The book is a clear and in-depth look at the power dynamics of contemporary African societies. Though the plot is located within the Anieze community, it is not difficult for the politically conscious peoples of Africa to see, identity with, and appropriate as their own, the geo-political entity in which the events unfold. Power, greed, impunity, subversion of the law, sit-tightism, institutional weaknesses, poverty and lack of political consciousness and docility of the people, all combine to make for a combustible reading of the novel.
The Gathering of The Tribes goes beyond the presentation of the daunting realities of our times and continent, and proffers that the solution to the myriads of socio-political abnormalities in our society must be indigenous, springing from the very people who are always either the beneficiaries or victims of good or bad governments.
The people of Anieze have cast their luck with Chief Onyeonu in an election in which Onyeonu`s political rival had inexplicably been murdered. Four years after the elections and on the way to a second term, the people are left wondering about the essence of their votes in the first place without visible changes in their social and economic circumstances. Poverty has continued unabatedly while propaganda has now been perfected as an act of government. Not even the presence of the multinational corporation has brought about any meaningful transformation in their lives.

But all hope is not completely lost as a group of the villagers rally their fellow tribesmen for a showdown with the decadent political class led by Chief Onyeonu. Ike and Puze lead the way as the younger generation of Nze, Chiedozie, Nduka, et al, inspired by their older ones, are willing to take the battle to the next level—which is the change of government through electoral participation.

Evans Ufeli.
Confrontation becomes inevitable as all manners of intrigues, monetary inducements as well as incarcerations on trumped up charges, and military styled attacks are used by the status quo to remain in power. As in every revolutionary struggle, there are bound to be casualties: Amaka, Nze`s sister is one of such victims as well as the leadership of the tribesmen. The push back is initiated by the anti-establishment forces and degenerates into open confrontation. In this battle there can only be one winner. The people of Anieze understand this, and are determined to ensure that when the dust settles down, they will be the only ones left standing.

Evans Ufeli has shown in this book, just how much conscious he is of his environment. He shows how much, in spite of modernity, he cherishes positive cultural values of his people as captured in the various cultural activities of Anieze. He has written a novel that touches at the core of communal living and highlights what eventually happens to those who have willfully chosen to live on the fringes of societal expectations. 

Evans Ufeli is just beginning with us. He can only get better!

- Achike Chude is social/political activist, novelist, and a public affairs commentator.  

Thanks for reading

No comments

Comments are welcome, provided they are civil, interactively engaging. Hate speech not encouraged.

Powered by Blogger.