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Most of the time, we spend many years learning Mhow to be a great Accountant, Engineer, Medical Doctor, Lawyer, et cetera, and yet one day, we are retired from service or retire ourselves from our business. We hardly spend one percent of that time learning how to be A Great Spouse', our most important contract until Death doth us part'. Appreciating this anomaly, Silas has written this book as an eye-opener. Being the first son of born-again Christians, he has drawn, not only from his personal experience, but has tapped from that of his parents. It is good that How To Be A Great Spouse' is not written by those of us in old school' but by a youth, who understands his fellow youths.

Silas would not have written this book if couples
understand the implication of I do' when signing the
dotted lines. His acronym on Parents, Fathers and
Mothers are apt and it is an easy-to-remember formulae
for responsibilities. Spouses, he stressed should live in
unity, dutifully and respectfully for their own good and that
of their children. It is not that couples are not doing their
utmost towards this, what is needful is becoming great, he
In this journey, personal effort will crumble overtime. This
is why the author reminds us of the need to be born-again,
which does not only guarantee a home in Heaven but also
is the anchor that holds the home.
The English is flawless and the reading is smooth. I
recommend this book without any reservation for any
single who wants to marry A Great Spouse' and for the
married who want to transform to A Great Spouse'.

Osondu Anyalechi
Past Board Chairman
Scripture Union Press and Books Ltd
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Jimi Solade is woken up by his brother Wole. He is so happy to see him as Wole is not always around because of some crime he committed. Jimi rushes to prepare for school as it is the first day of the school year and he was going to be in SS3. He comes to take his breakfast when suddenly his father walks in, seeing Wole , flares up. His wife Mrs Solade pleads with him to forgive Wole (we are made to understand that Wole had forged his fathers signature and made away with a lot of money leaving his father almost bankrupt).
Jimi gets to school with his best friend Ansa just before the Morning Assembly. As the students march into their classroom, jimi is seen to be everyones favorite boy. He is said to be smart and friendly. Ansa his friend is only good at Painting.

A new girl Efua Coker is admitted into the school, which is queer because students are not normally admitted into SS3. She is very beautiful, brilliant but strangely quiet and rudely shuns every boy that comes her way. She is seen not to have time for boys. She becomes friends with Nene Ekpo who is a mutual friend of Jimi and Ansa. Jimi leaves his favorite girl Caro to see if Efua could give him some attention but Efua seems to hate him.

A youth corper Miss AgbeneNovi is sent to Forcados High School to assist in English Language, she and Efua becomes friends after Efua was humiliated at the Mid-term Dinner by mistakenly being poured drink by Jimi; she gets to talking with her and finds out that Miss Novi belonged to a group for the support of Women and Childs right as well as some charity work. Efua joins the group and is soon seen busy with campaigns and Rallies.

Jimis Mum dies of Ovarian Cancer, and is buried at a private cemetery. Their Father travels out of the country on a business trip leaving just Wole and Jimi with some money to take care of themselves. Wole goes wild as he throws parties in their house all the time, he invites his friends over while the smoke Heroine. All these become unbearable for Jimi as his grades constantly drop in school. Ansa, Nene and Efua helps him out by convincing him to stay in Ansas house. Gradually he gets better.

Nene goes to take her Biology book from Efuas house, Efuas aunt tells her to take it from her room as she was not around. When Nene was reading her book, she sees a piece of paper with Efuas hand writing on it, it contained Efuas deepest thoughts of her being in Love. When Nene flips it over she sees a letter addressed to Miss Novi telling her how much she treasured their hugs and how she was in love with her. Nene is shocked and just then sees Jimi, she calls him and shows him the letter after making him swear never to show anyone.

The letter is seen everywhere as someone had made photocopies of it. The school gets wild and the principal calls Efua and Miss Novi to his office, Efua explains that the letter was a mere thought as it was harmless. The Principal agrees but tells Efua to stay away from school for the rest of the day, The students are reprimanded for turning the school upside down for the letter they found, Jolly the boy who photocopied the letter is addressed and Miss Novi is sent to another school.

Efua is sick and in the hospital, Nene comes to see her and she tells Nene how she had been sexually abused by her step father leading to her running away from her former school. Nene pities her and swears to protect her in school; and she did.

Wole steals the key to the schools Chemistry lab from Jimis school bag, he and his friends makes away with the new microscope and tries to sell it but they are caught.Wole says it was Jimi who gave him the keys, Jimi agrees just so he could save his brother. He is isolated from the rest of the students during their WAEC exams. He is made to apologise to the whole school. But Efua stood up for him and asked the principal series of questions ,in the end AAnsa tells everyone that it was Jimis brother who stole the equipments, Jimi had nothing to do with it, he was only standing up for his brother.

Everything is settled. Charges against Jimi are dropped. T heir results are out and excellent. Jimi looks for Efua to thank her but she was nowhere to be found. Nene tells him that Efua already left the country.

