|The memoir focuses on the writer’s experiences while living and working in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) for 23 years. According to Professor Akpata, “After working in the Middle East for 23 years, I returned to my country, Nigeria in 2011. In conversation with friends at home and abroad, a topic that invariably came up
was about my experiences in the Middle East.
“Some of them have found it astonishing that I was able to survive in Arab countries for that length of time, considering the quaint stories that they had heard about the region. Others have been curious and wanted tips on life in the Middle East, in case they emigrate, or needed to advise others who had similar plans. Hence, I decided to write this memoir.”
The first chapter of Sand, Sun and Surprises, describes the author’s professional background, while the second chapter deals with the social impact of the collapse of the Nigerian economy following the fall in the world price of crude oil in the 1980s, how the bleak economic situation resulted in massive devaluation of the naira and consequently, a steep decline in the purchasing power of Nigerians. Hence, the middle class who had skills that were marketable outside Nigeria started to emigrate.