By Hajia Funsho Bolaji Abdullahi
Abdullateef Ishowo’s novel titled ‘SECOND CHANCE’ highlights the plights of Kabir Owolabi Bello who became a single father as a teenager, and a University drop out.
Ishowo draws the character of this young pprotagonist in first person narrative.
We see Kabir Owolabi Bello struggles from a two weeks old baby when he lost his Journalist father to the crisis that erupted after the annulment of the June 12 1993 Presidential Election.
Kabir’s mother recounted to him “At the protest, he was shot! The police killed him and claimed that it was a stray bullet”.
Thus began the struggle by his widowed mother to bring him up single handedly shunning offers from her late husband family to remarry his younger brother(supo).
By the age of 26 years the protagonist in the novel had gone to prison and back and has decided to start his life afresh.
Before his prison ordeal, Kabir got admission into the University to study Political Science, He went through the orientation week and started lectures.
Unfortunately he got entangled in cultism and was caught in crossfire between two rival cult groups ‘De Black -Daggers and D-Fox confraternity’. Some of the members lost their lives, fortunately, he didn’t lose his life, hence the opportunity for a second chance.
Second Chance delved into quite a lot of social vices in our society such as examination malpractice, sexual harassment, use of hard drugs, cultism, premarital sex among others.
The Author, Abdullateef ishowo is a Political Science graduate and well known public affairs commentator, thus not surprisingly a lot of contemporary political issues were narrated in the novel right from when the protagonist Kabir was born on June 12 1993, the day of the Presidential election adjudged to be the fairest in the history of elections in Nigeria and Won by the late MKO Abiola.
The death of the Dictator, Late Sanni Abacha and the ensuing jubilation in the country, and the death of late MKO Abiola a month later and the spontaneous protests to mourn his death.
The novel also touched on the controversy around late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua illness among other issues.
The author was able to include contemporary issues of the day through a newspaper Vendor simply known as Soni. “ His shop was always full of members of the Free Readers Association of Nigeria, (FRAN)”, who will “continue to talk and argue mostly on Nigeria politics”.
The Author through the main protagonist of the book also took a swipe at the government as Kabir said “Oh! The Nigerian government got me derailed. The government failed to provide a functioning system that could facilitate an enabling environment for all….”
The novel ‘SECOND CHANCE’ provide entertainment as well as information on issues that are pervasive in the Nigerian Environment.