Nigerian writer and singer Chibundu Onuzo made a stop in Philadelphia as part of her tour promoting her new book Welcome to Lagos. A a piece with interwoven story lines involving military personnel, government ministers and every day Lagosians, Welcome to Lagos depicts the complexity of this global metropolis.
Welcome to Lagos has already garnered widespread praise for its complex and skillful depiction of Nigeria. William Boyd noted in The Guardian, “Nigerian novelists appear to be energising the form these days, and on this showing Onuzo is leading the charge.” Bella Naija listed Chibundu as one of the “10 Contemporary Nigerian Writers to Look Out for in 2018,” and Bustle included Welcome to Lagos in its “19 Debut Novels Coming Out in 2018 That You Definitely Don’t Want to Miss.” Onuzo was born in Lagos, and studied History at King’s College London and is currently pursuing a PhD in History at the same institution. Her short stories have been commissioned by BBC Radio and she writes for the Guardian, with a special interest in Nigeria.
As usual, the Philly Nigerian Professionals gave Onuzo a warm welcome at Penn Book Center, as we got special behind the scenes access on what it’s like to construct characters, dealing with audience expectations and how Lagos inspired her to write this book.