New Telegraph

Endless search for peace, love

Title: Domestic Daddy

Author: Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga

Publisher: Bulkybon Books Company, Lagos.

Pages: 230

Reviewer: Gift Amukoyo

 

Domestic Daddy is a novel set in post-colonial Nigeria; written by a presidential award winning author, Adjekpagbon Blessed Mudiaga, with streams of flashback recounting tidbits of the wars that ravaged Nigeria, Africa, and the world in the past, which reminds one of Chinua Achebe’s book, ‘There Was a country,’ perhaps Biafra that barely glowed in the rising sun, as there is no present existence without a past, though a destiny may be delayed but it would never alter.

 

Bringing into limelight three representatives of the major ethnic groups in the country in the characters of Mr. Adolphus Ugochukwu, Alhaji Dauda and, Ilesanmi Adegoke, the trio who symbolizes love, support, peace, and emotional comprehension that co-exist amidst unfiltered bitterness as fact to the mayhem which spiraled amongst brothers from different mother’s hut, the novel is very engaging from the beginning to end.

 

However, there is no way a redcoal is set to dry vegetation and it will not blaze to a frenzy fire. The author with his wealth of wits and bank of mirth, plunges one into fits of laughter that could cause the reader to topple from a chair with tears in eyes as if onion juice popped into it.

 

The contents have a way of relieving its readers with comics by many hilarious incidents and characters such as Mrs. Ogheneochuko, Ekaiete alias ‘I-Know- Everybody’s history-In-Nigeria,’ Mrs. Rabbit-Must-Not-Escape, Okonoko Darlington, the ‘gagaperen rider’, owner of an ‘ancient bicycle’ and his exclusive escapades as a student of Otovwodo Grammar School. Another noteworthy character in the plot is Udu-boy, a sarcastic comedian, whose slaying tongue can mostly induce laughter.

 

For instance, he tells Ororbor, a student in the novel that, “Because your father is a serving commissioner…where bribery and corruption are kings among people…you can afford to eat ten bags of rice, three cows…you happily gulp the nearby lagoon water that is well fertilized by human faeces…no wonder your tummy is as big as that of three women joined together.”

 

The theme of interlocking destinies through the union between children of bosom friends who reunite and create greater bond also runs through the story line. As fate prevails, the daughter of Ugochukwu and Nwayiocha gets married to Adegoke’s son. Dauda and Titi’s daughter ties the knot with Udu’s son. In a cracking shell, the never blossomed love Titi had for Udu back in his school days, is reincarnates in their children’s love for each other.

 

The novel delves into events of Joy, Halimat, Julius, and Uzo’s amorous relationships with one another, depicting the trivial of everyday teenage and youth’s exuberant lifestyle. It also portrays an exemplary courtship of the highly cultured Nigerian tradition by Uzo as he says “Halimat, I want to pay your bride price to start my own family. I love you.”

 

Whereas, Halimat untwines an epitome of love and curiosity among teenage girls with a lush of daring modernity, which mesmerizes him to blow off her chastity, she tells him: “Are you afraid to touch me? I want you to kiss me.” But Uzo’s gentlemanly attitude to Halimat is opposite to the affair betwixt Joy and Julius, the playboy, with show of tongue dipped frequently in jars of honey.

 

But Joy pretends that she has forgotten Julius’s name while she is head over heels in love with him from the moment he engages her in frivolous conversations. She tells Julius, to give her time to think over his proposal even though she has decided within her mind to be his lover, just as many ladies feign love for men they eagerly desire to have love affairs with.

 

Although, many ladies behaves like Joy, not all ladies are like her, as there is saying that ‘different strokes for every folks.’

 

Also, fate itself is oblivious to the uncontrollable situations that Joy encounters, despite being chaste, she experiences the worst of matrimonial relationship, but Halimat who was defiled before her wedlock lives a happy and successful marital life. I find the novel highly informative and educative for any reader.

It unfolds themes of love, unity, friendship, betrayal, deceit, war, loss, anguish, value, criticism and destiny.

 

By and large, kudos to the author for emphasizing the feminist in Joy as opposed to conventional single mothers who make despair a headrest and depression a foot stool, when let off the hook by the spouse. I therefore, encourage the public to read the novel, to find out who amongst the prominent men earlier mentioned turned out to be the ‘Domestic Daddy.’ I believe everyman is muggy in nature, outward and inwardly. But, the moment a man sows his seedlings in his wife’s warm soil; he has become domestic and therefore an awaiting daddy.

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