This book opened my eyes to things I did not know was going on. I knew lots of terrible things happened in IDP camps like rape, hunger and neglect by people and the government. But, organized child trafficking?
Here’s the back story, the novel by Edify Yakusak tells the story of two kids, Kim and Jugu. Both happily lived with their parents, well for Kim not so much. There is a kind of restricted relationship with Kim and her stepfather due to her will to hate him, one reason is that she just couldn’t call him dad, not after she did with her first one. Perhaps, his nature was too good to be true and the normal thing is to make him earn a good place in her life complex with loopholes and daggers flying around — I mean, you can’t just give him the benefit of calling you ‘child’ just like that? However, all these pre-teen rantata comes to a halt when their lives turn around, their little town situated in Jos is attacked by religious fanatics.
Mother, father, children are separated. Kim has to fend for her 2-year-old brother Jugu while hiding away from attackers. Mafeng the mother finds herself in the hospital but will not be allowed to get out easily, while Kim and Jugu find themselves in an internally Displaced Camp, nothing else could go wrong… wrong they thought.
They soon find out that the camp is just a front for illegal and obscure activities.
Some of my favourite scenes in this novel are Mafeng and her husband, Samuel, also Kim and Juju’s escape. The imagery is so concrete and you could imagine the scenery, maybe it helps that I have visited Jos Town, the setting of this novel.
Overall, the book highlights some of the critical issues in society, religious crisis, security issues, government neglect of responsibilities, corrupt government officials, it highlighted overlooked crimes on Internally Displaced Persons, human greed and Child trafficking.
The book gets light-hearted once in a while but still keeps you on your toes. Nice read from Edify Yakusak and a debut. I will rate it a 7/10.