When fiction mirrors life
Although Wale Okediran was trained as a medical doctor who later became a member of the Federal House of Representatives in Abuja, he is more known in Nigeria and abroad as a writer of great distinction.
Apart from his other publications, his award winning book, Tenants Of The House, which is a factional account of his stay in the National Assembly was recently adapted into a motion picture. As many people wilal know, literary history is replete with books and novels, which capture, in fictional form, momentous events in the historical developments of many countries. It is in that regard that I have captioned my speech, When Fiction Mirrors Life, and I believe it’s most appropriate.
While the novel, All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque was about World War 1, Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell was a fictional account of the American Civil War while Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak captured the Soviet Union at the time of the Russian Revolution.
Nearer home in Nigeria, a plethora of novels have been written on the Nigerian Civil War such as Cyprian Ekwensi’s Divided We Stand, Eddie Iroh’s Forty Eight Guns For The General, Aniebo’s Behind The Rising Sun as well as Chimamanda Adichie’s Half Of A Yellow Sun, among others.
For the past decade or so, Nigeria has been battling with the Boko Haram insurgency, which has affected many Nigerians however far they were from the specter of the crisis.
As expected, Nigerian Writers at home and abroad have commenced the necessary and very important duties of documenting the insurgency in Fiction and Non- Fiction. One of such fictional efforts is Wale Okediran’s Madagali.
According to the author, the book’s title, Madagali, was named after Madagali town in Adamawa State, which was recently in the headlines as one of those towns in the Northeast, which suffered a lot of attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Although the town may not be the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency, the town deserves the book title with the hope that the expected global and national attention to it among other badly affected towns in Nigeria will lead to a further abhorrence of the insurgency.
Apart from being a form of reading pleasure to many, the book, by bringing attention to this decade old insurgency, will assist in the urgent and very important role of finding a quick solution to the problem.
• Senator Mamora, Minister of State for Health, opening remarks at the launch of Madagali by Okediran on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at the Harbour Point Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.