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In Repose, Falayi tackles ignorance, poverty, access to education

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
18 September 2022   |   2:37 am
About 18.5 million children, 60 per cent of whom are girls, do not have access to education in Nigeria. This grim reality that stares at the country is what Foluke Sijuwola Falayi

About 18.5 million children, 60 per cent of whom are girls, do not have access to education in Nigeria. This grim reality that stares at the country is what Foluke Sijuwola Falayi has captured in her book, Repose.

In 12 chapters, the book goes through the life of Atikah, a young and ambitious girl, who, despite the odds at home, is determined to be a success.

She is the eye of the camera for the reader to walk the book’s entire landscape. She is everywhere and enjoys all her actions. Through her whims and caprices, the author creates and kills characters in the book.

Atikah enjoys school and loves knowledge. Everyone in the neighbourhood loves her for this. Neighbours often call her to read inscriptions on drugs, and to write and read letters as well. She is everything that is academically and morally good, but her father doesn’t believe this. He is a stumbling block in her life ambition.

“She is no more a child, her age mates are already in matrimony,” he even says to dissuade her from thinking of school. However, the visits of Malik and Amina to Baba are Atikah’s saving grace. Baba’s household and neighbours around have a life-changing experience: The importance of education.

Baba allows Atikah to complete her education and even becomes an evangelist for girl-child education.

Atikah completes her secondary and tertiary education, and later on, becomes a medical doctor. Atikah ends up giving back to her teachers, schools and society. She helps girls from poor homes and everyone who comes in contact with her is blessed in one area or the other.

The narrative is simple and straightforward. It is not simplistic or choppy or flat without flow and intrigue. It tells a story that is almost very common in the Northern part of the country, however, what makes it unique is the manner that the writer has provided a driving force with the theme and emotions.

In the book, the author tries to tell readers not to violate the girl child’s right to education, health and opportunities. She says that child marriage exposes a female child to violence throughout her life.

At the end of every chapter, the author introduces some questions for the readers to help their knowledge of the book. 

Falayi, a B.A in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ado- Ekiti, in 10 years of her writing career, has written and published 21 books, ranging from nursery to secondary school classes.

She writes books that build vocabularies, are rich in figurative expressions, teach morals, stimulate imagination and light up new ideas. Her titles also improve memory, language skills and reading culture, increase knowledge and celebrate the Nigerian child as well as children all over the world. Her passion for writing birthed proofreading, pep talks, seminar and workshops.

She began her writing career with her debut novella, Bond. Having unveiled the first work, other titles: Akeju’s Turnaround, The Pride of Parents, Unbending Steel, Beans for Supper, The Rainy Day, The Slaves in the Palace and others.

The Headmaster’s Boy, The Reverend’s Daughter, The Gift from Ibadan, Ugo and Ify at Christmas, The Little Prince and the Sluggish Servant, Flub, Sam Goes to College, Ada in Port Harcourt, A Night at Edet’s House, The Last Penny, Trouble in the Exam, One Two Three Poetry and Happy Time followed in strings and have been greeted with great éclat by booklovers.

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