Olu Williams- I Must Take This Chance by Paul de Kanff

_c6e69513ad123693e80de94bbef35d14153fd0d7996c04da6e_pimgpsh_fullsize_distrLondon is a strange place when you’ve just landed from Nigeria, and Olu Williams was no ordinary immigrant. In fact, he never intended to settle in the UK at all. He and his wife, Taiwo, work for Nigeria’s national oil company and, when Taiwo lands the job of personal assistant to his boss, Obassa, he had no trouble being seconded to study at Shell’s training centre in Teddington.

All goes well until Taiwo’s letters dry up and Olu has to face the fact that Obassa had more than his career in mind.

Unless he is to return to Africa in shame and failure, Olu must stay on in Britain and make a new life, but how? He has less in common with many West Indians than some native Britons, and friends and relatives from West Africa are few.

He’d like to study law, but it’s the law that wants him out.



Oluwade Williams is a lucky man.  He had faced some emotional adversity as a young man in this country, but through hard work and diligence he was able to overcome his initial setback.  His ambition to make money was laudable but his combination of the illegal and sound business idea was a major misstep in this tale of immigrants and how they think that they can abuse this system.

This book has a sound plot as it traces the journey of a young ambitious man and his plan to stay in the UK and make money whilst doing so.  The life of Oluwade Williams mimics the life of many an immigrant to this country, what they have to do to enable them to stay, the jobs they do, how some think that they can outsmart the system and the sorry end that they face when the long arm of law is felt at the back of their shirt collar.  The story is also about exploitation and consequences of abuse of the system set in the Brixton of the late seventies and the Fulham of the 80s..It was especially interesting for me when it mentioned the Prince of Wales above which i had an office for 22 years between 1984 and 2005 and Fulham where i attended my first dances in Lillie Road in the mid 1970s.  Most immigrants will see something of themselves in this story of aspiration and graft, a lot will recognise the subterfuge of our existence in a country that is welcoming to immigrants despite the rhetoric of the far right.

Most of us read books to learn but also to escape from the reality of life, that is what fiction is about and i see this novel as chronicling some of the stories  in our own words and i hope that the author continues with stories in this genre of immigrants life in the UK

Ade Sawyerr


Format : Paperback
Pages : 246
ISBN : 978 184897 518 7
Size : 205x140mm
Imprint : Olympia Publishers
Published : 2015-02-26


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