Fiction And Athletics, Marriage At Its Best | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Fiction And Athletics, Marriage At Its Best

Posted: May 3, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Title: Don’t Die on Wednesday

Author: Michael Afenfia

Reviewer: Amara Nicole Okolo

Publisher: Origami Books (Parrésia Publishers)

On my first glance at the cover of the novel, Don’t Die On Wednesday by Michael Afenfia, I was amused and curious about the title. My curiosity led me to flip to the first page, and I began to delve in.

BOOKSDon’t Die on Wednesday is a novel about Bubaraye Dabowei, a Nigerian football player who seems to have it all made. He is at the peak of his career as one of the most notable international football players in the world, is married to a one-time South African beauty model and is basking in the euphoria of fame and fortune. But all this comes crashing down when he is injured and hospitalised, putting an end to his thriving football career. As expected, the harsh turn of events in Bubaraye’s life affects every aspect of his life, and even threatens his relationship with his wife and their marriage. However, a chance epiphany occurs to him and he returns to his homeland, Nigeria, to rebuild his life and restructure a future he never envisioned.

As the story unfolds, Pelumi, a young doctor is taken over by Bubaraye, and she tries to make understanding of her feelings, but this leads to her eavesdropping on a secret kidnap plan that could mar Bubaraye’s life forever.

Overall, the novel sets a pace one can follow: the reader is guided through Bubaraye’s career, his gift and the people in his life in succinct precision. The dialogue is also engaging and believable. But the major drawback for me was the structure of the story. The writer came across as dragging the plot inexplicably so that things easily done in a sentence drag on for a paragraph. Secondly, it was more “telling” less “showing”, making aspects of the book seem monotonous. Some more exposition could also have been added to the pivotal moment in the book, where Buburaye scores his great goal against Manchester United.

Don’t Die On Wednesday is a gripping tale which takes you on a journey into the world of sports and its banter, but as a literary work it would have done a lot better with its storytelling and mainly, its language.