The first step to solving any problem is not hiding from it – this is what I see Nameless by Book Sprint to be.
Nameless felt like playback of events. From the first chapter, I knew I was in for a good read, all of the stories therein were relatable, one can see the actual event unfolding not in a far away places but very close to home.
What is incredible about Nameless is showing that all of Nigeria social, economic, religious and political issues are not peculiar to a region or tribe – we all suffer the same fate therefore our collective efforts is imperative.
Nameless touched on morale of our police and army department, they are employed to protect the country, however the reality is far from truth because of corruption. Nameless is a country where junior officers get pushed to dangerous zones and still are expected to be happy with peanuts pay when the lion share of the budget for the army goes to the pockets of those that are too old and too senior to leave their sofa.
This reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend whose mother returned from the UK to join Nigeria politics. She is a minister of “something” (I can’t remember and really irrelevant what the title was). The woman gets the shock of her life when pushing a proposal for social housing to be approved. She believed that poor people must be assisted, using her experience with UK social housing, she puts forward a proposal to build a few affordable homes in her state, only to realise everyone in the meeting must be promised 10% of the awarded contract before it could be passed. Needless to say, she dropped the whole project as it was just too much of bitter spit to swallow – this was a true story.
What a perfect title for a chapter, Favour Under Law – I loved this chapter as it explored some surreal issues. I can’t stand the look of kerosene tanks by the roadside, unfailingly the look of dozens of fuel tanks haphazardly packed reminded me of Yemisi and her boyfriend being burnt over yet again just as the people portrayed in the book. Fuel tanks spillage happens daily in Nigeria, people get burnt during the day, no one gets arrested because the tanks were all owned by the Oga at the Top.
Iya Bola’s ambition of being Iyaloja – Loved that woman for taking on Jegede. I think Jegede, the insurance man is a metaphor for so many crooks in the land taking advantage of voiceless people as he knew he could get away with it all. We do indeed need many more women like Iya Bola in all of Nigeria regions.
I loved the mix of Nameless writers, everything about it. For those who believed our main problem lie in one region or the other, here the writers are as diverse as Nigeria is, their biographies at the end of the book. It is evidenced that Nigeria can indeed work together in harmony to lift our nation out of the mess that we are, only if we collectively work together towards defined goals rather than pulling it apart using minor differences we should use to our advantage.