JAMB 2020: Summary of Sweet Sixteen

By Chidinma Okere on Mon, 23/03/2020 - 15:52

Sweet Sixteen Description.

This novel is about a young girl who is about to reach her sixteen birthday. From the beginning of this novel, the main character, Aliya constantly reminds her father that she is not a child anymore, but a young adult. Her father, Mr. Bello does not always agree with her.

However, as she is approaching her sixteen (16) birthday, he is sitting up and taking notice of her and the changes she will start experiencing. The birthday card that was expected from him is replaced by a present and without any restriction letter, a page for each year she has lived.

The letter records the lessons he has always tried teaching her and the wisdom he has attempted to pass to her. The no-hold-barred letter gives answers to the burning questions she has been asking about life and sometimes shows through the cluelessness of parental units.

Aliya questions who she is and why she is; However, the wisdom of her father provides a guide on this journey of discovery. An engaging coming of age guide on life and love for the teenage girl who wants to understand the world.

 “Sweet Sixteen” Summary.

Going through Bolaji Abdullahi’s Sweet Sixteen novel, you’ll discover that the protagonist, 16-year-old Aliya, whom her father refers to adoringly as ‘My First Lady,’ bombards her father with numerous questions, some of which threw her journalist father off balance.

One of those questions springs from teenage slangs her friends used. For example, Aliyu asked her father: “Okay Daddy, what does HAK and KOTL mean?,’’ Aliya asked. And when the father expressed his ignorance of the acronyms, Aliya for once, felt she knew something her journalist father don’t know: “HAK means Hugs and Kisses” while KOTL means “Kiss On The Lips”.

She surprised her father with the news that some students were caught on the school’s basketball court at night having “Šε×”, Mr. Bello was dumbfounded and almost fainted. ‘’But…how do you know all these?,’’ he asked almost in consternation, to which Aliya replied: ‘’Come on Daddy, everybody knows these things.”

This is the author, Bolaji Abdullahi’s first fictional work, although he has written extensively over the years on politics, policy, and development. Through this novel, Bolaji Abdullahi laid bare in an absorbing page-turner, murky truths, and forbidden issues in the ever-challenging world of teenagers and young adults in the 21st century.

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