BOOK REVIEW: New Book Focuses On Power Of Love - Review by Esther Shittu
Jamaica based author Okechukwu Okugo’s new book “Goliath and the Ant” proves that love can break all barriers including the barriers of the mind.
“Goliath and the Ant” is about the developing love between Prince Odike and cocoyam farmer and peasant, Ngwamma. Being a prince, Odike has confidence in his abilities to change the world. He believes that no one should leave the world without making an impact. Ngwamma has a different view of herself and the world. She believes since she is small in stature and skew-eyed, she is the ugliest woman in the world. She does not see how her efforts influence her surroundings.
When Odike falls in love with Ngwamma, he has a hard time convincing her of his love because of Ngwamma’s low self-esteem. He finds that he must change her orientation and mental attitude before their love can grow to become what it is meant to be. At the end of the day, Ngwamma begins to understand her self-worth and declares to Odike that love is stronger than anything because true love can never die, but every other thing can die.
The book reflects some of Okugo’s life philosophy. “What inspired me to write [‘Goliath and the Ant’] is I have always yearned to use drama to address some societal issues like constantly decaying morality and principled living and also to let everyone get ready for change because that is a constant reality of life,” he said. “I also wanted to revive Africans because they have always believed their problem is colonization whereas it is lack of technology.”
He channels this by making the character of Odike someone who believes that the real value of education is to use the knowledge acquired to solve a problem for humanity through innovations and the constant application of new ideas. Okugo believes that ideas rule the world and those who cannot adapt in this rapidly changing world would soon be forced out of operation in whatever they do by being obsolete because in this new age, information is updated all the time.
Through the character of Ngwamma, Okugo emphasizes that when people have low self-esteem, they are not able to present themselves in the best way possible. Through the book, he shows that the mind is a powerful thing.
The book also touches on the history of Japanese and Korean civilization through the impact of United States naval officer Matthew Perry in 1853 and how a reform in education played a major role in consolidating their development. Some pages in the book describes what Africa, US, Japan and UK are known for, portraying that advancement is continuous and that those in both the countryside and the city need technology.
“Goliath and the Ant” is Okugo’s fourth book. He has also written “The Blind Maiden,” “Poems from Africa to the World” and “Atanfe.” When he is not writing books that revolutionized modern African Literature, he works as a repairs and maintenance professional in communication devices. He studied Computer Electronics Engineering at the Federal University of Technology Owerri, and also had a Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Uwana, Afikpo in Ebonyi State.
He is currently working on a compilation of 61 poems.
Of “Goliath and the Ant” and how it will help Africans realize that technology is their problem, he said, “the main thing is to have a message and the more important is to devise a means to propagate the message then to let he who has ears hear.”
Mr. Gennady Yusim, Senior Librarian, Queens Library, New York acknowledges that Goliath and the Ant is a masterpiece and writes about the book, “I…set aside…time for reading your play…I enjoyed its peculiar mix of passions and humor.” THIS BOOK IS AVAILABLE AT www.amazon.com and www.tatepublishing.com