JAMB 2023 recommended text; The Life Changer by Khadija Abubakar Jalli; This prose is necessary for students who are sitting for the JAMB examination and should be studied so as to stand a chance of passing the exams.
The Life Changer, a debut book by Khadija Abubakar Jalli, examines the narrative of life realities on the campus of the Nigerian University, including the freedom of dress, manner of life, and views toward life. It also examines the positive, negative, and inconceivable facets of human personalities, particularly as they relate to freedom.
Through its embedded narrative, which describes Salma and her roommate’s antics at the university as they float in the stormy and seamy aspects of academics, the work is also laced with the underlying optimism towards hope and redemption of life in the contemporary day.
Five-year-old Bint, the beloved of the Ahmed family, opens the narrative by describing her interaction in class with their intrusive social studies instructor, Mallam Salihu.
When Bint requested Mallam Salihu to say “That is very nice” in French after answering his question on how to say “Good Morning” in French, Salihu, who appeared to think he knew everything about everything, was somewhat mocked. Mallam Salihu was unable to respond to the question, but the French mistress was able to get him to leave Bint’s class, and he did not return until after the break.
Bint’s classmates undoubtedly admired her for having the guts to ask a teacher a question he was unable to respond to. While she is telling her stories to her older siblings, their mother, who has a habit of randomly barging into their room to keep them on their toes about personal hygiene, entered and joined what initially seemed to be an amusing story.
However, she helped them see things clearly by telling them not to make fun of Mallam Salihu but to celebrate his humility in admitting that he doesn’t know the answer to her question and by asking the French Mistress to come to their aid.
The conversation was altered when Omar arrived. Omar recently received admission to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria to pursue a degree in law. The excellent news warrants a party.
Omar was a precocious boy, and because of his remarkable performance in both his SSCE—, he called it “no minor feat”—and JAMB, his mother felt compelled to discuss her experiences at the university and how she handled them. While many of these life events came from Salma and her roommate’s embedded story, others of them were her own.
Ummi promises her son that getting into college will improve his life. She describes how she agreed to her father’s demand that she get married before graduating and left Lafayette for the university.
Fortunately for her, her husband agreed to marry her before she arrived for registration at the university, which calls for a double celebration for her and the entire community.
Ummi and a large group of other university students were waiting in line at the faculty registration office. It took the assigned professor a long time to start the activity.
When Salma, a fair-complexioned girl who was tall and trim and wearing tight-fitting clothing, arrived at the event. Salma then started to complain about the registration officer’s incompetence, citing an unpleasant incident from her previous university where she had been expelled for cheating on an exam.
A young man approached Salma while she was complaining and asked her to calm down because others had arrived before her but had kept their cool in the line. However, Salma wouldn’t stop yelling insults at university administrators.
The plot twist, however, came when a janitor entered the office and gave the young man who had engaged Salma the office’s keys, which left her feeling uncomfortable.
As soon as the faculty registration started, Ummi finished and went to the department to get her matriculation number. When Ummi arrived at the department, she was astounded to see that Dr. Samuel Johnson, the department head, was a young man with a tribal mark that identified him as either a Yoruba or an lgala man.
The crucifix that hangs from his necklace indicates that Dr. Johnson is a Christian. Ummi was very uncomfortable by his kind overtures toward her, who was still reeling from Salma’s disparaging remarks about university professors.
She later found out from her spouse that it was Mr. Samuel Johnson who helped him get her into the university.
In addition, Ummi tells the account of “the quiet one” and other unfolding tales about Salma and her roommates in order to correct her children, particularly Omar, who is currently a university student.
The lesson her kid should take away from the tale of the quiet one is that no one can be trusted, especially when appearances can be deceiving.
The kids discovered that they should be cautious about the friends they choose from Salma’s tale. She warned them to stay away from friends who could entice them into cults or get them involved in Emal (examination Malpractice).
Pride and haughtiness
Salma frequently depicts the themes of pride and arrogance in the book. She first displayed her pride by bragging about how she could attract the lecturer’s attention by making an offer of just 2,000 to 3,000 dollars.
She spoke all of these things out loud while being questioned by a lecturer during her registration. She had no idea that the man questioning her was a lecturer who oversaw the registration procedure.
She rejects Habib’s suggestion as well, perhaps out of fear of being associated with him in another development.
However, Salma also believed that by declining the offer from the wealthy man, she would get more respect as a university student.
Her perception of her roommates as less sophisticated girls who she cannot live with because they are not in her class is another example of her pride in her social standing.
The University as a Life Changer.
This is the main premise of Khadija Abubakar Jalli’s book The Life Changer.
The theme of the entire narrative is how Salma’s time at university permanently altered her. Even the story’s narrator, Ummi, informed her children that going to college can alter their life.
The JAMB book’s title is derived from this idea.
Salma, who is the focus of the story, also illustrates this topic. She came across as being haughty at first throughout the book. She faces numerous challenges as a result of the lifestyle she led. At the book’s conclusion, she finally makes a permanent transformation and befriends Ummi.
Youthful hope and redemption
This is one of the key themes of the novel Life Changer, as the author uses this theme to try and make a point.
There is always a chance to be saved from any kind of life that one leads.
The purpose of this book is to inform young people about the realities of life, particularly in higher education. All young people should look up to Salma as an example so they can learn from her.
- Ummi Ahmed
- Mallam Salihu
- Dr. Samuel Johnson
- Dr. Dabo
- Kolawole Abdul
- Mohammad Kabir
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Khadija has a B.Sc.(Ed) in Mathematics. She’s Boutique Afrique’s CEO and an entrepreneur. Khadija Abubakar Jalli has a husband and kids.
The Life Changer, Khadija Abubakar Jalli‘s debut book, looks to be a statement about the resurgence of the female voice in the African literary scene.