“Something that has no roots and springs up with leaves and branches everywhere is bound to crash from the weight”.
This coming of age story takes us on a journey through the life of Dantala set in the north of Nigeria. Growing up in a turmoil filled city, Dantala is faced with a series of tragedy throughout his life and that of friends and family. Going through the challenges of adolescence, his character battles with peer pressure, and goes from partaking in trouble to working on being a better person after meeting a man who was a positive influence but life just doesn’t give him a break!
Exploring the themes of religion, politics, tribalism, friendship, terrorism, this heartbreaking story is very relevant to today’s Nigeria and gives an insight on how terrorist groups like Boko haram are established, with illiteracy playing a big role in the recruitment young men like Dantala. The reading experience hit close to home as I vividly remember the rise of Boko haram and witnessed religious crisis in my city.
Elnathan did a fantastic job of depicting the reality in the north. I highly recommend this to anyone seeking to learn about the other side of Nigeria.