“There is no motivator like hunger. It is only hunger that can make you do anything without fear”
My Mind Is No Longer Here introduces us to 4 young men desperate to find green pastures away from Nigeria. Donatus, a low achiever who has quit his dead-end job; Haruna, a grieving doctor tired of the crooked Nigerian health system; Osahon, a former university frat boy/cult member wanted for murder and Chidi, a university drop-out.
“Do you eat degree? (…) Have you been hungry before and you just brought out your certificate and look at it and the hunger disappeared?
These men find themselves in the clutches of Yinka, an enterprising criminal mastermind and self-styled travel consultant. Yinka has the money and connections to get them out of the country in record time. As well as the ability to get them “jobs” once they reach the other side. All of which will be done at no cost to the boys.
Now, if someone came up to me with this type of offer, I’d politely excuse myself ‘cos I know I won’t last long in KiriKiri. These men, however, were either gullible or in denial, and allow themselves get dragged into the depths of depravity that come as a side dish to free rides.
My Mind Is No Longer Here, told from the point of view of the 5 main characters, keeps no secrets from the reader. This serves to intensify the thrill as we get to realise the special package of trouble Yinka has in store for these poor suckers while they are going through various stages of excitement. From Osahon, who can’t wait to update his Facebook page from the airport to Haruna, who’s about to quit a promising, if stunted, career as a surgeon.
Reading about human trafficking on the news is one thing. Watching it happen, even in fiction, to people you wouldn’t expect to be vulnerable to this kind of exploitation is something else.
Nze-Sylva creates such outrageous scenarios, they must be true and I have to wonder how he knows so much about the criminal underworld in Lagos State. He does a great job in pointing out that with enough desperation and hopelessness, many of us would let ourselves go to places we wouldn’t dare think about normally.
“When your home cannot offer you a bed to sleep peacefully, your neighbour’s home becomes appealing.”
I enjoyed reading this novel. It had a few slow moments but for the most part, it was witty, insightful and the lingo was a treat. I also couldn’t help comparing it with Leye Adenle’s Easy Motion Tourist.
Author: Sylva Nze Ifedigbo
Published by: Bahati Books
Date of Publication: March 2017
Genre: Crime Fiction
Source: Bahati Books
Four men from different corners of Nigerian society find their fates tied to one man: Yinka. Drawn by desperation to leave Nigeria. The men are drawn to Yinka – who acts as the front man for a powerful human trafficking syndicate.
The men come from distinct corners of Nigeria’s society: Chidi and Donatus – two unemployed graduates. Haruna – a doctor who could not save his ailing mother. And Osahon – a fugitive seeking freedom from his past.
“My Mind Is No Longer Here”, written by Sylva Nze Ifedigbo, follows the journeys of Chidi, Donatus, Haruna and Osahon – as their ambitions lead them to fall deeper into Nigeria’s underworld.