DISCLAMER: IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED READING AMERICANNAH BY CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHE. EXIT THIS PAGE NOW!!!
I have mourned the ending of Americannah and I have carried the characters with me. Now I am psychoanalysing my life, relationships and job prospects in the eyes of Ifemelu, affectionately shortened to Ifem. I remember the calmness of Obinze in past lovers and ache for a union such as theirs. In fact, I have almost come to despise the main characters because their love story seemed realistic and somehow they managed to triumph over their obstacles in an inception(al) ending – get it? (Terrible. I know) This is something I am yet to experience and truthfully I am closest to that of Aunty Uju and Kosi.
Kosi is the nonchalant wife to Obinze in later what can be described as an unhappy marriage. I entitled this piece Kosi because I am all for the underdog. We all root for the underdog from time to time, the person who has all odds stacked against them but you are supportive regardless. Think Arsenal fan, you’re out of the premier league, Chelsea are to play against Queen Park Rangers (QPR); you root for QPR, the underdog.
I am not a pretentious housewife and I am aware this story is fictional but I still rooted for Kosi. I deliberately tried to like her and identify with Kosi. I imposed her story on myself; the housewife who is fully aware she has bought into a dream that her husband never wanted.
As much as I love to play devil's advocate and run to the defence of others. I think sometimes we deem ourselves undeserving of fairy-tale endings. We know we are settling or whatever feelings we have for a certain person may not be mutual but we stay anyway because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do or we are satisfied with what we have. Kosi likes her life but is insecure within a limited kind of love (check out James Blake) and guards her marriage ruthlessly (no single ladies allowed in her house) but she is hopeful. I do not pity Kosi’s character; I get it. These love stories in books and in movies are hardly going to translate into reality, so why bother myself with the complexities of it, isn't life complicated enough already?
Kosi may not have been an intellectually inclined ambitious career woman and all she seemed to be was a domestic goddess with a pretty face and that is enough for some. I believe Adichie was tackling the cultural landscape of Nigeria, which stamps on their women this notion that your ultimate goal in life is marriage and children, to be a helper to your mate; compromising personal gratification for an image. I believe the character Kosi, knew of the other types of women who defy those ideas and fight against those traditional beliefs which she chose not to challenge. Sometimes it is enough to be neutral, to "sit on the fence" and excuse one for not being opinionated enough. It is also acceptable to hold opposing views. Kosi knows what she wanted, a comfortable life and she got it. Only that her husband expected her to suddenly change from her self-absorbed materialistic self ,after they married and wounded up not unhappy but not entirely sure of his marriage.
I rooted for Kosi even though I wouldn't necessarily follow her idea of what a marriage or what life in general should be like. For all the Kosi(s) out there…not willing to politicise everything and would rather stay glamorous and cook, find yourself a mannish 1950s somebody and runaway from indecisive romantics like Obinze. There are plenty of men out there who want you to be subdued and mild. But thank God towards the end, Obinze realised that Kosi wasn’t some empty headed bimbo, she had some intuition and in fact it takes a certain amount of intelligence to watch all the bullshit go down and still hold it together. We said our vows, now let us be miserable together.
I mean…I rooted for Kosi, the wife but mistresses and past lovers be winning.