Book : The New Man
Author: Femi Ademiluyi
When I first read this book I shed tears, the story was so emotional and catchy that I read it through the night.
Its about a man who thought he could change the world but the world changed him instead.
The book opens with a prophesy about the arrival of an evil man who will bring ruin to himself and the entire country.
We’re introduced to Ayo Badejo, a man born to cursed parents and has grown up in the clutches of poverty, he owed his rise to top from the dust to himself and his blind mother who begged so he could attend school. He was the new produce inspector at Ipaja a village which was corrupted. Ipaja was corrupt and extremely conservative, believing and living in the past, harbouring hatred for the neibhoring village Iwuya. With his puritan’s heart, unrealistic dreams and idealistic ways, which the village found alien Ayo was flung into Ipaja like a lone bulldozer set against a Kilimanjaro of vice. He fell in love with a beautiful village singer who had been to the city before unfortunately she was betrothed to another.
Ayo was an introvert and a poet, his companion was his thoughts and idealistic and idealistic dreams their country corruption free.
With elections approaching the villagers expect him to cooperate and falsify their harvest thus indulging in fraud which Ayo so detested.
He refused to participate and reported a bribe case involing the most influtential man in Ipaja to the police station which was in Iwuya, the Village’s sworn enemy which the villagers considered a grave crime .
The villagers try to harm him, as an act of self defence he shot at the crowd and a man died, the son of the most influential man in Ipaja whom he had reported to the police, the victim also happens to be the fiance of his love interest.
Ayo was tried for murder and found guilty due to misinterpretation by the villagers and sentenced to death but vows not to die and jail. a series of events unfold, including him digging a hole in cell with a spoon in attempt to escape, when he was found out he was taken to the kukuruku the supposed safest prison in Africa, there they told him he could never escape and he said. ” I will escape from the safest prison Africa.” And he did, but learnt that sade had died committing suicide. He was broken, that and the need to survive as an escaped convict drove him into crime, he became a hardcore criminal and eventually he became the lord of the land, creating fear by committing indescribable atrocities including ordering the massacre of school children.
Sade on the other hand thought Ayo was dead, faked suicide and vowed to change the world to what he wanted, relentlessly with the help of Chimezie Ayo’s friend they fought against corruption and the terrorist government, they fought for Ayo against Ayo unknowingly.
A series of events brings them face to face and she shot him, he survived but they later reunited and commited suicide by burning themselves alive leaving a long letter to Chimezie to finish the task as only their demise could help matters.
Ayo was a man who could not kill a fly yet the world turned him into a mass murderer, it pained me so much that a man with so much upright ideas and pure dreams could turn so.
Idealism is illusion, the world can perhaps not be changed.
I have been trying to read this book again but couldn’t go further beyond the first 100 pages because I can take the emotional trauma it takes the reader through again, even as I write this review flipping through the pages I couldn’t help but shed tears.
It is a must read, very critical and engaging to the last page.