Back in the days, there were a number of books written by Nigerian authors, which were part of Nigerian schools' curricula, not only because of a necessity to include books by indigenous authors, but also as a result of the abundance of rich Nigerian cultural content in the books. Such books were considered great works of art because of authors' successful incorporation of familiar and relatable aspects of various Nigerian cultures and traditions into the stories that they created. Students found it extremely profitable to read these books by Nigerian authors, listed in their curricula because such books were proof that people like them could indeed exist in fictional stories. They didn't have to read only about characters with a different color of skin from theirs, living in foreign lands with different seasons, all of which remained mostly alien to their young Nigerian minds. With locally authored stories, Nigerian students could read about characters who were very much like them, living in similar settings and having familiar experiences.
Sadly, these books by Nigerian authors have increasingly disappeared from many Nigerian schools' curricula over the years. Many Nigerian students no longer get the opportunity to read these great stories by brilliant Nigerian writers, which serve to enrich the formation of their own identities, as they realize that they can have more than just a few things in common with fictional characters. The result of omitting books containing quality Nigerian stories by Nigerian authors has been the gradual obscuring of the possibility of creating good stories with Nigerian characters.
It is high time that Nigerian schools go back to including, within their curricula, an abundance of all of the classic novels and plays by various highly talented Nigerian authors who have served to pave the way for Nigerian literature to flourish and develop.
Here is a list of 18 classic books by Nigerian authors, which should be included into the curricula of Nigerian schools.
1. "Chike and the River" by Chinua Achebe
7. "Arrow of God" by Chinua Achebe
8. "The Incorruptible Judge" by D. Olu Olagoke
9. "Wedlock of the gods" by Zulu Sofola
10. "The Joys of Motherhood" by Buchi Emecheta
11. "The Bottled Leopard" by Chukwuemeka Ike
12. "The Jero Plays" by Wole Soyinka
13. "The Lion and the Jewel" by Wole Soyinka
14. "An African Night's Entertainment" by Cyprian Ekwensi
15. "Efuru" by Florence Nwapa
16. "The Palm-Wine Drinkard" by Amos Tutuola
17. "Purple Hibiscus" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
18. "Half of a Yellow Sun" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie