From Assay To Essay

Paul Adepoju/ Reflections: A Collection of Articles with Rare Perspectives on Diverse Issues/ Apocalypse Nigeria/ 2010

Paul Adepoju's Reflections bubbles with the fiery temper of youth and is laced with in-depth perception. It is a non-chronological exposure of the frustrating Nigerian story, which can either make one fit for an asylum or nudge one into cynicism. ‘Reflections' is a collection of Adepoju's numerous articles in various print and online media.

Like most writers, the author could not resist the exploration of the world of words. This inner urge to speak out in a society where culpable silence strikes supreme, the compulsion to voice out pent up anger, must have transformed this scientist to an essayist.

"My sojourn into the art of active writing spurred out of the numerous oppressively compelling circumstances that are hallmarks of growing up in Nigeria; and the indwelling passion to be a voice even when silence remained the popular choice, gave me no choice than to put-pen-on-paper."

Hoping like a butterfly, the author within 241 pages, looks into diverse but connected issues like: politics, leadership and governance; entertainment, tourism and journalism; life, people and places; peace, conflict and terrorism; sports; medicine and healthcare; Christianity and youthful hopes.

Nonetheless, it is obvious as one drags the cursor down this e-book that Adepoju gradually matures from a timid to an assertive writer. The cub medical laboratory scientist more atoned with the aseptic laboratory morphs into a mirror reflecting the society around him. This is no easy mutation. For Adepoju would have chosen to stick to the analysis of body fluids within the specialties of haematology, microbiology, chemical pathology, immunology or histopathology. Or at best, write only on health issues.

However, the precision that goes with his professional bias as a scientist is not lost on this young writer. It actually shines forth not only in this book but also in his more recent discourse on internet blogs like the Nigerian Village Square and Saharareporters.

A close examination of some excerpts will lead to a better appreciation of Reflections. Adepoju laments that, "like most Nigerians, I only know some of these parties by name. I know Action Congress (AC), All Nigerian People's Party (ANPP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and few others. However, I don't know their executives talk less of the plans they have for the country." True talk! Nigeria is supposedly a multi-party democracy, but in fact, runs a one-party state. He does not spare the mediocrity of Nollywood, an industry has been held hostage by the whims of pseudo-professionals. "While I can buy CDs of Nigerian musicians, I cannot, for now, collect a Nollywood film, even if it's free of charge because it can lower my IQ, an essential instrument for someone that is serious with his or her future."

However, Reflections is certainly not without blemish. For one, I think that the rider to the title is profusely too wordy. "...with Rare Perspectives on Diverse Issues" should have been left for the judgement of the reader. Asides, it's not difficult to realise that the book craves for a more diligent copy-editing. I hope the author will remedy this when the hard copy sees sunlight.

This book is also a manifestation of the power of role models. A society without one is doomed to annihilation. And in Reflections, one needs no spectacle to see that many men and women who inspired Adepoju to write. Also the author has gone above his contemporaries by resisting the passive cyclical rhythm of ranting and wailing to actively searching for a solution. The tribe of the youthful and optimistic Nigerians remains the conscience of this nation.

May more Adepoju's bloom within this nation! A clan of Nigerian writers whose thoughts should not be allowed to perish or the batteries of their computers go blank for lack of power to translate their ideas into discursive existence.



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