Written by novelist and satirist; Elnathan John; Born on a Tuesday is the author’s debut novel which focuses on religious extremism and the way of life in Northern Nigeria.
Born on a Tuesday gives INSIGHT! I have been to north only a few times and every day we hear news of what goes on over there with Boko Haram, the religious extremism e.t.c. All of this can never give you as much in-depth as this book does.
Centred on protagonist, a young man Dantala (which by the way means; Born on a Tuesday) Elnathan takes us on a journey through Dantala’s life experiences and challenges from leaving home to attend Quranic school and then getting mixed up with a group of street boys who are paid at most 200 naira and armed with cutlasses, Knives e.t.c by political parties to attack the opposition party and burn down their headquarters to how he fles the police to Sokoto where he starts to live with an iman called Sheikh Jamal.
While living in Sokoto, Dantala is exposed to a new way of life that he is not used to, he becomes one of the Iman’s right hand men and makes friends with Jubril who teaches him English, which he believes is earlier to learn than Arabic.
Dantala’s life does not remain smooth and easy, he is falls into a life changing situation after the death of Sheikh Jamal. He is arrested in the wake of riots is put in prison where is spends the next nine months being tortured. He is finally released but his life doesn’t remain the same.
John through his debut novel Born on a Tuesday gives readers first hand view of the experiences a young man in the north is likely to face. He makes use of satire and play on words to describe typical day to day challenges young men around the world face such as falling in love, making friends, trying to stand out amongst others.
Born on a Tuesday is a good example of why it is good for Nigerians to tell our stories ourselves not waiting for western writers to tell it for us so for this I say Thank you Elnathan John.