Title: Looking for Transwonderland
Author: Noo Saro Wiwa
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
Year of Publication: August 21, 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Reviewer: Ishola Oreofe Temitope
The book, Looking for Transwonderland is a Nigerian travel guide written by the daughter of the late Ken Saro Wiwa: Noo Saro Wiwa. Although the book is not very current, it is still relevant as the author provides perspectives inspired by personal experiences that many Nigerians can find relatable.
Noo Saro Wiwa used words which are descriptive and she provides good imageries. She describes various states in Nigeria which she visits to enlighten the reader about the culture, benefits, and disadvantages of living in such places.
She starts with Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria plagued with its massive influx of hawkers, people with entrepreneurial spirit, and peppered with a flair for religion. She capitalizes on how smaller institutions thrive against the failure of great Nigerian "State.” Noo Saro Wiwa also recognizes the growing nollywood industry as one with diversity which partakes in improving the Nigerian economy.
To Noo Saro Wiwa, Ibadan has always had an unusual tame. She talks about the misplaced government priorities and how she found herself in a situation of misplaced priorities. It was also in Ibadan that she discovered the disparity between traditional and western literacy.
Noo Saro Wiwa explores the cultural and social blessings of many cities and states while judging the more crucial issues of political decadence. She explored states like Abuja the seat of governmental power, Maiduguri, Rivers, and Calabar, where she surprisingly saw a recognizable change due to its clean streets and its then governor, Duke.
At Jos, Noo Saro Wiwa noticed the poorly run museums, deteriorating art exhibitions, and cultural centers. She visited resorts like Nguru and Yankari where she discovered the high neglect of the tourism sector in Nigeria’s economy.
Noo Saro Wiwa is a matured writer who doesn't side with any fraction of the country for many reasons. She maintains a middle ground in her judgment and honestly gives her thoughts without fear. One would expect that Noo Saro Wiwa’s family history in Nigeria would have clouded views, but it didn’t. This book is one that I highly recommend and if I were to rate this book on a scale of 10, I would give it a 7.
Ishola Oreofe Temitope is a writer whose works feature across various online literary websites. She is a blogger and on her sites; Life of Oreofe: Sproloquio and ISLAY, she covers lifestyle issues. You can see more of her works through her social media account.