Blackass is Igoni Barrett’s first novel and third book. However, this is his very first book I laid my eyes on. The cover page got my attention. I was curious to find out the inspiration behind such a title. It tells the tale of Furo, a young man who went through a sudden transformation.
Furo Wakibo is an average jobless Nigerian man who wakes up on the day of his interview to discover his skin is suddenly white. However his ass remains black! He is confused and decides to sneak out of his house to attend his job interview. He is greeted with stares on his way due to the fact that it is rare to find a white man on the streets of Egbeda. Fortunately for him,he gets the job which is partly due to the fact that he is white.
Having made up his mind not to go back to his family and with nowhere to stay, Furo is faced with a financial challenge for the time being. He meets a Igoni, a white man and asks for financial help but was denied. While contemplating on what to do next, Syreeta comes to his aid. A sophisticated lady who lives off men, Syreeta agrees to accommodate him. Not only does she accommodate him, she feeds him, clothes him, sleeps with him and basically treat him like a partner. Her aim was to parade him to her friends who were wives of foreigners just because Furo is white.
Meanwhile, Furo’s parents and sister are worried about him. Furo’s sister opens up a twitter page just to find her missing brother. Igoni, who had suddenly gone through a gender change transformation, stumbles upon it, befriends her and decides to visit the family, keeping his meeting with Furo a secret from them.
Eventually, Syretta gets pregnant, which I believe was her plan all along. Furo dumps her without her knowledge, plans to meet up with Igoni before travelling to Abuja for a better job which he just got. To his dismay, the sexy Igoni despite his transformation to a feminine figure still has a penis. Igoni comes out clean and tells Furo about his visit to his family and how he had just informed them about his presence. The book ends with Furo waiting at the door as his family arrives.
This book basically takes us through the everyday life of Furo since he woke up as a white man and how he used this change to exploit people. The book is written in the third person narrative, however certain chapters which involved Igoni is written in first person narrative.
I liked Blackass because it was set in Lagos, Nigeria and I could relate to certain things having lived in Lagos almost all my life. However there were a couple of things I didn’t quite enjoy. I felt the book was slow and ‘dragging’ at a point. I was reading patiently to find out where exactly the author was leading us to. I had thought the author would give us an insight as to how Furo suddenly became a white man, but nothing of such was mentioned.
I also didn’t understand why Syretta did all that she did for Furo. I’m sure it wasn’t out of the kindness of her heart. Was is it just because she wanted a white man to call her own? If yes, is it worth it?
This book also says a lot about how Nigerians tend to idolize white people. But then, I felt the author exaggerated this detail at some point.
Nevertheless, this book is a good read. I would give it a 5/10.
~“No one asks to be born, to be black or white or any color in between and yet the identity a person is born into becomes the hardest to explain to the world” – Igoni Barrett, Blackass.~