JAMB 2022: Second Class Citizen Summary

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Second Class Citizen Jamb Novel

Second Class Citizen Additional Information:

Title Second class Citizen
Author Buchi Emecheta
Edition Reprint, revised
Publisher Heinemann, 1994
ISBN 0435909916, 9780435909918
Main Character Adah Obi

Second Class Citizen Likely Questions and Answers:

  1. The title of Chapter 2 of Second Class Citizen is ESCAPE INTO ELITISM
  2. Which incident in the early part of chapter two of the novel threatens to derail Adah’s dreams? THE DEATH OF PA (Mr Ofili – Adah’s father)
  3. After Pa’s death, Adah goes to live with MA’S ELDER BROTHER
  4. In her new home, Adah is treated as A SERVANT.
  5. Who is to inherit Ma after the death of Pa, her husband? PA’S BROTHER
  6. Who is Boy in Second Class Citizen? ADA’S YOUNGER BROTHER
  7. Where does Boy go to live following the death of Pa? PA’S COUSIN’S HOUSE
  8. One effect of the death of Pa is that IT HAS LED TO THE BREAKUP OF HIS FAMILY.
  9. Whose education is to benefit from the money Pa left behind? BOY
  10. Adah is later allowed to continue attending school only because HER BRIDE PRICE WILL BE HIGHER IF SHE IS EDUCATED.
  11. What do Adah’s people plan to do with Adah’s bride price when she is married off? TO SUPPORT BOY’S FURTHER EDUCATION
  12. One theme that comes up from the way Adah’s education is regarded by her people is DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THE FEMALE GENDER
  13. How many times is Adah’s new school cheaper than Ladi-Lak school? SIX TIMES
  14. Two adjectives the narrator uses to describe Adah’s new school are OLD and NOISY
  15. Which school laid the foundation for Adah’s future academic exploits? LADI-LAK SCHOOL
  16. What is Adah’s academic performance in her new school after Pa’s death? SHE IS ALWAYS AHEAD OF HER CLASS
  17. Where is Adah’s new home with her maternal uncle located? PIKE STREET, LAGOS
  18. Adah’s maternal uncle and caretaker works in THE DOCKYARD AT THE MARINA
  19. Adah’s maternal uncle and caretaker can be described as AUTOCRATIC
  20. What is the size of Adah’s uncle’s family? SIX
  21. How many sons does Adah’s uncle and his wife have? FOUR
  22. Apart from being Adah’s new Pa, Ma’s brother is also described as Adah’s MASTER
  23. Why does Adah hate Ma for marrying again after Pa’s passing away? SHE CONSIDERS IT AS A BETRAYAL OF PA
  24. Ma’s second marriage can be described as AN UNHAPPY MARRIAGE
  25. For what two reason do the family begin to put pressure on Adah to leave school and prepare for marriage? THEY WANT HER TO TAKE CARE OF MA AND TO SUPPORT BOY’S EDUCATION
  26. How old is Adah when her people ask her to leave school and marry? ELEVEN YEARS OLD
  27. Two ways Adah tries to make her very old male suitors to stay away from her are …SHE WOULD BURST INTO NATIVE SONGS ABOUT BAD OLD BALDIESSHE WOULD BURST THEIR BICYCLE TYRES IN THE BACKYARD
  28. The personification of Adah’s dreams and the guiding power behind them is called THE PRESENCE
  30. For what purpose would Adah steal the two shillings she is supposed to use to buy a pound of steak at Sand Ground Market? TO ENABLE HER REGISTER FOR THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION TO SECONDARY SCHOOL.
  31. Which two male characters apply severe corporal punishment on Adah in the novel?HER HEADMASTER and HER COUSIN VINCENT.
  32. What quotation does Adah use to justify the lies she tells in order to achieve her dream? “ONE COULD BE AS CLEVER AS THE SERPENT BUT AS HARMLESS AS THE DOVE”
  33. Who is the first to accuse Adah of lying in the 2-shilling stealing incident? COUSIN VINCENT’S WIFE
  34. Where has Adah put the money she has just stolen? IN THE GROUND
  35. Who has Cousin Vincent sent to buy the cane he will use to punish Adah? ADAH
  36. The cost of the cane Adah bought for her own punishment is 3 PENNIES
  37.  What is the name of the cane Vincent uses to punish Adah? KOBOKO
  38.  What is the primary use of the Koboko cane? THE HAUSA USE IT FOR THEIR HORSES
  39.  In total, how many lashes of the koboko cane has Adah received from Cousin Vincent? 103.
  40.  Adah’s serial number in the entrance examination to the Methodist Girls’ School is 947.
  41. Adah will avoid paying fees in the secondary school if she can win a scholarship by being among the TOP 5 CANDIDATES IN THE ENTRANCE EXAMINATION.
  42.  For how long has Cousin Vincent caned Adah for the missing 2 shillings? 2 HOURS
  43.  What makes Adah stop liking her cousin Vincent? THE SEVERE BEATING HE GAVE HER FOR TWO HOURS
  45.  The entrance examination to the Methodist Girls’ School takes place on a SATURDAY.
  46. Two things Adah’s uncle and his family value more than the news of her impending entrance examination areHER CONTINUED SERVICE TO THE HOUSEHOLDTHEY WILL BEAR NO FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HER SECONDARY EDUCATION
  47.  Why has Adah never left the school during the long vacation? SHE DOESN’T FEEL WELCOMED AND LOVED AT THE ONLY PLACE SHE CAN CALL HOME (her uncle’s house).
  48.  How many years did Adah spend at the Methodist Girls’ School? 3 YEARS
  49.  Adah is unhappy in her final year at the Methodist Girls’ School because SHE DOESN’T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO DO NEXT.

