The 147-page book attempts to identify the root causes of corruption in our present day society with its hydra-headed consequences such as: kidnapping, unemployment and it decries how everybody celebrates “corruption” as if it were the only way to success. The author says that people should talk more and celebrate integrity and downplay corruption to move the society forward.
The book is divided into 13 chapters with each chapter touching on several issues affecting the society as well as proffering solutions to them. The events in the book took place in various towns and cities in Nigeria and in the United States of America (USA). Chapter One introduces the readers to the childhood years of Chukwuemeka, the main character in the book and his other three sisters in a family of six though the father was deceased.
He also tells the readers about Emeka’s exploits at school and the potential in him to defend his sisters being the only boy among them. The book states that his mother began to instill leadership traits in him since he was young. Also, the chapter tells us his life story as an undergraduate student in the university. He was both physically and educationally The chapter also describes how he left Nigeria for the United States of America courtesy of his maternal uncle, Mr. Agughasirim, and his wife Urenwa, that were already living there.
Chapter Two introduces the readers to how Emeka settled down in the United States under the tutelage of his uncle and wife, commenced his post-graduate studies in History. Chapter Three tells us how Emeka started interacting with the people from his community living in America because he believes that East or West, North or South, home is the best.
This is made possible through the help of his uncle and wife. However, he shows his disdain to lack of respect for time during meetings and the average Africans urge for acquisition of titles. Over time, the author presents Emeka as the voice of the voiceless at meetings and he began to command respect and recognition for always speaking on the need for Africans to return home and develop it.
Chapter Four is about plans by Emeka to become a responsible man by getting married as being championed by his sister-in-law. The author introduces the readers to Lerma Julio, a reading partner of Emeka at their university. Chapter Five starts with concrete plans for Emeka to get married and his uncle’s efforts to involve his sister, Emeka’s mother, in the search for a good wife material back home in Nigeria.
Chapter Six is about Emeka’s venturing into the marriage institution both culturally and from the church with somebody who meets his requirement of being a homemade woman. Here traditional folklores, use of proverbs, witty statements are judiciously applied by the author to buttress the African setting for such a wonderful traditional event.
In Chapter Seven, the author dwells more on the institutionalisation of the Integrity Group as a change-agent in Emeka’s home country. The chapter also states the strategies and methodologies the group will employ to achieve its aims and objectives so that his country will be integrity personified. It also brings to the force how women can be involved women in nation building as being championed by Urewa, Emeka’s aunt-in-law.
Chapter Eight takes the reader through the preparation for the traditional and Christian weddings in Emeka’s hometown vis-a-vis that of Nneka, his wife-to-be’s place. We see in Chapter Nine the spirits of loyalty, commitment and advancing the course of Integrity Group displayed by other stakeholders in America while Emeka was in his home country for his wedding. No backstabbing or betrayal of trust by them to hijack the group from its founder.
Chapter Ten brings to the readers the good news that Nneka had obtained her American visa and will soon be joining her husband. Emeka began to unfold his future plans of investing in Nigeria rather than in the US. The chapter also tells us of the establishment of another parallel group known as the National Integration Coalition by one Chief Gogo in the State of Maryland (Pp.77-78). In Chapter Eleven, Emeka overwhelmed by happenings within his family in the US returned home while his uncle with his wife and in-laws tried to intervene in resolving the sour relationship affecting the young couple.
In Chapter Twelve, the author demonstrates how the consequences of an individual’s action can usually have spillover effects on the society. In the final chapter, the author concludes by exhibiting the talents and attributes Nneka is endowed with as a woman, wife, mother and a complete African woman activist. Distinguished readers, the book can compete favourably with other contemporary African Writers Series (AWS) such as Things Fall Apart written by the late Chinua Achebe, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah,
The African Child by Camara Laye, to mention but a few. I encourage examination bodies and ministries of education at both the nation and state levels to recommend this book to our schools for the benefits of our children. There are several concrete lessons to be learnt from it
. Dada is Assistant Editor–In– Chief, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
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