Saturday, 10th June 2023

In After The Race, Chukwunweike idolises perseverance, industry

By Omiko Awa
31 October 2021   |   3:47 am
The saying that industry, humility, perseverance and godliness are catalysts that oil and sustain success were brought to the fore in Chukwunweike Joachim’s book titled, After the Race.

THE saying that industry, humility, perseverance and godliness are catalysts that oil and sustain success were brought to the fore in Chukwunweike Joachim’s book titled, After the Race.

Divided into 12 chapters, the 87-page easy-read book that is published last year echoes these virtues in each of the chapters. The author presents to the readers that even though these nuggets may appear fusty to some people, they are as useful in our every day life and with their application one’s rise in life will be limited.

Joachim uses Chukwuma Chioma, a naive village girl born into abject poverty and deprivation, to tell the story of how focus, discipline and diligence could impact ones social and economic status for good.

Written in simple narrative style, the book paints a graphic picture of students’ life at Uluwe Grammar School, an imaginary coed institution in Uluwe. It juxtaposes Chioma’s humble and poor background, yet resolve to excel both in sports and academics, to that of her classmate, Jessica Nwaokolo, who despite her rich background becomes a spoilt child and later a failure in life.

Despite having impressive West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results, Chioma could not immediately further her education because her parents were poor and could not afford financing her university education. Chioma stays at home for two years to help her parents in the farm before relocating to Asaba to learn how to make dresses under Mrs. Alicia Chikodi (Mama Ejike).

While still with Mama Ejike, fortune smiles at her. She comes across Prof. Janet Nwagwu, a university lecturer, who being impressed with Chioma’s dress making skill and attitude promises to fund her tertiary education.

The don and her husband enrolled Chioma for extra-mural studies to enable her take entrance exams into the university. Chioma passes her university entrance in flying colours and gains admission to study medicine and surgery at the Nnamdi Azikwe University.

Completing her medical studies, Chioma gets a high paying job at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba. Settling down, she marries her course mate, Dr. Chinwuba Clement and they begin to enjoy the good things of life.

After the Race also highlights how Jessica’s indolence and laid-back attitude make her to study religious studies at the Delta State University, Abraka, instead of her dream course, law.

It highlights how Jessica in her days in the university lived a cheerful and reckless life, clubbing and paying less attention to her studies. She ends up graduating with a pass degree.

Frustrated and depressed after seeking for jobs and getting none, Jessica who has become a burden to her parents, takes to working in a roadside restaurant, doing odd jobs to survive. Hoping to up her income, she quits the restaurant job and takes to hawking wares in a popular market in Asaba. Providence, however, brings Chioma and Jessica together, when both meet in the popular market.

Shocked that Jessica, who is from a very rich background and with a university degree could plunge so low to hawk wares in a market, Chioma helps to secure a job for her at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba.

After the Race poignantly x-rays a world of contrast between the protagonist, Chioma, through which he highlights values including hard work, humility and perseverance and that of the antagonist, Jessica that accentuates slothfulness, laxity and pride.

Recommended for all, especially the youths who need to be guided on life’s tricky journey to make them know that there is no short cut to success. It should also be a must read for character moulders including, caregivers, parents, clerics, among others

Notwithstanding the good narrative, the author should endeavour to correct a few spelling mistakes, the lexis and structure to avoid ambiguity and for clearer comprehension. For instance on page 33 the word should be: “despite” and not “dispite.’’

Also, the belief that students studying religious studies are less intelligent than those study law should be erased as course of study is not a yardstick to measure intelligence.