image credit: thisisafrica.me

image credit: thisisafrica.me

Chigozie Obioma’s book  ’The Fishermen’, is one I will never forget. His, his ability to imprint an image in the mind of the reader is not matched. He has been called the ‘son of Achebe’, I have to agree. Obioma had imprinted the image of mad-man Abulu, and I think I will need a purgative to get him out.

Obioma tells the tale of a young family. Four brothers left to themselves after their father’s work transfer began to entertain themselves. They became fishermen against all sound warnings. Ater one encounter with the town’s mad man, havoc ensues in their family. One statement from a man declared insane turned brothers into enemies and children became strangers to their parents.

Abulu, the madman, told Ikenna the first son that one of his brothers will kill him. This became a self-fulfilling prophecy, as he became obstructive at home and antagonistic to his brother. Boja his younger brother took this behaviour personally, and the conflict reached a boiling point. The death of both boys was an inevitable occurrence as a result of Ikenna’s desire to accept the ramblings of a mad man.


Obembe and Ben were trapped. Obembe encouraged Ben to join him in a retaliation attempt. They planned and schemed until they were finally successful in the murder of Abulu, the madman. Obembe ran away while Ben went to prison, the only one who seemed to take responsibility for everyone else’s choices.

Obioma portrays the intense spirituality, flaws and deception that plagues all of the Nigerian society. A husband who left his wife alone with six children, in the name of a job and prospects. A mother who tried her best to keep her family together. Children who did all they could to break the hearts of their parents; sometimes children do not recognise that parents are human too.

sometimes children do not recognise that parents are human too. Click To Tweet

Obioma’s book has gripped me, and I can vividly recall the scenes, as though I lived there in Akure, under the military regime. Make sure you grab a copy of this book, can’t wait to read what he writes next.

Until next time. Dami loves to read