Chapter by Chapter Summary of The Life Changer by Khadijat Abubakar Jalli (Full Book)

This is a chapter by chapter summary of the book – The Life Changer. This article is made to support students revision as they prepare for their exams. In this chapter by chapter summary of ‘The Life Changer’, all nine chapters of the book have been covered.

“The Life Changer” is one of the novels recommended to Jamb candidates for the years 2024 to 2025. The story is written by Khadijat Abubakar Jalli, who studied mathematics, and the novel is her debut. The story is a moral one, intending to portray the reality of life in Nigerian universities or other institutions. The book’s name is derived from the general belief that university is a life-changing

The Life Changer Chapters Summary 1 (covers chapter 1 and 2)

The Life Changer Chapters Summary 3(covers chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9

The Life Changer Chapters Summary 2 covers chapters 3, 4, and 5

Chapter 1

The story starts with everyone waiting for the arrival of Daddy. The author doesn’t provide a vivid description of Daddy in the novel, and his character is poorly developed.

The children are making their room warm with endless discussions that elicit laughter from them and their Mummy as well. Their mummy’s name is Ummi, but they can’t call her that. It’s disrespectful to call one’s parents by their names in some Nigerian cultures. The name “Ummi” means mother; however, she’s named after her grandmother.

Everyone calls her mummy except Omar, who insists on calling her Mum. 

If there’s anything Ummi detests, it’s listening to the children, who are chatterboxes by birth, but they’re indeed comical in their discussions, which attracts her attention. Ummi has four children, three girls, and a boy. Five-year-old Bint is telling her siblings about her encounter with her Social Studies teacher, who is fond of interfering in other people’s affairs. Ummi, who’s equally a teacher, can’t bear hearing her little daughter narrate how she humiliates her teacher in the class. Bint’s teacher asks her to say good morning in French. Ummi mandates her last child to learn French at a young age, reversing the mistake she made raising her older children, stating that it’s easier to learn a language as a child.

Bint answers her teacher correctly, and the teacher applauds her, but he can’t say “that’s very good” in French, causing embarrassment for himself. Bint’s classmates sing and dance around her in the presence of the teacher, believing she’s destined to be great. 

Ummi walks into the children’s room without giving a signal; she does this frequently for reasons: to check whether they’re hygienic and the way they bond. Ummi listens to the children, although she loathes doing that, but she does and makes them learn a lesson in each of their stories.

Omar is 18, and he’s the oldest, while Bint is the youngest and the favorite child of her mother. The two siblings are fond of each other.

Note: The Social Studies teacher’s name is Mallam Salihu. Teemah is the second child.

Omar joins the rest of the siblings, entering the room in jeans and a white shirt, and Ummi is pleased with her eldest child’s decent fashion sense. Although Omar is 18, he looks far older than his age. Omar is thrilled to announce to the family his admission to study Law at the prestigious Ahmed Bello University, Kongo Campus, in Kano, which reminds Ummi about how Daddy wanted to study Law but ended up studying Accounting.

Omar, being ecstatic, requests everyone call him a learned brother, except Bint, whom he gives the free will to call him anything she wishes, and Teemah responds by calling Omar Esquire. Teemah is called a blabbermouth. Omar does not want anyone else to inform his daddy about his admission because he has promised to get him an Android phone if he gets accepted to study Law.

There has been a power outage for days, and the room is hot, making them sit under the mango tree outside where Teemah sells Zobo. Omar picks up Teemah’s zobo without dropping a dime, making the two trade hurtful words, and Mummy steps in to pay for Omar.

Since Omar will soon leave home for school, Ummi finds it necessary to tell her children, especially Omar, who’s going to a new world, about her experience at the university. Omar’s Jamb score is 230.

Chapter Two

In the second chapter, Ummi tells her children about how her father wanted her to marry before her graduation and how she was stunned by the free nature of the people in the university. She’s shocked that students don’t wear uniforms like in secondary school, making them equal to lecturers. 

Through Ummi, readers know about a lady known as Salma, who in her description, is radiant. Salma is a tall, busty, slim, light-skinned girl. In the faculty registration office, she complains surlily, connoting that university lecturers are inexpensive to purchase, just like the Nigerian Police, prompting a young man nearby to engage her in a talk. The young man, whom she doesn’t know is a lecturer, tells her to buy any lecturer if she thinks so.

