American-Canadian author and journalist
It's usually beautiful and memorable to recall the first time a book made you feel rage-ful and yet informed about a topic that has come to define your people. I am Ogoni and I was probably 8 or less when Ken Saro-Wiwa died. This detailed story and the account from Dr Owens Wiwa both made me feel empowered about the politics of Nigeria, how every small details matter despite how it seems no one remembers anything. The struggle and the stoic nature of Ken to remain resolute to a cause he was fully drawn to, even in death. Ken Saro-Wiwa is a modern day character of enviable heights even though that would literally be incorrect. Ken was a man of purpose and used his life to shine a light on the plight of the Ogoni people and created a new path and a lasting impression. I had read his First Letter to the Ogoni Youths and how he recalled how the Ogoni people met westernization quite late, unlike Western Nigeria that had contact with Europe and had a school almost a 100 years before Ogoni had one. Ken who seemed to have questioned things was used by nature to shine light on the Ogoni cause and even though things haven't changed much, there is democracy and there has been individual growth among the people. Voices have emerged and the Ogoni issue is global. This book is priceless to me, for its perspective, for its rise and exposure of a simple young adult who had gone to become a ball of light in his community and Ogoni. His rise, determination, mistakes, selflessness, pride and conviction as exposed in this book make it even more priceless. I appreciate Mr Hunt for painstakingly documenting this story. Though it stopped when a modern story should begin and caused me to ask why, I hope there is a sequel and more. I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I did.