How long it would take me to finish Second Class Citizen?

Most jambites who find it difficult to read novels are skeptical on how to read through this novel before the JAMB date. However, you can use this trick. If you study 10 pages of this JAMB novel daily, you’ll read through the 179 pages in 16 days. Academically, it’s advisable to read through this novel twice before sitting for the JAMB Examination.

How/Where to Buy Second Class Citizen?

This novel is available at Bookstores nationwide and can be gotten through JAMB computer-based centers. In the JAMB Centers, you’ll be given the novel once you register for the JAMB examination.

Second Class Citizen Description

Second-Class Citizen is a novel by Buchi Emecheta that traces the journey of its protagonist, Adah, from childhood in Nigeria to adulthood in England. Around the age of eight, Adah develops a dream to live in the United Kingdom and receive an education. Adah marries Francis Obi as a teenager.

After she becomes pregnant with their second child, he moves to London, and she follows soon after.

In London, Adah grapples with discrimination based on her race and gender, both from Francis and society itself. She has more children; writes a novel, The Bride Price; and ultimately leaves the controlling and abusive Francis.

Second Class Citizen Summary

The novel opens in Lagos, Nigeria in the 1950s. Adah Ofili is eight years old and she wants to get an education, but most families only send their sons to school. She is so determined that she sneaks off to school one day, causing her mother to get into trouble with the police.

She is caned by her father as a result, but her parents allow her to continue going to school. While this is occurring, a lawyer returns to Lagos from studying in the United Kingdom (U.K.). He is given a hero’s welcome and Adah decides she would like to go to the U.K. someday as well.


A short time later, Adah’s father passes away. She is sent to live with her uncle and cousins, and they treat her like a servant. She continues to attend school, but by age 11 her family is entertaining prospective husbands for her.

She steals money from her cousin to pay an entrance exam fee for high school, and though she is once again caned for her disobedience, she passes the exam and earns a scholarship to attend. All the while, Adah remains focused on her dream to someday go to the U.K. and to have a successful, career-oriented life.

After high school, Adah has to marry simply so she has a place to live. She chooses a man named Francis Obi who is studying to be an accountant. She moves in with her in-laws and gets a job at the American Consulate Library.

Francis is uneasy about the idea of his wife earning more money than him, but his father points out that she is supporting them and he should be happy about this. Shortly after giving birth to their first child, a girl named Titi, Adah tells Francis about her dream of going to the U.K. and he agrees to go with her.

However, Francis’s father does not approve because Adah is a woman and thinks only Francis should go. Francis leaves, and shortly after giving birth to her second child, a boy named Vicky, Adah convinces her in-laws to allow her to follow him.


When Adah arrives in the U.K., she is shocked by the poor conditions of the neighborhood and house Francis has chosen for them to live in. She is also bothered by the other residents in the house, as they are all of the Yoruba ethnic group, whereas she and Francis are Ibo (Igbo).

Francis tells her that they cannot expect better conditions because they are Black and therefore “second-class” citizens (39). Adah gets a job at a library in North Finchley and soon finds herself pregnant again. She leaves her children with a babysitter named Trudy while she works, because Francis claims he must study for his accounting exams during the day.

He also refuses to get a job. One day, Adah goes to Trudy’s during the day when she is not expected and finds her entertaining a male guest while Titi and Vicky are outside playing in the garbage unsupervised. Adah is furious but she has nowhere else to leave the children.

A short time later, Vicky comes down with meningitis and nearly dies. Adah confronts Trudy and throws a vacuum cleaner at her. The children are enrolled in a nursery.


Adah and Francis are evicted from their apartment because the landlady and the other tenants dislike them. It is challenging to find a new home because many advertisements feature the caveat “Sorry, no coloureds” (70). Adah finds an ad that does not say this, and she disguises her accent on the phone when she speaks to the landlady.

However, as soon as she and Francis arrive to look at the apartment and the landlady sees that they are Black, she sends them away. They finally find a place to live in the house of another Nigerian immigrant called Mr. Noble.


Shortly thereafter, Adah feels unwell. The baby is kicking a great deal but she is not due to give birth for weeks. She tries to go to work but there is a railway strike so she returns home. Francis gives her a lecture about laziness and Adah goes to the doctor, who tells her she is in labor.

She is bleeding and therefore sent to the hospital for a Cesarean section. The baby is a boy. When she wakes after the surgery, she is in the maternity ward with other women who have just given birth. She is jealous of their nice nightdresses and their husbands who lavish them with attention and gifts.

Francis rarely visits, and when he does, he is sullen. Adah thinks the other women are judging her because of her race.


When Adah leaves the hospital, she goes to a family planning clinic to try to get birth control. She needs Francis’s signature, so she forges it. Francis finds out and beats her mercilessly.

A short time later, Adah discovers she is pregnant again. She tells Francis that she will no longer support him financially and he must get a job. When she delivers her fourth child, a girl, Adah decides to write a book while she is on maternity leave.


Adah shows the book to her friends at the library and they are very supportive and recommend she send it out to publishers. Francis is less impressed and burns her manuscript. He has failed his accounting exams repeatedly and he does not want to have a wife who is more accomplished than he is.

They quarrel again and Adah takes the children and moves into her own apartment. Francis finds her there and beats her again. Afterward, Adah goes to court to try to get an order of protection.

Francis lies and claims her injuries are all the result of falls, but the court orders him to pay child support. On her way out of court, Adah runs into an old friend from Nigeria. He pays for her taxi ride home.

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About Mr Jay 474 Articles
Nwachukwu Chukukwuebuka J. known as (Mr. Jay) is the founder and editor of DONBIGS. He loves keeping students/readers updated with educational news from various sources.

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