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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, Sule Abiche’s Former Millionaire makes for a thought provoking read. Adole, the protagonist grew up in a simple and egalitarian community, his first encounter with the city centre and her highly capitalistic merchants left a bad taste in his mouth. He embarks on a quest to equip himself with the means of defeating or mitigating the adverse effect of capitalism on his community. He set out on a journey to Northern Nigeria largely characterised by Islamic and Middle Eastern ways of life, he dreamt about living in Southern Nigeria where Christian and Western values dominate. Former Millionaire through brilliant and exciting experiences of Adole’s sojourn in both the South and Northern Nigeria showcase the struggle of Nigerians as they struggle to adjust to the subtly imposed foreign cultures in the North and Southern Nigeria and how spectacularly they are failing in operating the new Religious, Political, Economic and Social ways of life thrust upon them by foreign cultures. Adole concludes that anyone who has lost his identity which is natural and usually simple and is struggling with a new unnatural and complex identity is a Former Millionaire.
Using a fictional tale of Adole’s rural-urban-rural migration to illustrate his thinking about Nigeria’s loss of identity, Sule Abiche delivers a hugely compelling read which turns notions of what real wealth is all about on their head.
With his protagonist Adole’s journey taking him full circle in his understanding of what lays at the heart of true wealth, Former Millionaire delivers a well-constructed critique on Nigeria’s loss of identity due to the pervasive and destructive nature of foreign but incompatible cultures.
And with storytelling holding immense importance in Nigerian culture, this author uses his nation’s beloved artform (which is embedded throughout society) to eloquently share his rant on the ravages caused by the ripple effects of Western and Middle Eastern ways of life weaving themselves into every aspect of society.
A book whose appeal extends further than to those with a connection with Nigeria, Sule Abiche’s tale will resonate with all who have realised, like Adole, that the proverbial green grass can be found anywhere if you are willing to apply yourself in something meaningful.
It is hard to be a master of two distinct ways of life, Adole witnessed firsthand in a dream and reality the subtle erosion of the traditional way of life his community knows and understands and the foreign influences his community is still grappling to know and understand.
It begins with life in a traditional setting at the middle belt of Nigeria, a dream sojourn at the southern end largely dominated by western, Christian way of life and his reality check at the northern end hugely characterised by middle eastern, Islamic way of life. The loss of identity pitches simplicity against complexity. Which of them should, would, could win?
Former Millionaire exposes the predatory nature of capitalism where the rich take advantage of the poor and become an obstacle to free and fair competition. It gives an insight into ills perpetrated by youngsters who are given to youthful pressures to feel important and to have their way.
The book takes a swipe at the various forms of evil in the society today: religious fanaticism, social greed, political scheming, economic manipulations etc.
Sule Abiche is an accountant and a sociologist by training, he has had a cross functional career spanning banking and entrepreneurship. He derives great pleasure from imparting knowledge and promoting value reorientation.
Former Millionaire is about loss of identity largely due to the subtle introduction and imposition of foreign cultures of the west and middle east on the traditional setting of the Nigerian ways of life characterized by simplicity, honesty, egalitarianism and other virtues.
The new cultures and ways of life has put the local populace in a mix, they can’t operate the new ways of life alien to them efficiently in a manner that would give them the benefits the west and middle east that brought this their ways of life have and are enjoying. The conundrum buttress the point that it is hard to be a master of two or more distinct ways of life, the new systems seems to have brought more conflicts and confusion to the local populace than good.
My aim is to shed light and compare through brilliant, exciting stories the struggle of the common man in each Nigerian setting as they try to adjust to the subtly imposed systems. And then to share how spectacularly they are failing in operating the new political, economic, social and religious systems.-Sule Abiche
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