Title: Diary of a Single Lagos Babe
Author: Ifeyinwa Anozie
Publisher: Okadabooks (www.okadabooks.com)
Reviewer: Ehichoya Ekozilen
This is the hilarious story of a girl. I mean a lady. Most of it reads like entries in a diary. Ifeyinwa Anozie’s Diary of a Single Lagos Babe is a collection of events in the life of the narrator and her friends interspersed with lectures about relationship between men and women. The narrator and her friends are all ladies trying to get into a relationship with eligible men. The story is poorly edited and the punctuation should have been improved.
The narrator is a metropolitan corporate woman—albeit not a high-flying one. She is not financially self-sufficient but she is self-confident with a bright outlook on the future. A modern girl and would-be bon vivant, she loves the good life. But she has been “unlucky” with men when it comes to finding a permanent relationship and getting married. So she goes methodically about her business of landing a man. She knows what she wants, too—a man who is worthy in character, looks and pocket; that is, tall, dark and handsome and able to see to her pecuniary needs and treat her well.
I wake up one morning thinking to myself “What does a woman have to do to find a good man who can take care of my needs, financially and otherwise”, I am quite attractive with a great figure and also a good sense of humour.
As the story progresses, I find I fail to develop a liking or sympathy for the lady. This is not because of her scheming and ruthless manoeuvres or double-dating, but because she has no qualms leading on a “short, fat, bald dude” she loathes just to get some cash out of him. So when things start to look up for her, you’re turning the page almost hoping to read her comeuppance. And you feel almost nothing as her general outlook transforms from optimism to nihilism.
This story is far from great literature but it is a frank take on the contemporary business of relationship, or a commodified version of it, from the viewpoint of a practitioner. If you need to know what goes on in the mind of “a single Lagos babe” who is on a manhunt, you should read this story. The man is both a prey and a predator. The lady is sufficiently motivated to be willing to do anything to get what she wants—she has enough going on in her head to push her but the hectoring parent is also there to keep her on her toes. “Time wasters” are on the prowl. Sex is expressed as a form of self-love. Money is everything. Mr Right is a tantalising mirage.
It is a jungle out there.