When she learned the man with whom she had been engaging in a brutal discussion was a lecturer in charge of the office, she found herself helpless. The lecturer, whose name is Samuel Johnson, a Ph.D. holder, wasn’t fond of talking. Ummi was present when everything was unfolding, and she was telling her children the story. The same Johnson, the HOD of the department, praises Ummi for her decent dress and wishes other students learnt from her, but she thinks he is making sexual advances on her. Ummi is the first person to register, making her registration number UG0001, and Samuel Johnson prays for Ummi that she will always be number one in everything as she’s lucky to be number one in the register.

When Ummi got home, she told Daddy about her encounter with the HOD, and Daddy made her know that her perception of the HOD was wrong and that she misjudged the man. Samuel Johnson happened to be Daddy’s friend, and she helped Daddy to make Mummy get admission to the university. Always mistaken for Igala, Samuel Johnson was a Yoruba man, and his nickname was Sam John.

Important Facts in these two chapters:

1. Ummi is a teacher.

2. She has four children.

3. Daddy is her husband.

4. Ummi is called Mummy by her children.

5. Bint is the last and favorite child of Ummi.

6. Omar is the 18-year-old first child of Ummi.

7. He was admitted to study Law at the Ahmed Bello University, Kongo Campus, Kano.

8. Bint is five years old.

9. Samuel Johnson is the HOD and Daddy’s friend.

Chapter Three

Ummi expressed her intention to apologize to Dr. Samjohn, but upon encountering the Head of Department (HOD), she found that he greeted her as if nothing had transpired. Ummi had mistaken the HOD for a bad person for praising her. When questioned by the children about the enigmatic figure known as the Quiet One, Ummi began to enlighten the children about his background. She began by describing Lafayette, their tight-knit community, where the presence of strangers was a threat without the acknowledgment of the District Head, Hakimi, underscoring Lafayette’s deeply ingrained culture of neighborliness.

The parents of the Quiet One hailed from Lafayette, and in their primes, they faced challenges conceiving a child, making them seek the aid of a traditional healer named Boka. Tragically, shortly after the Quiet One’s birth, his mother passed away, leaving him in the care of his father and stepmother. However, fate dealt another blow when he lost both his father and stepmother in a fatal accident when he was only twenty years old. Despite working as a driver at the local government office, the Quiet One earned his nickname “Quiet One” due to his reserved nature, rarely engaging in conversation or confrontation. Quiet One’s original name is Talle.

An important moment arises when a market vendor reports Quiet One’s increased purchases to Hakimi, prompting an interrogation that resulted in his fainting. Quiet One does not have a bad background, so the accusation against him is perceived to be incredible. The incident is interrupted by the unprecedented arrival of a police van due to the recent occurrence in the known tranquil community. Three men came forth, accusing one of the locals, Zaki, of robbery and extortion, challenging the Hakimi’s authority. The sight of Zaki triggers another fainting spell from the Quiet One, which appears to be another puzzle to the community accustomed to peace under the Hakimi’s 30 years of rule.

Talle’s financial struggles lead him down a dark path when Zaki introduces him to the world of kidnapping. Their target, the thirteen-year-old son of wealthy businessman Alhaji Adamu, takes them amateur as kidnappers, as they demand a mere two hundred and fifty thousand naira for the boy’s release.

Chapter Four

In this chapter, the narrative shifts to Salma, a young woman reveling in the freedoms of university life. She’s the same lady who believes she can buy the university lecturers with her money. In this episode, her encounter with Dr. Dabo, a stern and morally upright lecturer, take an unexpected turn when her beauty disrupts his usual composure, exposing a vulnerability Salma finds disgusting. Despite Dr. Dabo’s advances, Salma dismisses him as lacking confidence and substance, asserting her disdain for his perceived sleaziness.

Salma’s residence in Queen Amina Hall, home to the vibrant Happening Babes, initially unsettles her due to a hostile relationship with her roommates. Among them, Tomiwa stands out as the brightest, aspiring to a career in music and fashion, while Ngozi assumes the role of the quiet caretaker, cooking for the room. Ada rounds out their diverse group.

