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“The Artistic Essence of Chambers Umezulike’s Malcolm ” By John Ned Okorie



In this fictional political page-turner Chambers Umezulike makes a depiction of the political undercurrents of the African world, revealing the savage depths of the overbearing control of ‘godfathers’ and political heavyweights who run (down) the continent. And this is parallel to the prevalent reality consequential to most African Nations’ political crunch in the now. Its whimsical essence hangs on its poetic justice: the struggle between virtue and vice. In terms of characterization, Chambers opens the readers’ frame of mind to a perfect construction of human phenomenon.

Using the political warlord, Chief of Africa, he portrays a monumental trademark of vice: a life submerged in complexity, debauchery, greed, embezzlement of public funds in unnecessary foreign trips, spendthrift, selfishness, luxury, lust, lacking the rarest sense of morality. On the contrast, the life of Prof Ike Obi-Ike which is enveloped in selfless service, philanthropies and people-oriented-activities creates the virtuous balance required for justice. Nothing can be more juxtaposed than these two characters. A deep understanding of impious activities of cartel which is common to African politics is exemplified by the G6. With this group, we find that selfish desire of man to ride his follow man like a horse.

In structure, there is a formal rendition of the story in two languages that complements each other. A formal pattern that can be best described as out of this world. One does not need a Google Translator to flow in the Italian phrases and sentences constantly framed in italics to mark difference. The vivid description of characters, things and places, use of comparison, imagery and metaphors draw powerful clarity and understanding to the reader’s mind. Chambers uses a commanding sense of language embellishment and control and cross-fertilization to suit global acceptance. For instance, “mio belleza” is suggestive and every reader can decipher and attribute the meaning to the beauty of Labina. Constantly, Chambers shows liberty with suffixes and words compounding in a flexible stretch that show that he has acquired himself a language license.

The tragedy of Prof Obi-Ike sets aside an ‘Azazel’. Upon his death, he bears the sins of the people and is sent to hell for the redemption of the same people he loves. Like the scapegoat, he is sacrificed in cold blood to carry the reproach. This indeed almost tilted the novel to a tragic sequence. The reader’s attention is arrested from the beginning. The tension heightens with the duty commitment of Tin-Tin: his patience and determination until he executes his contract. Smoothly the writer relaxes the tension. These links and sequential weaving of incidence qualifies the novel for its genre. Prophetically Chambers points to the amount of strength that lies in the ability of a people to coordinate themselves to live above credulity and docility. We see an inevitable burn of revolution searing across the nation’s streets in response to the unjust crack of the sniper’s fire spread in this most critical political assassination.

From the point of humanism, in this book, Chambers offers pleasure and relaxation by communicating the innermost human complexities, frustrations, dreams, wishes and supposed contagious struggle for the total emancipation of human world through a non-violent political activism, and world sensitization. He silently delivers history, beautiful sense of architecture, a compelling tale of crime and justice, power in group action against evil as reflected in the masses rising and taking jungle justice into their own outraged hands.

MALCOLM is a novel of revolution, politics, social change, and dictatorship; depicting the elements of African politics (corruption, embezzlement, godfatherism, dictatorship and foreign influence). Set in Argentina, Nigeria, Senegal and Australia, MALCOLM was published in February 2015, in Germany by Better World Books

The author of MALCOLM, Chambers Umezulike is a Nigerian Secular Humanist, Revolutionary, Novelist and Essayist. He is a co-author of “The Metamorphoses Of Nigeria (1914 – 2014),” a 1,000 paged Nigerian centenary book chronicling stages of economic, social, political…developments of Nigeria since 1914 that her Northern and Southern Protectorates were amalgamated by the British.

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