The Thing Around Your Neck

Nnamabia Character Analysis

In "Cell One," Nnamabia is the handsome, endlessly charming, but troubled 20-year-old son of Mother and Father, and the older brother to the Cell One narrator. He becomes involved in violent cult activity on the Nsukka campus, but denies being a cult member. When he's arrested, he continues to deny any wrongdoing and delights in telling his parents and sister about the indignities he's made to suffer in prison. He does, however, fear going to "Cell One" after watching police drag a corpse out of the cell. When an innocent old man is put in Nnamabia's cell, Nnamabia is shaken by the injustices the poor man is forced to endure. He finally stands up for the old man, and when he tells his parents what happened, Nnamabia doesn't embellish or dramatize his story.

Nnamabia Quotes in The Thing Around Your Neck

The The Thing Around Your Neck quotes below are all either spoken by Nnamabia or refer to Nnamabia. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of The Thing Around Your Neck published in 2009.
Cell One Quotes

They may have once been benign fraternities, but they had evolved and were now called "cults"; eighteen-year-olds who had mastered the swagger of American rap videos were undergoing secret and strange initiations that sometimes left one or two of them dead on Odim Hill.

Related Characters: Cell One Narrator (speaker), Nnamabia
Related Symbols: Cars
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non

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"You cannot raise your children well, all of you people who feel important because you work in the university. When your children misbehave, you think they should not be punished. You are lucky, madam, very lucky that they released him."

Related Characters: Nnamabia, Cell One Narrator, Mother, Father
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu

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Nnamabia Character Timeline in The Thing Around Your Neck

The timeline below shows where the character Nnamabia appears in The Thing Around Your Neck. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Cell One
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
...neighbor robbed her family home the first time; the second time, it was her brother Nnamabia who broke in and stole their mother's jewelry. Their parents were out of town, and... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
...the inside, and the thief had known exactly where the jewelry was. She knew that Nnamabia had done it, and their father knew it too. When their father confronted Nnamabia, he... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Mother cried when Nnamabia said that he hadn't gotten a good price for the jewelry, making the Cell One... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
The Cell One narrator says that Nnamabia is beautiful with light skin. People in the market would call out to Mother and... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The American Dream Theme Icon
...police tried to help, but their cars were rickety and their guns were rusty, and Nnamabia said that the cult boys had modern guns. Mother, Father, and the narrator all wonder... (full context)
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...boys steal a professor's car and shoot three other cult boys outside a lecture hall. Nnamabia doesn't come home that night, and in the morning, a security man tells Mother and... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...the Enugu police station. Mother bribes the officers with food and money, and they allow Nnamabia to sit outside with his family. Nnamabia looks like an entertainer as he eats and... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Several days later, Nnamabia is shocked to see a gang member crying. A few days after that, Nnamabia is... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The Cell One narrator describes the tiny bugs that bite the inmates. She says that Nnamabia's face is covered in infected bumps. Nnamabia tells the narrator, Mother, and Father that earlier... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
For Nnamabia's first week in prison, Mother, Father, and the Cell One narrator visit daily in Father's... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
The Cell One narrator, Mother, and Father visit the next day. Nnamabia looks sober and explains that an old man had joined his cell the day before.... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
Nnamabia says he wants to give the old man food, but he can't take food back... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...office, and at the end of the day, the superintendent issues a release order for Nnamabia. The next day, Mother, Father, and the Cell One narrator leave for Enugu. Mother is... (full context)
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...policeman's shirt and asks where her son is. The policeman calls his superior to explain: Nnamabia had misbehaved yesterday and was moved to Cell One, and all of the inmates in... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
...the prison compound, it looks neglected. The officer goes inside and returns minutes later with Nnamabia. When Mother hugs him, he flinches; his body is bruised and bloody. The policeman tells... (full context)
Stories and Representation  Theme Icon
Family and Lies Theme Icon
Colonialism and Violence Theme Icon
When Mother, Father, the Cell One narrator, and Nnamabia arrive home, Nnamabia explains what happened. He says the guards had tried to torment the... (full context)