Have you ever heard of the saying, Money rules the world? If you have, then you are a step further to understanding what this book is about. ‘Tenants of the House’ is a tale that unearths the putridity in the House known as the legislative arm of government. Sit back and relax as I take you into the world of Wale Okediran in ‘Tenants of the House’ on this Friday’s episode of FAB Book Review.
When I stumbled on this book in 2011, I fell in love with the title immediately. ‘Tenants of the House’ as the title reads, made me curious as to what the author meant by ‘House’ in that context and my curiosity upsurged. I was so determined to read the book that I finished it up in one day, all because I wanted to discover the hidden secret about the ‘tenants’ of that particular ‘house’. Wale Okediran had uncovered the not-widely-known details of the House of Representatives.
Wale Okediran was born in April, 1955, in Oyo State Nigeria. He qualified as a medical doctor from Obafemi Awolowo University in 1980. He had worked in government an private hospitals for several years before he went into private practice in 1987. He remained active in private practice untill 1999 when he went into active politics and was appointed Chairman, Oyo State Hospitals Managment Board. He later contested for a seat in the Federal House of Representatives, where he represented his constituency from 2003 to 2007.
Okediran’s interest in writing dates back to his secondary school days where hes was a member of the school’s literary and debating Society. He has a total of ten books- The Boys At The Border ,The Rescue OF Uncle Babs, Dreams Die At Twilight, Strange Ecounters, etc. He has been the National President of the Association of Nigerian Authors from 2005 till date.
The writer succeeded in differentiating between appearance and reality through the novel elucidating that there is a difference between what we see and the front put up by the politicians/government. He also takes advantage of his ability to touch on every aspect of the society through his writing. Okediran envisaged the oddity in the political sector and he put it into writing. The use of satire was not to complain and rigmarole around the bad roads or unemployment level in the country but to dig dip into the misconducts and happenings in the house leading to an unruly society in Nigeria.
Samuel Bakura is Okediran’s tool of change in the badly bruised society caused by the level of conflict and corruption in the house. Hon. Samuel, a lawyer of virtue in his dealings with his political life but his personal life (family, love & friendship) was a catastrophe. He refused to mingle with people of greed and injustice even though his entrance into the house was a bit confusing as the could not stick with a certain identity till he was captured by Elizabeth Kande Bello (Lizzy) a fierce/die-hard colleague he adored. Bakura was under Lizzy’s light and direction considering his laid back attitude and just like everyone else he was captured by Lizzy’s beauty and strong personality. He loved Lizzy because she was the tough side he never had. Lizzy tried to incite the hardcore nature in Samuel always telling him to be smart, “Sam Sam Sam, and how many times did I call you? You want to make it in life ba? Take the money, make the money, from anywhere, everywhere.” Lizzy said.
Based on my last quote ‘Money rules the world of Tenants of the House’ simply refers to the excessive use and spending of money in the polity at which every meeting money is shard and allocated to each member at every group meeting. Money as the lawmakers refer to it with a number of euphemisms such as ‘fertilizer’, ‘Something’, ‘Pepper’ is portrayed as the driving force to uphold the wrong doings of President Oneya who was about to extend his tenure in power following the trails of other African presidents who swapped from the democratic form of government to a system of tyranny and despotism.
Okediran who is reverenced for his unending versatility coming play in his works as he touched on the Fulani culture of child marriage. In as much as Samuel Bakura was depicted as a noble man, he was also portrayed in the light of how everyman is expected to be-imperfect and full of flaws sometimes. Bakura who had not had a fair share of love went in search of love in a hamlet in the north where he fell in love with a little girl named Batejo. Hon Samuel had written off his feelings for Lizzy because he believed that women in politics of whom Lizzy’s character depicts are hardcore heart breakers. Bakura was to win Batejo off potential village suitors in a rural flogging contest with a native champion named Gidado who out-shined Samuel as he ended up losing his one chance to love again. Every reader will be struck by the exactitude of the novelists portraiture.
What I like About The Book
What I like about the book is the author’s use of satire. A satirist can make use of any form of subject as an instrument to showcase or display a major vice in the society which most people tend to misconstrue for criticism. Okediran unveiled the masked world of politics while entertaining his readers at the same time.
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