The Nigerian Dystopia: A Glimpse into a Famished Reality

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

Kyuka Lilymjok’s more than thirty books differ vastly in style and plot, yet his themes and allegorical elements paint a similar picture of betrayal and corruption in Nigeria. He does not shy away from controversial issues fictional writers, in particular Nigerian novelists, tend to avoid. Lilymjok’s courageous attempt to hold the mirror in front of society showing it its bare ugly face is flawlessly displayed in his writings.

Nigeria’s notorious corruption is bravely portrayed in the symbolic words of this writer of great genius, who has boldly showed the gnarly side of human nature.

The Complexity of Anti-Utopia

Dystopia, apart from being a philosophical and political idea, is a literary genre based on the imagination of fictional writers going back to science fiction. Popular sci-fi books often work around the idea of a terrifying post-apocalyptic society where corruption and terror reign ensuring complete loss of free will and individualism.

While it may sound fictional and detached from reality, the modern world’s dystopia has proven that robotic uprisings and cataclysmic events are not conditions to breed our version of dystopian society.

Environmental Dystopia

Lilymjok’s books display unnerving dystopia hidden from plain sight, but working its chaotic charm to slowly demolish the building blocks of a society teetering on the precipice of complete disorder. The author writing on corruption places before your eyes the sordid condition of governance making you wonder if the democratic ideas of opportunity and order preached by politicians are all lies to fool the unsuspecting populace.

The Death of Eternity highlights a horrifying fictional scenario very close to the world we all live in; a world where climate change and the greenhouse effect are in full swing. In this gripping novel of 400 hundred pages, Lilymjok taps the world to wake up and smell the coffee before it is too late.

Dark Shadow of Corrupt Human Nature

Beside natural disasters creeping up on the human race, violence and terrorism have always played host to captive humanity for centuries and haven’t let go ever since. Wars have been fought for dominance and world control without achieving completely the dominance and control sought.  Rather than achieve the desired goals, wars have often served to throw a dark shadow on human nature that mocks victors as vanquished. Dystopia is often portrayed by Nigerian authors as indeed authors elsewhere in gory and haunting details. Lilymjok’s Tales of Tartarus, Ebelebe, Farewell to Peace, The Dark Star North, show the ugly and meaningless character of war.

The Butcher’s Wife and Bivan’s House by the same author show how absurd human action driven by greed and vanity can be. The mindless preoccupation of characters in the two novels led to avoidable and regrettable human tragedies. In The Butcher’s Wife, Nnali, the butcher’s wife driven by pride and greed commits a crime that haunts her to death and shreds the communal bonds of an otherwise cordial community. In Bivan’s House, Kyuka depicts a nation six feet deep in anomie and corruption. The commonwealth is up for grabs by anyone strong enough to seize political power. Lilymjok’s works pry deep into the primal nature of human beings showing the inevitability of calamity if control is not reigned in on innate human tendencies of greed and selfishness.

Innocently Wretched Aspirations

Outside his depiction of the bleak, treacherous and self-seeking character of human beings, Lilymjok in his novel My Headmaster artfully captures the goodness in human nature exemplified by Bamai the major character of the novel. This novel reminds the reader of the good in human nature and paints a hopeful picture of humanity that is realistic and by no means utopian. 

Nigerian dystopia is not any different from the one John Stuart Mill intended when he coined the term in 1868. Authors of fiction have long been writing about the distress and anxiety of mankind in a forbidding and unforgiving world. Despite human experience that war and oppression are unhelpful, men still fight wars and oppress the less privileged. Poverty, corruption, murder, and dishonesty still continue unabated; indeed, accelerated. Methods might change, but the outcome remains the same: wretched. This you will find the case in the universally relevant works of Kyuka Lilymjok. To learn more about the author and take a closer look at his works, visit

Where To Buy