Being a guest speaker...


I have had a more manic week than I’ve had in a long time! I've been on holiday for over three months so I have probably lost touch with life as a working person, hehehehehe. 

A friend of mine who lectures at Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Strasbourg (INSA) asked me to be a guest speaker in her class. Little did I know what I was getting myself into! One of her courses is conversational, so her students are required to have conversations in English. She asked me to speak about something cultural in Nigeria which I was glad to do. After giving some quick facts about Nigeria, I went on to speak a bit about my state of origin, Benue. 

Lest I forget, I got some funny answers when I asked what the capital of Nigeria was. I'm chuckling as I remember...I even got Bamako! 

During the first class, the students seemed shy and barely engaged. Their lecturer jumped in to say that the best thing would be to call on people randomly and ask questions, which worked. I ended up having 3 sessions on Monday. One of the most interesting questions was ‘how do people live in Nigeria?’. I tried to get the student to be more precise with the question but the addition I got was ‘what’s life like?’. My friend interrupted and said we live like normal people, which I agreed to, but explained further. We have the tendency to be defensive without realising, but people could be genuinely curious and would never know if they are not educated. I responded to let the student know that life in Nigeria is enjoyable but there are challenges just like there are everywhere else. I talked a bit about the well-planned capital, other states, the opportunities there are, then I said a little about social life.

On Wednesday, I had another run of three sessions but these students were more knowledgeable, they engaged, threw in some jokes and were inquisitive. We even had some political questions come up. There was one answer that they might not have been expecting, but I made it quite clear that it was my opinion. I have another 3 or 4 sessions left, but so far, I have enjoyed doing this. Probably time to reconsider whether I would like to return to my love for teaching 😊

I never get tired of educating people about Nigeria, even though we are not where we ought to be. Someone from a West African country (I don't think she specified where...) asked for recommendations on books and another asked for recommendations on music.

For books, here are a few:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

No Longer at Ease by Chinua Achebe

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Nwaubani Adaobi Tricia

In Dependence by Sarah Ladipo Manyika

Night Dancer by Chika Unigwe

Seasons of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John

Becoming Nigerian by Elnathan John

On Ajayi Crowther Street by Elnathan John

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

For music, I’ll list musicians, please feel free to google them, after you listen to some of their songs, you can decide what you like most. The list is not exhaustive...

Burna Boy, WizKid, DavidO, Tiwa Savage, Niniola, Waje, Omawumni, Olakira, Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti, Tuface Idibia, Temz, Ayra Starr, Olamide, Banky W, Phyno, Yemi Alade, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Asa, Mr. Eazi, Omah Lay, Rema, Brymo, Flavour and the list could go on….

Hopefully, my next sessions will be even more interesting 🙏


  1. Nice. You are representing us well. Wish you all the best.

  2. Ene, you're one of a few people I'm very proud of! I saw a video of an interview Chimamanda did in France where the interviewer asked if there were bookstores in Nigeria, she replied by saying that question reflects very poorly on the French people. Then she went on to educate them a little. The first thing I said to myself then was "yep, that's how Ene would react". You jumped straight to my mind! We need to be more like that, a people who can stand to educate some curious or ignorant opinions out there.

    You've always been a wealth of knowledge, I'm glad you're able to share some of it with a wider audience. I also know for sure that if you pick up teaching, your students will be more than fortunate to have you! You go girl! #applause!

    1. Awwwww Efua you are too kind. Thank you so much for this.

  3. Weldone Ene👏🏾👏🏾


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