Jaja – “My Reflection in these Cell Walls”
Thursday 23rd March, 2019
Enugu State Prison
These past three years in prison have been interesting, to say the least. I have met many fascinating characters during my stay here – some good and some bad. Somehow, I grew accustomed to the rude guards, the floggings, and the cell changes. That’s why I was so surprised when Kambili told me that I would finally be leaving this place, next week. She visited with Mama today, which was rare; they did not visit together often. The food they brought was delicious, a luxury compared to the usual prison food (if such a thing could be considered food, at all). In fact, after they left, I was moved to a nicer cell –at least in comparison to the crowded one I was staying in, for the past few weeks. Still, the thought of leaving is strange. During the three years that I have been here, I have had ample time to reflect upon the past. Through these reflections, it has become increasingly clear that I do not deserve to leave this place; I feel guilty for not protecting Mama and Kambili enough. If only I had done more to protect them from that man. If only I had been more like Obiora – smart and strong. Perhaps if I had been more of a man, I would not be here – sitting in a prison cell and trying to find my reflection in its concrete walls.
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Disclaimer: All characters mentioned (i.e Eugene, Kambili, Jaja, Beatrice, and Aunty Ifeoma) are property of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. “A Day in the Life” Diary Entries are simply part of a class activity, which allows students to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Adichie’s characters through embodying and portraying them.