Review: What a Time to Be Alone: The Slumflower’s Guide to Why You Are Already Enough
Chidera Eggerue’s debut book is a modern guide to life, confidence and being your authentic self
You only need to get a few pages into What a Time to Be Alone: The Slumflower’s Guide to Why You Are Already Enough before it hits you: Chidera Eggerue really has her sh*t together.
It’s the book form of that woman that you see - or even may know - the one who it seems like they were just gifted with the secret to life when they were born, the woman who just seems to know how to be confident in a society that seems to routinely knock women down for not being enough. But What a Time to Be Alone isn’t a book filled with unattainable life and statements. This book is empowering. It’s motivational. And it’s overflowing with wisdom and life lessons.
“Minding your own business is the new black. Try it. I’m sure we can all remember a situation where we thought we were doing good, only for the person we were doing it for to turn around and attack us. If you ever find yourself in a scenario where your kindness gets you in trouble, redirect that energy to yourself. You need you more than anybody else could ever need you.”
Along with short essays on loneliness, self-worth, mental health, racism, privilege, body image and more, Chidera’s debut book features Igbo proverbs from her Nigerian mother, which are as amusing as they are deep.
“When the rat follows the lizard out into the rain, it’s only the rat that gets soaked.”
Chidera, 23, is known as the The Slumflower to her over 200,000 social media followers and followers of her award-winning blog. The name Slumflower is centred around the idea of a rose growing from concrete - and, boy, does she shine beautifully.
The Peckham native has filled her book with honesty and attitude, which at times makes it feel like you are reading advice from your best friend, mother and grandmother all wrapped in one magnificent person who wants you to love you as much as they do.
“Choose yourself. Over and over again. Even when you’ve let yourself down. Choose yourself. Even when it feels uncomfortable. Choose yourself. Even when you’re tired. Choose Yourself.”
Along with being rich in wisdom, the book itself is also visually stunning - it features the author’s own original artwork - and its beautiful design makes it hard to put down and a real joy to read.
What a Time to Be Alone is a truly gorgeous guide packed with life lessons, personality, wit and wisdom, and, like The Slumflower herself, something to be celebrated.
And what about that woman? The one who seems to magically have it all together? Well, she’s Chidera, and she’s telling you everything she knows because she knows it won’t make her any less magical. And, spoiler alert: There’s no magic about it.
“If you sit around waiting for someone to come and rescue you from yourself, life will pass you by - it ain’t gon’ happen.”
What A Time To Be Alone is out now.
Author Chidera Eggerue
Photo credit: Tom Oldham