TOMORROW DIED YESTERDAY by chimeka garricks
Doris E. Ogah
The cover of the book depicts a peaceful landscape, however once you get familiar with the story it becomes more than just that, for me it represents the Asiama River in Niger Delta where the story grows from. I got drawn to the book by a comment I saw on Twitter and I have always wanted to go out of my comfort zone and explore novels that revolve around economic and political issues.
‘Sometimes, we have to go back, so we can move forward…’
The story is set in Port Harcourt and Niger Delta, Nigeria and begins in
2003 but transcends through various time frames from 1997 to 2004.
It begins with the introduction of the anti-hero who is first painted as a villain, Doye Koko infamously known as ‘Doughboy’ who is the catalyst for the spiral of events after a kidnapping goes awry. This character begins the book in a fearless and intriguing performance. This botched event reconnects the lives of four childhood friends Doye Koko (the Niger Delta militant), Peter Tubo Joseph (a corrupt oil employee), Dr Amaibi Akassa (the environmental activist and lecturer) and Kaniye Rufus Esq (the lawyer turned restaurateur).
As the story unfolds we are shown the bond the men had when they were boys, they share a sense of brotherhood and it is through this bond that they are able to live through the perils of their dysfunctional families, however they are separated by time and chance.
The book is divided into five books, each taking us through a journey of time through various stages of character development. It seamlessly connects the past with the present and vice versa, and stands on strong themes like corruption, greed, prison system, love, lust and oil pollution amongst others.
“You still don’t get it, Kaniye, do you? There is no future for the children of Niger Delta. Their tomorrow is already dead. It died yesterday “.
The title of the book is gotten from a conversation between Doye and Kaniye which refers to the death of the future of Niger Delta as a result of the oil exploitation and lack of humanity for those that are affected. A two dimensional analogy is created to discredit the ideology behind the acts of the people of Niger Delta and how they have decided to handle the problem at hand, of which cannot be justified.
However, Kaniye serves as a voice of reasoning both from a legal and moral point of view and tries to dissect the delusion of the tactics of violence which the people of Asiama have convinced themselves to be the only way to take part in the oil they own.
The writer didn’t forget we romantics, a sense of relief is introduced in the love stories of Amaibi and Dise which develops to be a flower shooting from a pavement and Kaniye and Deola which brings a sense of hope and purity, the beauty in the chaos. From the little jokes thrown in between the delicious meals, emotional car rides and prison visits, it shows that there is always place for light no matter how dark a situation might seem.
“Tomorrow Died Yesterday” is an intense and beautiful story about the Niger Delta struggle, friendship, forgiveness, redemption and love. It is compelling in every sense of the word and is for anyone who is searching for something more than a story. A gold star.
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
– Doris Ogah is a Content Creator and Editor for TheMODFactor.