Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John

Born on a Tuesday

Elnathan John

Dantala, 'Born on a Tuesday' is a young boy brought up in Nigeria at the height of the regime of violence and petty crime, where gangs of street boys are in conflict with soldiers and religion and politics are at war. This book certainly made me think, I didn't expect to enjoy it but a young boy's courage to join the fight against the violence and religious extremism in his village was totally absorbing. A glimpse of recent history;

Extract

The boys who sleep under the kuka tree in Bayan Layi like to boast about the people they have killed. I never join in because I have never killed a man. Banda has, but he doesn't like to talk about it. He just smokes wee-wee while they talk over each other's heads. Gobedanisa's voice is always the loudest. He likes to remind everyone of the day he strangled a man. I never interrupt his story even though I was there with him and saw what happened. Gobedanisa and I had gone into a lambu to steal sweet potatoes but the farmer surprised us while we were there. As he chased us, swearing to kill us if he caught us, he fell into a bush trap for antelopes. Gobedanisa did not touch him. We just stood by and watched as he struggled and struggled and then stopped struggling.

Parallels
  • The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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Violence
Explicit sexual content