Rainbow Book Club’s monthly reading in April was Wale Okediran’s “Tenants of the House”, a very appropriate choice. The first- time member of the house for a Kaduna Constituency Samuel Bakwra, is trying to be an honest politician. After a false start into the typical political activity of ‘fixing’, he realizes, thanks to the Speaker, that he was going the wrong way and tries to follow his conscience and achieve something worthwhile for his constituents. After all he entered politics as a reasonably successful lawyer due to an incident in his childhood when the farms and harvested crops of his father’s village were damaged by the cattle of nomadic herdsman.
During his campaign he began to realize that to be successful politically, money was all that mattered, although he refused to be involved directly in cult matters.
The book is an eye opener for those of us without personal experience of the ‘game’ of politics. It is hardly surprising that the author had to write it after his four years in the House. To encourage a broad readership there is a love-story although unresolved. However that is the writer’s privilege to leave something to the readers’ imaginations’.
Some parts of the story are not so easy to follow because of sudden change of scene. On the other hand it keeps the reader alert and Okedrian has a sense of humour… especially for the floor of the house scene concerning the failure of the first satellite which vanished in space.
Finally Okediran’s description of Kampala and environs is accurate and picturesque. The author has in fact produced a very interesting book. One last point… Is truth stranger than fiction?