A lot of us have beautiful memories of secondary school. Whether it’s friends, a first romantic relationship, or sports, some events stand out for us from back in the 90s.


One of such memory is the literature. Most Nigerians schools followed the recommended syllabus for literature and that means that most of us read the dame novels within the same period of time.

As we take you down memory lane with this article, we hope you can relive the beautiful nostalgia of your teens.

  • Passport Of Mallam Ilia

This book, written in 1960 by Cyprian Ekwensi, became popular among young students in Nigeria.


It is a story that follows an elderly man Mallam Ilia, who has spent the most part of his life seeking revenge on Usman, a man from his past who wronged him.

The popular edition, which most of us read, had a sketch of an old man hunched over and holding on to a passport.

  • The Bottled Leopard

Written by Chukwuemeka Ike, The Bottled Leopard juxtaposes two children and two backgrounds.


Most of you may remember the popular paperback of this novel where the title is literally interpreted to have a leopard inside a bottle.

  • Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart is Chinua Achebe’s debut novel first published in 1958. It focuses on the life of Okonkwo, an influential man in pre-colonial Eastern Nigeria. 

Okonkwo and his family will experience colonialism and the slow fade of the Igbo culture they hold dear.

  • The Concubine

Just like Things Fall Apart, The Concubine is Elechi Amadi’s debut novel. It was published in 1966.

  • Sizwe Bansi Is Dead

This South-African play recounts the story of a man who steals the identity of a deceased known as; Sizwe Bansi.

  • Chike And The River

Chike And The River is a children’s novel written by Chinua Achebe. 

The story follows the adventures of Chike, a young boy who leaves his village of Umuofia to stay with his uncle in the city of Onitsha.

  • The Old Man And The Sea

Written by Ernest Hemingway, this short novel is based on the adventures and battle between Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman, and a Marlin fish. 


A fun fact about this book is that it is written without chapters.

  • Without A Silver Spoon

Written by Eddie Iroh, Without A Silver Spoon teaches the importance of honesty.

Ure comes from a poor family and has to work as a houseboy to pay his school fees. Ure is accused of stealing some money as he is about to leave primary school.

  • Second Class Citizen

A 1974 novel written by Buchi Emecheta, Second Class Citizen is a novel following the story of Adah; a hardworking librarian. adah‘s job as a librarian makes her desirable to Francis, who eventually marries her.


Adah stays back in Nigerian footing Francis’ law school bills in the UK. With time, Francis becomes abusive of Adah as she follows her dream of being a writer.

  • Eze Goes To School

Written by Onuora Nzekwu. Eze Goes To School follows the progress of Eze, a brilliant young boy. Although Eze comes from a poor background, he soon makes a name for himself as a bright student.

Although these are the texts we’ve highlighted, some similarly popular literature texts which you probably read are; A Woman In Her Prime, Trials Of Brother Jero, Anthills of Savannah, Drummer Boy, Sugar Girl, etc.

Which of these texts would you be rereading anytime soon?

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