Favourite African Romance Novels – Reader’s Pick

In a quest to find out what love means to my customers and their favourite African stories in the month of love, I designed a questionnaire that will help me put together our reader’s favourite picks.

Have you ever finished a book and instantly felt like you fell in love with a stranger? Someone you will probably like to be in love with in real life? Readers love the idea of love and love the drama involved in romantic relationships. That is why romance is the most sought after genre among all genres. There isn’t enough African love stories to make you drool as most writers are focused on other pressing topics. Personally, I would like to see and read more African romance novels compared to the foreign ones simply because I feel they are more relatable.

I would like to say that “Love is the only emotion that cannot be ignored. It is one of the truest form of feelings any man or woman can have”

Here are the questions and answers of the questionnaire:

In this month of love

  1. What does love mean to you?
  2. What is your favourite African love story?

Reader 1:

Q1. Love is books, music, sex, laughter, money and cats

Q2. Americanah

Reader 2:

Q1. Right now, Love is food and good book

Q2. Americanah

Reader 3:

Q1. Love means passion and creativity

Q2. Americanah

Reader 4:

Q1. Love, for me, means the foundation of things we hold dear. It is the biggest miracle of life that makes the world worth living in the midst of its paradoxes. It is what moves the human heart to bond with other people irrespective of country or race, heal wounds and bring smiles to faces.

Q2. The African love story that comes easily to my mind now is the story of Germaine and Martin in Zukiswa Wanner’s novel London Cape town Joburg. Both characters are head over heels in love with each other. Liberated is the word you can use to summarize their wild and hilarious expressions of romantic affection.

Reader 5:

Q1. This question is mad ooo. In this month of love, Love is poetry and celebrating blackness

Q2. Not Your Average Love Story by Boakye Dacosta

Reader 6:

Q1. Love for me is evenings out, honest conversations, hugs, kisses and sex.

Reader 7:

Q1. Love means “Let’s talk, snuggle, take a walk, special bonding and love making”

Reader 8:

Q1. Love means being, it means warmth and living in a way that’s humanly possible for me. It means putting myself first. Love means growth to me.

Reader 9:

Q1. Love means friendship-connecting on most, if not all levels. Supporting each other to achieve life goals

Q2. Ben Okri’s Dangerous Love

Reader 10:

Q1. Love means care for one another

Reader 11:

Q1. Love means acceptance and being present.

Q2. It’s not a typical love story but I have always loved the love between the main character and her husband in “a woman in her prime”.

Reader 12:

QI. Love means selflessness, care, empathy, acceptance and connection to me.

Q2. Love between Olanna and Odenigbo in Half of a Yellow Sun is one of a kind. Both characters exhibited selflessness in the highest order. The care and empathy they had for each other can’t be over emphasized. Oh and the connection. They connected on every level.

Abena Maryan:

Q1.The first thought that came to mind is the meaning of love from the Bible “Love is patient, Love is Kind……” Then I realized how small gestures such as making someone smile makes my heart explode. So love for me means honest conversations, a warm hug, hearing my name, spending time with my friends, family and loved ones and of course a good book. The small gestures makes the most impact in my life.

Q2. This particular question shows me that we don’t appreciate love as much as we should – in our culture. I have gone through my books trying to find as many African Romance as possible but I couldn’t count up to 20. Being one of the most sought after genres, I think writers need to take advantage and explore this genre. So here are my favourite picks (in no particular order)

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
  3. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
  4. Dangerous Love by Ben Okri
  5. Stay with me by Ayobami Adebayo
  6. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin
  7. The Spider King’s Daughter by Chibundu Onuzo

Written by Abena Maryann

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