I suppose the answer to this question regarding Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart depends upon your definition of the term useful. In that case, I'll answer it in two ways:
- Unoka's musicality: Unoka is described as an incredibly talented musician, which has a symbiotic relationship with his love for leisure and feasts. This skill might be seen as useful in a culture where many traditions rely on music as an important component.
- Unoka's effect on Okonkwo: Much of Okonkwo's character has developed directly in opposition to Unoka's own defining personality traits. Because of Unoka's laziness and "shamelessness", Okonkwo becomes an incredibly well-respected and traditional Igbo man. In this way, Unoka's "failings" positively impact Okonkwo's character development if perceived through a traditionalist Igbo perspective.