In The African Dream Edoki interrogates a nation’s rise
John C. Maxwell, in one of his books, said: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
Joseph Edoki, in his, The African Dream, has not only reiterated this axiom, but also played it out through the characters, showing how resilience and disciple could make one live his/her dream.
Published by Nookia Ventures Limited, Lagos, in 2010, and reprinted in 2018, the 312-page book divided into 30 chapters could be seen from a dual light — faction or fiction. It could be seen as a faction because the characters appear too real and the storyline could be related to the day-to-day happenings in many African countries. It could go for a fiction because of the belief on the impossibility of the son/daughter of a-nobody rising to become the number one citizen of his/her country.
Written in a step-by-step style, The African Dream gives panoramic view of bad governance and its effects in Savannah Republic; an imaginary country in the African continent. It showcases how bad leadership and governance could make citizens lose focus and live in perpetual poverty amid surplus.
The author uses simple language and high imaginative prowess to tell the story of Savannah Republic; a country portrayed to be in a democracy, but is held back by the fiendish antics of godfathers, ethnic chauvinist and high-wired corruption in all facets of its polity.
Dr. Amedumego Fernando, the protagonist, is a person of little means and from minority ethnic group with no political godfather. He dreams of becoming the President of Savannah Republic, so, he could upturn the negative narratives of the country for better. The wife jeers at him, but the man, a fine Oxford University-trained philosophy lecturer, moves ahead with his dream, never minding those opposing it. He becomes an independent candidate, believing if he loses he would have made some impacts in the polity.
From what that began like a dream, Fernando’s name soon becomes registered in all the households, especially among undergraduates who further interpreted his manifesto to their illiterate parents. In no time, Fernando becomes the darling of anybody that wants positive changes in the country.
Teaming up with Sule Umonte to form the Greater Socialist Accord, the party comes out with a manifesto whose promises are too appealing to ignore. But instead of Fernanado’s dauntless opponents — Chief Halle Bashal, traditional rulers who have been leveraging on the dirty party politicking of the elite class, among others — to be smart in their thinking, they rather mark Fernando as a target for elimination.
On the eve of the elections, Bashal, favored by the elite class, attempts to assassinate Fernando through a planned auto crash, but the never-say-die Fernando survives the plot and goes ahead to win the election. Fernando winning breaks the age long myth that an independent candidate and a nary soul can never stand and win an election in Savannah Republic.
As President, Fernando is astute, resilience and fearless. He looks forward to fulfilling his campaign promises, fights poverty and corruption with all it takes. Not even his wife (Angela, the first lady) could stop him from fighting corruption and re-inventing the wheel of governance. He puts all he has, including divorcing Angela to make Savannah Republic move from the muck its past leaders have force it into to plenitude.
He sets up mechanism that reward hard work and inventions and also improves the lots of the people to the extent that prices of goods and services come low. He as well engages men of marriageable ages into productive ventures that made them fend for themselves and settle down to marital life.
With themes and subthemes that include, vendetta, ethnicity, self-sacrifice, hard work, intrigues, strategic planning, among others, The African Dream exposes how good leadership and people-oriented policies could make countries achieve breakthrough in their economy and technology.
The book, though portrays Fernando first as a dreamer, it however depicts his pragmatism in the way he pursues his agenda, not allowing ethnic bigots or even his better half to sway him off course.
Bringing to light the rot in the judiciary, partisanship of the media, materialistic traditional leaders and crafty labour leaders, the book shows how a focused and disciplined leader could make all things fall in place; change the narrative in a country. It likens good leadership to rudder that stirs the country aright.
Recommended for all, especially those vying for political positions, The African Dream, which in a few weeks from now will be turned into a movie scores high point in leadership and governance. It shades light on the way to go for countries, especially countries in the African continent that desire to move out of the woods. It highlights the fact that all positive decisions must first come like a dream, then turned to a plan and then put into action.
Despite the good narrative, the author should endeavour to correct some grammatical expressions such as ‘I am content with being the first lady; instead of I am contented …’ on pages Page 21; (… general public that the meeting illegal; instead of … the meeting is illegal) on page 106 and ‘if you priority; instead of if your priority’ in 122.