BY JAPHET ALAKAM, REVIEW
Echo of silent wishes is the title of the 202 page book written by Emeka Mark Edeson , a German based Nigerian that offers a fictional tale of a dramatic clash of two cultural relationships and marriage that threatened the life of the major characters Abu and Heide.
Going beyond the text, Emeka whose stay in Europe afforded him the opportunity to come in terms with the sordid reality of African misadventures to Europe brings to bare the absorbing and compelling harrowing tales of anguish suffered by Africans abroad with a focus on the human angle end to racism.
Set in Germany, the 2010 publication by Sam Iroanusi Publications Lagos, which is the author’s very first attempt is a fictional account of the travails of a young woman who did not receive good home training from her parents and decided to give herself comfort at all cost and that of a hard working young man who was lured into marriage against his belief with the hope of making it outside his country but was later faced with issues that shattered his hopes.
The book explores some of the the debilitating effects of societal ills in the society today as in the case of Heide’s parents where there was no solid foundation for their marriage.
It also highlights the untold stories of many Africans who travel to Europe with big ambitions, but end up like prodigal sons as experienced by Abu.
The book begins with the story of Heide Hubinger growing up, how she dropped out of school and took to street life due to the attitude of her parents who had no time for her.
An action that made her ruin her life at an early age. After years of roaming about with men, she finally realised that life is not easy and the need to settle down forced her to learn a trade.
But as fate would have it, after the training, she got a good job but ended up falling in love with Martina,a fellow woman who had an ugly life experience and all attempt by her to have a man of her own failed as Martina did not welcome that. In the pursuit of that ,she went on vacation to Africa where she met Abu and both fell in love.
Poised to realise her dream of having her own man , Heide married Abu and facilitated all the means to bring Abu down to Germany and it worked out.
But things were to take another shape when she realised that she will no longer be free as she thought with marriage, with two children to cater for, Heide threatened to teach Abu a bitter lesson and her plan got a boost with the law in Germany which helped her to actualise her wish.
Abu on the other hand saw the other side of life when he found out too that no matter how intelligent you are, as far as you are not with a white skin, you are nothing. This racist system affected Abu and other Africans over there and forced them to search for their roots.
Though the marriage was blessed with two children, the way and manner Heide separated from Abu, throwing him out of the house and denied him the joy of having his children made Abu to think of going back to Africa, but the shame of not actualising his dream of making it over there and how the people at home will see him if he goes back with nothing forced him to stay put in Germany where he eventually lived as a beggar with the hope of locating his children one day.
On the other hand, the book also tells the reader the level racism is practiced in Germany despite what the constitution says about it. Here Philip and Laura, though born in Germany were also highly discriminated against by the whites who saw them as Africans because of the colour of their skins , an action that made them to search for their lost father.
The book is packed with messages, first it reveals a lot of information to the entire world especially to Africans who feel that nothing good comes out of Africa. The need for people to be mature before going into marriage so that they will be able to maintain a happy home and the need for the people to see all human beings as one are also highlighted.
The strength of the book may be found in the story teller’s ability to keep the reader in absolute suspense until the end of the book and the author’s ability to hold the interest of the reader while ensuring that the contents were enjoyed also counts.
Written in very simple English language for easy understanding, there are however many grammatical errors and inaccurately phrased tenses here and there, the business of writing and publishing books should be left with the experts who know how to handle it.
So I advice that in order to actualise the purpose of the book, there is need for re-editing of the entire book and also the printing be handled by a professional publisher.
That notwithstanding, the book is a very valuable material for every home especially the young ones who still think that all that glitters is gold.