired by his wife at the time, who’s not tearing? Binti & Reza from Seasons of Crimson Blossoms and the timeless Sidi & Baroka also came up quite a lot. Ogwoma and Uloko from Wedlock of the Gods too. But should we assume you good folks in our community have not read the Ankara Press romance novels though? They are so very obviously about romantic love so in case you’re still stuck and looking for some good good loving, find them.

Couples don’t necessarily have to be romantically involved, yes? It could mean “two of”, no? Chekwube reminded us of this little English fact when he mentioned Okonkwo and Obierika in Things Fall Apart. Notably, you also mentioned Jende & Neni in Behold the Dreamers; Ihuoma & Ekweume in The Concubine; the child soldier & Kou in Boy, Interrupted; Nana Ai & Bello in The Virtuous Woman; Njoroge & Mwihaki from Weep Not Child; Ona & Agdbadi from The Joys of Motherhood; and there’s this love story…

Hopefully, all who love love have updated reading lists.

“I have come to say I love love
and I love loving love
and I, surely, love
the brave and sturdy hearts
who dare to love.”
– Maya Angelou