Review written by Chinemerem Onuorah, you can get more information about the book by contacting her on Twitter @Mererah or phone +2348108221203
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The Potter's Wheel (1973) is the first novel I've read by the Nigerian Chukwuemeka Ike. He has written quite a few (I gather that Toads for Supper is his best known work) and I'll get back around to him sometime. It's a short novel that takes us in to a village Nigeria where one of the basic elements of the local idiom is sayings, much like a Bible-based community where people communicate through chapter and verse citations. Here the young boys have riddle and proverb contests to see who knows the most. They are at times convoluted and cryptic (\"The rat who follows a lizard into the river should come out with skin as dry as the lizard's\"), but after a while the cumulative weight of them is fun in itself.

The story is a simple one of an eight-year-old boy, Ubo, who, as the only son with six older sisters, has been badly spoiled by his adoring mother. His father, a kindly man but fearing for the boy's future, sends him off for a year to be a servant of Teacher and Madam, proprietors of the local school (a mere sixty miles away), where he and an assortment of other youngsters (some of whom are the children of Teacher's debtors) are beaten, abused, and work in semi-slavery. The moral of the story is ambiguous, however. While Teacher and Madam are clearly greedy, violent people with no scruples about lying and being dangerously cruel to the children, after a year of this Obu returns for Christmas and has indeed been transformed into a dutiful, hardworking young person. Despite his initial joy at his salvation from what he had experienced as an almost unbearable hell, after some talk with his father he even chooses to voluntarily return in January.

I can't quite work out in my own conscience the balance here between the idea that a child needs to learn to endure hardship and adapt to difficult circumstances, which is surely true, and my aversion to corporal punishment of children (I am a parent myself), especially the gratuitously cruel treatment that these children receive. There is some culture clash here between author and reader. Ike is telling us about a much harder, crueler (that is, poorer) world than my own so that is part of it.

Meanwhile as in so much African literature there is constant interplay between the (in this case Igbo) vernacular and the English language (and a glossary of terms at the end). Another ubiquitous element is the discussion of food which I found fascinating. Various roots and starchy fruits are pounded into mash that is shaped into balls and dipped into herb broths; that is the basic food. There is occasional meat that is much coveted, fried termites that are considered a treat, and great attention is paid to the cola nut that plays an important role in etiquette between hosts and visitors. I'm going to look into growing cola here in Puerto Rico where I have a number of fruit trees on my land. I also enjoyed the critical, sarcastic banter that is kept up between Igbo villagers who have known each other all their lives. There is an optimism and an innocence to much of the African writing of this period that belies the stereotype of the African novel as a politicized horrorshow (even as Ike does include some pointed satire of the British colonial authorities and their native lackeys).

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Ekene Onuorah
Posted 49 Years ago · 0 Likes · 0 Comments
After the Juju-man is a classic -- a story of life in West-Africa before the arrival of the Whites. It tells of the struggles of a man named Okafor whom at last died of injustice. Not only was it a tragedy that he died, his sincere In-law died too to bring out the truth and to cleanse the village of Izagu. Okafor disobeyed his father to become a palm-wine tapper, instead of the farmer his father prepared him for. It was later that Okafor revealed to his son Ikenna that his refusal was to stop trouble since his fathers second wife, along with children meant evil for him if he walked into the land.
As an unsuccessful palm wine tapper, he fell from the tree and broke his leg. His brother-In-law Okoye meant well for him by taking him to a distant village, Umuoru, because the healer they had in Izagu was powerless and fake. This almost caused trouble but the elders believed Okoye since his son and wife were victims of fake healers.
At Umuoru, Nweke did wonders with the cock he handed back to them. Okafor was healed when this cock began to walk and many were happy. But Okafor wanted to do more. He believed he needed to appease his late father by becoming a farmer, but his half-brothers were an obstacle to giving him the land which was rightfully his. Ekene convinced Ukaegbu to give him the land, citing that he would still fail.
But the brothers were disappointed. With help from Okoye, Okafor became one of the wealthiest at the next harvest that he decided to take an Ozo title. Ukaegbu did all to stop him, even by claiming his land and by beating his wife. This made Okafor fight Ukaegbu which attracted the public; it wasnt good for a man about to be given an Ozo title. The case was to be settled at the shrine but no one knew that Ojiugo has been bribed to poison Okafor, except the planners. Okafor and Ukaegbu took the oath by drinking poisons, but Ukaegbu had the anti-dote.
Okafor died and was given a burial fit for a dog. Okoye knew that there was a problem so travelled to invite a stronger deity Aligome to come and cleanse their land. This deity would go with the person who invited it after it had done its work. Okoye knew this and was ready to make the sacrifice. He knew that it would still cost innocent lives if evil prevailed.
Aligome was invited and the village purged. Those who did evil were punished and the village became a place worth living. But it was time for Okoye to go. From his death bed, he heard the news of Whites coming to trade slaves. He told his nephew Ikenna, the son of Okafor, that evil sometimes brings something good, and urged him to ask them to give him the message if he ever meets them. The boy was really confused but agreed while Okoye died in his hands. He was given a befitting burial.
I am guessing this message would be Christianity or Technology or Civilisation.
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