When was the last time you stumbled on a piece of writing that made you laugh, then made you cry? Then made you laugh through your tears?
When was the last time you read a piece that said all you have always wanted to say yet couldn’t quite find the words or the time or the skill to say it? And did so in a few hundred words?
When was the last time you read something that touched you, gripped you, wouldn’t let you go?
For me the answer is simple: tonight.
It had been a long day, a tiring week and I was just scrolling through the ‘Please Read’ links littered on my phone without missing a beat. Experience had taught me that most weren’t going to be my idea of a pleasurable read. Even the writer’s ‘big name’ wasn’t enough to get me reading:
‘The Miraculous Deliverance of Oga Jona’
It is probably just another drawn out opinion piece harping on the things we know already. I thought. What else was there to say? That hadn’t been said already?
But I was wrong. Ah, I was so wrong.
The story begins with an awakening. Oga Jona, the main character, wakes up miraculously delivered. Upon rising, he discovers all he had been doing and saying wrong and has logical, tangible ideas on how to get things done right.
And wonder of wonders, he starts to do them.
I won’t give anything away here, but let me say the responses of his erstwhile praise singing minions alone are worth your eye time. Plus, there are enough generous spoonfuls of allusion, sub-text,irony and sharp jabs stirred in throughout the tale to make you wish for more.
Midway through the piece I found myself laughing, but as it drew to a close, tears were dripping down my cheeks. They were tears of hope and hopelessness, a rivulet of unspoken dreams and wishes for my dear country Nigeria.
Ms Adichie has done something special here. She has expertly woven the searing pain of the patriotic Nigerian, the possibilities of our desperate situation and the potency of literary magic into an adorable piece that will certainly outlive our time.
One can’t help but wish that this story and @zebbook’s stirring piece “The Gospel According To Farouk”, the best of @elnathan’s “How To Be A Nigerian…” series and a some other great works of contemporary Nigerian satire were made into a book/e-book.
Moreso, one can’t help wishing some Nollywood director would be bold enough to buy the rights to this and make it into a film. I would buy one.
Why, I would buy a hundred.
Because, the message here needs to be shared, needs to be talked about, needs to shown in every Nigerian salon, bustop, market,home and phone.
Today, we still marvel at Fela Kuti’s music and it’s timeless classic message. Fela used his gift to speak about the ills in the society of his day. I can’t sing Afro juju. And well neither can most of us but we can read and we can write. We can ping, and we can tweet. So let’s read and write and act and share.
Let’s get the ‘Miraculous Deliverance Of Oga Jona’ All the attention it deserves and some.
Let’s share it on BBM, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Whatsapp and Beyond.
Please let’s read ‘The Miraculous Deliverance Of Oga Jona’ here and comeback back here for some healthy discourse.
And possibly a proper review.