ISBN: 978 9784894357
No of Pages: 267
Author: Sade Adeniran
Publication Date: 2011
A compelling story about the human spirit and resilience against the odds. Imagine This is the journal of Lola Ogunwole which she starts at the age of nine; it charts her survival from childhood to adulthood. Born in London to Nigerian parents, Lola and her brother Adebola grow up in a temporary foster home after their mother abandons them. They are briefly reunited with their father when, in danger of losing them for good, he packs up and moves them back to Nigeria to live.
For Lola, the trauma of leaving London and settling in Lagos is soon overshadowed by separation from her father and the only constant in her life, her brother Adebola. They are both sent to live with different relatives and Lola ends up with her aunt, in a small village called Idogun where her struggle for survival begins.
‘Whatever the eyes of a dead man see
in the burial yard is caused by death’
– Yoruba proverb
20th May 1977
Why, why, why? I hate them all, I want to go home. I don’t want to live with my Auntie. I don’t want to live in Idogun. I want everything to go back to the way it was, with Daddy, Adebola and me living at number 4 Edgecombe House.
21st May 1977
Daddy didn’t take notice of my tears. I told him I didn’t want to leave Lagos, that I wanted us to live like a family. I want us to be like when we left our foster parents in Kent to live with him in London. I sobbed and sobbed till I couldn’t sob no more. I promised not to be naughty and to never, ever lose the front door key like Adebola and me used to do in London. I told him that I’d be responsible like he is always telling me to be. I promised so much yet he still wouldn’t listen to me. He said I had to leave. I had to go and live with my Auntie, Iya Rotimi and my three cousins because he could no longer take care of me and Adebola. So today I’ve arrived in Idogun and I’m going to be here at my Auntie’s home forever unless I’m rescued by a handsome prince.
“As mono-sided (and maybe selfish) as the narration is, the reader cannot but marvel at the way Sade manages her plot and characters. Thematically, the picture of Nigeria and Africa are seen in the “horriblest” (using Lola’s word) condition. The author splatters derision on the pages of the novel owing to the stench the African culture ignorantly produces. However; that is not to say everything African or relating to the African culture is repulsive….” Oyebanji Ayodele