Reviewer: Olabisi Oladimeji
Title of Book: The Danfo driver in all of us
Author: Niran Adedokun
When I first came across the title of this book, my curiosity was piqued because I wonder what the author could mean by the danfo driver in all us. Having lived in Lagos all my life and seen the behaviour of the danfo drivers, I was quick to say within myself that not me! I am no danfo driver.
Well, turns out the book is a collection of articles and newspaper publications written by the author and published under different media houses. Some as far back as 2012 and others as recent as 2018.
Growing up as a little girl who loved to read newspapers, I was delighted to have a compilation of articles to devour. I quickly got to work.
The book is a compilation of 48 articles that touched on nearly all issues faced in Nigeria and by Nigerians. Though it focuses more on the politics, keen attention is paid to religion, gender equality, the current state of education in the country, marriage, and of course, parenting.
For me, reading this book was an eye opener as it served as a refresher course to all that Nigeria and Nigerians have been through from the Southern Kaduna killings, the Chibok Girls abduction, kidnapping, the elections brouhaha, the lack of the people’s interest in the hearts of politicians but much more than that, it highlights the fact that many of these issues have not been resolved but rather amplified and compounded.
In one of the articles titled ‘History will Judge Jonathan and Buhari’, here the author is worried about the aftermath of the 2015 election, it was stated that the very fate and the very survival of the nation depended on that election especially because the incumbent may fail to relinquish power which will lead to a meltdown from the north or in the that the election was won by the successor, the Niger Delta Militants also threatened to fight. The author ended by pleading for integrity and magnanimity from both parties in the event that either wins. Luckily ,we see in the article ‘ Goodluck Jonathan: A president for the season’, the route taken by then President Goodluck Jonathan who eventually went on to lose that election but was gracious enough to congratulate his successor after winning the election, that alone was enough to calm the brewing storm and keep Nigeria standing.
The author also takes us a bit into his own personal life where he writes about his father in law in the article ‘Finality of death and the Lessons men fail to learn’. Here, he admonishes us to take the lessons of our mortality more seriously because life is about those who are living and the lessons they draw from the lives of departed ones.
I certainly enjoyed the article ‘Are women smarter than men?’, here the author suggested that women are indeed smarter and should be given more opportunities to thrive.
I will close my review with the article ‘The danfo driver in all of us’. Recall I said that I am no danfo driver but having read the article, I realised that most of us are just like the danfo drivers, self-seeking and always wanting things done our way or the highway. This got me in a reflective mood and of course the need to remember that change begins from me.
Style of Writing
Even though the compilations are mostly articles, the writer infuses his own descriptive style into it and totally owns it. Here we see the writer describe events with vivid words that makes it all come alive for you. He writes from one paragraph to another in fluid motion expressing his own thoughts about the issues been discussed.
Benefit of Reading
• You will certainly come out more informed as it touched on issues that have happened in Nigeria for years now. Call it a history class if you will.
• With the benefit of hindsight, you can see some issues that could have been dealt when they first started that are now huge mountains to surmount in the country today.
• This book leaves you in deep reflection and contemplation of Nigeria while also appealing to your humanity to do better as a person.
Who should Read?
• Every Nigerian seeking answers towards national development.
• Students of History
• Children from at least 8 years of age with guidance.
This book was an awesome read. I certainly enjoyed myself. However, there are a few things to note:
• I feel like the articles could have been chronologically arranged, especially the ones that talked on Nigerian Politics, that way one is able to see issues as they occur.
• The book on Okadabooks is a bit disjointed, at some point we see the foreword in between the book, a bit of typographical errors here and there.
Mr. Adedokun is a seasoned Journalist and it shows in his work. I have certainly come out more educated and better informed about our country, Nigeria.
Olabisi Oladimeji reviews for Satayaa Africa, an Abuja based organisation set on building a network of writers and readers in Africa
NB: The book can be purchased online. @rovingheights @pagebookstore
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