Cultural differences and culinary delights emerge as topics of conversation among the roommates, with Salma introducing her companions to the delicacy of danwake, a Hausa cuisine. Despite their religious diversity, Salma and Tomiwa share a mischievous camaraderie, as evidenced by their playful aliases and banter. 

Salma’s desire for Tomiwa to embrace openness hints at deeper complexities within their dynamic, suggesting forthcoming challenges and growth for the group as they navigate university life together. Salma and Tomiwa are Muslims, whereas Ngozi and Ada are Christians. Tomiwa is from Oyo, and she’s fond of snail soup. 

 Chapter Five

This chapter begins with Tomiwa’s phone ringing promptly at 8 p.m. the following day, interrupting the serenity of her evening. Salma had given Tomiwa’s phone number to her admirers because she saw herself as a big babe and had to give some boys to her roommate darling, Tomiwa. Salma is light-skinned, whereas Tomiwa is described as possessing a dark and attractive allure; Tomiwa was quick to answer the call. On the other end was Habib, whose voice sparked a memory from the previous evening’s journey from Kwangila. As she engaged in conversation, her gaze swept the room, expecting to find others present, particularly Labaran.

“Where’s Labaran?” she inquired upon entering the room, her voice betraying a hint of anticipation.

Labaran’s response, filled with flirtation, caused discomfort to wash over Tomiwa, reminiscent of the tension she often encountered in the pages of the institution’s magazine like Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather.” The sense of vulnerability, particularly from being approached from behind, caused her unease.

Observing her unease, Habib noted the discrepancy between Tomiwa’s demeanor and that of Salma, recognizing heightened confidence in the former— Tomiwa. Yet, he chose not to address the matter directly, wary of disrupting the delicate balance. 

Labaran is the car owner, but Habib is the boss, and he made Tomiwa know she wasn’t the one he gave a ride the previous day, making her agitated.

As Tomiwa departed, a bundle of ₦500 notes was pressed into her hand by Habib, totaling a substantial ₦50,000. The allocation included ₦10,000 for each of her roommates and ₦20,000 for herself, a gesture that elicited jubilation upon her return to the room, orchestrated by Ngozi, who secured the door behind them.

However, amidst the celebration, Salma’s discontent surfaced, feeling overshadowed by Tomiwa’s newfound fortune. Her outburst, directed at Ngozi, reflected a sense of betrayal, labeling her a “Money-monger.” Ada intervened, diffusing the tension, though Ngozi’s warning about the inevitable price attached to the gifts lingered in the air.

Undeterred by the potential consequences, Tomiwa remained resolute, her willingness to sacrifice anything for the windfall unwavering. Meanwhile, Salma’s fixation on securing Labaran’s affections intensified.

Outside the realm of their personal affairs, the girls excelled academically, all maintaining a solid standing as B students in their respective courses. With the impending completion of their studies, graduation with a second-class upper degree seemed assured, with only the final paper in moral philosophy standing between them and their academic accomplishments.

Chapter Six

On the day of the exam, Salma approaches the examination with confidence, under the impression that it will be an easy one, echoing the sentiments of other students who perceive it as easily manageable, akin to what preachers have told them in places of worship. Unbeknownst to her, the exam has changed, requiring students to study a specific section of the books assigned to them. Meanwhile, Kolawole Abdul, renowned for his academic prowess, and his peers are focused, writing on their answer sheets.

Salma’s attire attracts the invigilator’s attention and causes the invigilator, Dr. Amina, to feel uneasy and harbor negative feelings towards her. Amidst the exam, Kolawole discreetly passes coded answers to Salma, unnoticed by the teacher. Upon her return, Salma was caught by the invigilator and issued an Examination Malpractice (EMAL) form, resulting in a meeting with the Head of Department (HOD), described as benevolent and compassionate. The HOD is the same person with whom she engaged her in a conversation after she claimed she could buy lecturers with money. The case is to be taken to the Exams and Ethics Committee (EMEC)

During the ensuing disciplinary proceedings, Salma, resorting to prayer tinged with frustration, inadvertently implicates Abdul, leading to his expulsion. This action is viewed unfavorably by Omar, while Ummi maintains that adherence to rules is paramount to avoid repercussions. Bint confides in Omar, puzzled by the apparent disconnect between Salma’s relationships and her academic plight.

