Kwaghsende Jimin’s The Opposite Kingdoms: A Review by Paul Liam





Book Title: The Opposite Kingdoms
Author: Kwaghsende Jimin
Publisher: Kwaghsende Ventures, Minna
Pages: 72
Year of publication: 2017
Price: Not stated
Reviewer: Paul Liam

Kwaghsende Jimin has published notable works including The Pensioner (2006), The Benchmarks (2004), You Can Be Happy (2008) and Life Line (2004). A seasoned administrator with the National Examinations Council (NECO), Jimin’s works are known for their penchant for re-engineering the moral psyche of the people towards the ideals of a utopian society. This ideological dimension to his works is evident in The Pensioner and in his latest offering, The Opposite Kingdoms. Clearly his first published work of prose, Jimin uses a Reconstructionist prism in reassessing the relationship between Africa and the West, and the attendant effects of post-colonialism, through the use of a simple parable.

The question of why Africa continues to grapple with underdevelopment in spite of her huge potentials for growth and development is a recurring decimal creatively shrouded in the thematic preoccupation of the text. And as the author suggests, the dilemma lies in Africa’s inability to rethink her future and determine her own growth through critical independent thinking as exemplified by Wise in the text. In The Opposite Kingdoms, Jimin instructively outlines a fundamental principle for change and development rooted in our indigenous wisdom and creativity.  He presupposes that in order to propel the black race to modern advancement and breakthroughs in technology and industrialization, altruism must take a prominent position in the heart of all men. In order words, people must be willing to sacrifice themselves and their personal ambitions for the common good of the society; this is what distinguishes the White man from the African.

Thus the didactic objective of the work is succinctly outlined in its characterization. The characters are representative of Jimin’s antidotes against the retrogression of a society.  Some of the characters include: Wise, Peace, Honesty, Work, Courage, Techno, Discipline, Conscience, Science, etc. The Opposite Kingdoms is a retrospective work that attempts a renegotiation between Africa’s colonial past and her future, intrinsically hinged on native wisdom.  Jov race, the fictional race of the work represents Africa and the black race. To upturn the fangs of retrogression that has encapsulated the continent, Jimin suggests that, it would take the exceptional wit of a team of thinkers and courageous men to reposition the continent on the course positive progress.

Wise, whose name obviously gives him away as the wise one in the kingdom, proposes a solution to the generational problem of environmental hazards threatening their habitat and calls for a proactive action for overcoming the threat. It is at one of such meetings to think out a solution that Wise sets the precedent for what would become the central idea of the work; a quest to change the negative fortunes of the land. In an exchange with Peace, Wise declares, “You see, let us look for other people around and discuss the possibility of changing our present living condition.” (2)

In conclusion, Jimin’s latest work is a reservoir of wisdom that could be adopted for use, for the development of the black race and human kind in general. It is pertinent to observe at this juncture, that the work, like all works of art is not without its own flaws bordering largely on language appropriation, typographical errors, structural issues, etc, which are consequent of editorial lapses. These shortcomings however, do not override the very profound messages imbedded in the work. It also suffices to say that Jimin couldn’t have published this work at a better time than now that Nigeria and indeed Africa, is in dire need of a way-out of its developmental challenges.
    

Comments

  1. wow, the review makes me salivate to get hold of a copy of the Opposite Kingdoms. Having known the author very well and his ideals, I am not surprise to notice that his personality robs on every word that the reviewer tries to summarise the work

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