Today we talk about Adigun, a book by Gbenga Sofekun published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Gbenga Sofekun to get to know him better, the moment he found the inspiration to write his book Adigun, as well as the describtion of the crucial thems of his story.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where did you find the inspiration to write this story?
First, I draw my inspiration from God almighty, who knew I would write this book even before I was born. The book came from the serene backdrop and the non-assurance of life that was created by the pandemic lockdown. I have always been a communicator and, as a child, I was an irritating storyteller, who wove every scenario into a joke or a story. My favourite pastime was to ask my friends the irritating “what-if” question; “What if the sky just fell on all of us and we struggled to climb out of it and we started running and then we jumped into this vehicle that had wings and we ran out of fuel and we then managed to glide into the Atlantic Ocean and we couldn’t swim, then we see a school of dolphins. . .” and on and on and on. Grew up to study law and needed storytelling to be a good advocate. The legal writing aspects of my legal career would prepare me with the requisite grasp of the English language and the ability to communicate in text. Being a lawyer for over three decades, I was equipped with the writing skills, but the pandemic sure brought everything together. It was indeed a blessing to be able to create rather than lose my mind as myself and my wife were drowning in the silence and uncertainty created by the lockdown. I say thanks to the pandemic. Secondly, I think the African in me needed to find the opportunity to paint pictures of the long-lost African village painted by the likes of authors like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe. The villages and the village life are steadily being deleted from our memories and I believe if nobody in our generation paints these pictures the writers of the next generation may only be able to write about the modern cities with technology and modern infrastructure and may never be able to write about the village but only the life that is fast being taken over by urbanization. My initial literary goal was to attempt to present and preserve the village as we knew it.
- What are the crucial themes of your work?
The themes of Adigun are multidimensional. The coming of age of the African male child. The rite of passage, where the male child battles with self-discovery and the ability to handle complex situations, life could throw his way. Here was Adigun, an only child, dealing with very tough pressures from his parents and thrown into very strong transcultural issues that his young mind could not process. Chike on the other hand who was forced to grow up quickly under the pressures of his rich parents and the battles within his subconscious of morality and immorality. The theme really is the complex nature of the coming of age of the African male child. The second dimension is the analysis of male child trafficking. Though not directly stemming from the narrative, it was clear that the inadequacies of our government structure and missing social support of our continent has created the desire to leave the shores of Africa as the only solution to problems. Adigun was a child who thought he had committed murder and his only recourse to solution was to stow away on a merchant vessel to the United States. One should ask the question if that would be an option for a child of the same age in North America faced with the same issues. Would he want to run away to Africa? Thirdly, another dimension is the diversity created by the Africa of today and specifically Nigeria. There is a very dangerous sociological drive towards ethnic cleansing and geographical autonomy. The new desire of every tribe to become an independent nation has reached breath taking concerns. Africans seem to forget there has been great inter cultural marriages that has resulted in creating a very diverse family structure and deep genetic inseparable mix. Adigun was born into a multicultural family. His father is from the Yoruba tribe that desires to leave the Nigerian union into an autonomous “Yoruba Nation”. His mother is From Eastern Nigeria also trying to break away into the Biafra Nation. By virtue of being around his Fulani carer, Hadezah, he had become a Fulani boy, speaking the Fufulbe dialect fluently. He was so entrenched in the culture he even partook in animal husbandry. There are millions of such families in Africa. When the people ask for geographical autonomy, what happens to the Adiguns of the world. Do we create another country for them? Finally, the book is themed in the reality of greed, the creativity of the ambition to gain wealth and the ever-waiting arm of the law to meet with the creativity.
- What do you want to communicate to readers with this work?
I think I would like to communicate that there is a world outside your world, that there still exist stories untold in Africa – that the continent has a lot to offer in terms of literary abilities. That there still exist some more Achebes and more Soyinkas waiting to be heard and read by the world.
Are you planning to write more books?
Absolutely. Adigun ended with a cliffhanger for a purpose. With Adigun, the story has just started. Certainly, there is more. I also believe I have more books in me. I don’t pray for another pandemic, but I pray that I find that serenity and atmosphere of comfort. I think the financial rewards can do that so let everyone hit the bookstore and buy the book Adigun, so I can write other books.
Europe Books thanks the author Gbenga Sofekun once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book Adigun. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader I hope the “multidimensional world” of the story here told will offer precious and interesting food for thoughts to reflect upon, also understanding how to make them useful to go through your daily life and make it a worthy.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!