This abridged version of Ake was created for children and I remember reading this story in primary school. Don’t ask me why i decided to buy this book again… Okay, the cover made me do it.
This book takes us through roughly 5 years of the Author’s childhood. We are introduced to a mischievous and perpetually inquisitive 3-year-old, who is incredibly thirsty for knowledge. The time period is a magical time in Nigeria’s history; there was hope of a bright future. Your kid could wander away from home and find someone to help him back. The police really were your friend. I have to say I got a little jealous of Wole Soyinka.
The book got off to a weird start, I didn’t understand anything he was saying in the first chapter. The vocabulary was super complex and if i didn’t get it, I’m afraid a child might lose interest right there. So, i recommend skipping that because once the story really gets going, it’s freaking amazing.
I loved the colourful nicknames assigned to various characters, Wole’s shaky friendship with Osiki (Lol!) and the intellectual relationship he had with his father. In all, it’s an engaging recollection; This is the first Wole Soyinka book I am reading as an Adult and i now fully appreciate his style.
The only question I have is this: How can he remember events from when he was 3 years old? I can hardly recall what i had for lunch yesterday…
The story was short and sweet and is basically an appetizer. Now I really want to read the full version. This would be a fun read for little kids, if you read it to them, preteens and lazy Adults like me.
The illustrations within the book are also pretty amazing. There is a study guide attached, for school children, and a glossary; Though I think this is still a bit complex for the target audience.
Have you read this version of Ake or just the full version? Share your review in the comments below.