Fourteen years old Musa is a maverick football talent from the city of Jos. He is caught up in the middle of abject poverty in his home and domestic abuse.
Just like every other young football prospect, he hopes that his exceptional talent would be discovered, and he could deliver his family from their suffering.
Meanwhile, a program introduced by the government to sponsor low-income communities creates conflict in the state, which leads to a full-blown riot, and Musa’s home isn’t spared in the chaos.
The Round Leather covers broad grounds from domestic abuse to rape, political corruption, and violence. Musa struggles through these, with football as his escape, until his motivation is terminated.
Samson abubakar –
The book is a so interesting, I read if to the point where I almost forgot it was fictional, mentally attached myself to Musa and his life’s story. The writer dis amazingly good work with the diversions and geographical locations used in the book. Also the languages portrayed, from French to Hausa and also pigin English was astonishing. It’s a must read
Leo Chris Aba –
BOOK TITLE: The Round Leather
AUTHOR: Oche Anejo
PUBLISHER: Zuma Publishing
CHAPTERS: Thirty Seven (37)
NUMBER of PAGES: 189
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2021
The narrative begins with Musa, the protagonist who the story hinges upon alongside his family. The author is quick to unveil Musa’s trials through life’s vicissitudes and panoramas. This is a story of perseverance, determination and fate. The author beams his search light on the plight, perils and seeming prevails in the life of his characters which is short lived in the story. Maman Musa’s ordeal can be described as a terrible tragedy. Anejo exposes without fear or favour, the myriads of threats faced by women world over and how popular humanism is fostering the ugly trend.
There is a free flow of emotions as you read every line you would feel the sensation of the events as they unfold, the impression every sentence makes the narrative palpable, so full of realism and passion. The author possesses an extraordinary sense of humour, which he injects intermittently into the story.
Old soldier is the fearless voice of the masses who attacks the government of the day sending messages in clear and stern terms to the three tiers of government. Plateau state and culture is idolised in the story with mentions of Kaduna and Abuja, which would pass for the plot setting of the book. Anejo’s code mixing and switching exposes his rich skill in the use of language as would pass for a polyglot.
Figurative use of language and literary aesthetics saturates Anejo’s debut novel. He uses imagery and symbolism in depth; this is enshrined in his characterisation. Just like Adichie, Helon Habila, Chika Unigwe and, Teju Cole, the author introduces his characters to the scene with a high level of creativity, from Coach Amos, Dr, Dougals, Prof. Esther, and Musa’s family. Every character is skilfully and tactfully brought to life in the story.
The book explores viz:
• The failed state of the nation
• Culture, Tradition and Ethics
• Feminism, Marxism and Structuralism
• Peer pressure
• Journalistic reportage
• Controversies surrounding Wealth Assistance Relief (W.A.R)
• Plateau Killings of 2001
Anejo’s debut novel exceeds the readers’ expectation and would pass for protest literature. His book protests against rape, female abuse, misappropriation of public funds, injustice in the society and above all, the despicable evils perpetuated in the IDP camps across the globe.
Anejo’s Round Leather is a beautiful tapestry of emotional and everyday scenarios weaved through the fabrics of the readers mind, conscience and reason. His book is a wakeup call to us all, to live ready, work towards achieving our dreams and not giving up in the pursuit of your dreams, visions and aspiration.
This is also a story of triumph against all odds, against the backdrop of the heinous level of corruption in Nigeria.
Id Ekong –
It’s not everyday you find a football story that narrows down on greater national issues in the country. The writer was able to make this a relatable read by infusing football into the story. I recommend this one for not just any young boy’s dreams, but the dreams of an entire people.
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