Chapter Seven

In Chapter Seven, Salma confides in Tomiwa about her predicament, receiving genuine empathy from her. Tomiwa suggests she seeks assistance from Habib Lawal, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, who tells her to seek the face of Dr. Dabo, her once admirer whom she turned down. However, discomfort prompts her to suggest consulting a different authority figure, such as the chairman of the Exams and Ethics Committee, a distinguished professor of biological sciences. In a troubling turn, Habib offers Salma ₦300,000 in exchange for sexual favors.

Salma later meets with an EMEC committee member who introduces her to the chairman, Dr. Kabir Mohammed, at a local hotel. She refuses his advances and opts to negotiate a financial settlement instead, and she ends up paying him ₦100,000 instead of ₦200,000 they had agreed on . However, her realization of the chairman’s fraudulent intentions leaves her distraught, as she grapples with the consequences of her actions.

In the aftermath, Salma recognizes her error in implicating Abdul and reflected on her disillusionment with men, except for her father, whom she regards as an exception amidst a landscape of exploitation.

Chapter Eight

Kabir Mohammed is not a Medical Doctor, rather an LT, a Laboratory Technologist. Described as friendly and approachable, he garners affection from those around him. However, it is noted that he has a particular susceptibility to financial enticements. Despite his amiable demeanor, Kabir is frequently observed to be in a state of moodiness, which presents a paradoxical aspect of his character.

Labaran discloses Kabir’s actions to Habib, who suggests involving Zaki in addressing the situation. However, Habib expresses discomfort with this decision due to Zaki’s previous errors. Zaki is the man who lured Talle into kidnapping.

It is highlighted that Talle deceives villagers between Nigeria and Niger, portraying himself as a prosperous farmer when he is involved in smuggling.

Zaki tracks Kabir to a habitual gambling establishment. Notably, Kabir departed from the venue with ₦300,000, whereas, he came to the venue with less than ₦50,000. The leader of the gambling group, Kartagi, signals a thug named Gumuzu to intervene, leading to a confrontation with Kabir. Zaki intervenes to defuse the situation. Gumuzu is mad at Kartagi for sending another thug against him without knowing Zaki works for Kabir.

Zaki retrieves the money and delivers it to Labaran, who compensates him with ₦50,000 and opts not to inform Habib, presuming the transaction was not an act of benevolence but rather a form of compensation, potentially of a sexual nature.

Omar laments the lack of justice in the world, reflecting on the events unfolding.

Salma reappears eight days following her father’s funeral, eliciting sympathy from those around her. Ngozi questions the haste of their burial practices, to which Salma responds by distinguishing between burying corpses and people, advocating for a swifter resolution to grief.

Salma experiences a behavior change and develops romantic feelings for Salim.

Chapter 9

In this chapter, Ummi tells her children about Salim’s encounter with an odd girl he connected with on a social media platform, amidst his engagement to Salma. Salim bought a phone, the Note Series, and his girlfriend, Salma, encouraged him to enjoy his bachelorhood before marriage caged him.

The chapter unfolds with Salim confiding in Lawal about his interaction with Natasha, an enigmatic figure he met online. Lawal was stunned to learn his friend had gotten another girlfriend despite his plan to marry Salma, but Salim rebuked him with, “Salma is my wife.”

Following their exchanges of contact information, photographs, and affectionate messages, Salim arranges to meet Natasha, adhering to her preference for late-night encounters.

Venturing out around 9:00 PM, Salim heads to meet Natasha, mindful of her stated inability to meet during daylight hours. However, his evening takes a dangerous turn when, on his way back, he finds Natasha waiting near his SUV. Despite being captivated by her beauty, Salim’s encounter is marred by a sudden attack from robbers, narrowly escaping their clutches. It becomes evident that Natasha was complicit in a scheme orchestrated by these criminals to trap and rob him.

Undeterred by this harrowing experience, Salim seeks solace in connecting with another girl through social media, drawn to her perceived beauty. Despite expressing his concerns to Lawal and requesting his company for added security, Salim forges ahead with his plans alone.

Upon meeting the new girl, Salim is met with disappointment as her appearance starkly contrasts with the captivating images he had seen online. Disillusioned by the stark disparity between expectation and reality, Salim returns home disheartened, realizing that the allure of online connections can often mask harsh truths.

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