Reviewer: Emmanuel Ogbeche
Book Title: The Spokesman: A Collection and Narratives of Published Thoughts and Opinions
Author: Kelechi Okoronkwo
Publisher: Inter-Active Digital
Year of Publication: 2022
All great accomplishments: tangible and intangible, grow from moments of quality thoughts. The truly enthralling places, ideas and things across the globe such as the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore; the Linked Hybrid Towers, Beijing; the Taj Mahal in Agra, India; world best military hardware and Artificial Intelligence; world best democratic processes and procedures all belong to products of quality thoughts. Quality ideas and thoughts rule the world and make here a better place. The thoughts which Kelechi Okoronkwo lays out perfectly in his book, The Spokesman: A collection and Narratives of Published Thoughts and Opinions fit into the class of quality thoughts—creative and transformative thoughts.
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The author, who is well known in Nigeria’s journalism and corporate communications fields has written a number of opinions, articles, literary works in the form of poems, short stories and plays. His works have been widely published on both local and international news and literary platforms. The author is also present on various social media platforms and he uses the social media to propagate his thoughts. His works touch various aspects of life such as politics, religion, culture and tradition, economy, science and technology, agriculture, relationship, media and communication among others.
The 256-page book, like the title suggests, is a collection of the author’s published opinions, poems, short stories, social media posts and discussions. This is an attempt to bring together all snippets of his public conversations with hope that they could further impact his audience. The author also hopes to use the book medium to preserve his newspaper, magazine and online publications for future references. There is a limit to which web or cloud contents can be preserved or accessed. Web and cloud contents, even unbounded and loosely bounded publications such as newspapers and magazines can disappear at any time or one can lose access to them. The momentary collapse of some social media platforms a couple of times in the recent past is an indicator that a doomsday may be lurking. Books are more durable and can be easily accessible. This reality gives the author the push to gather and preserve his publications in a book form.
Secondly, the author looks at every snippet of our everyday conversation as fragmented representation of our personalities. We do not keep our values one side while the content of our conversations is at the opposite side. The public judge us by the content of our public representations and utterances. I also hope that, by today or in the future, someone could lay hands on this book and be able to understand and possibly appreciate my thoughts on various national and international issues; and even personal issues such as my family and education.
Kelechi Okoronkwo has written on various topics including economy and finances, security, education, governance, religion and culture among others. He makes his stand known using opinions, poems and other literary works.
Like every deep and profound writer, Okoronkwo’s book attests that he is a great thinker—a philosopher cum prophet. One of the headlines in the book that speak to that attribute is a story on COVID-19 on page 29: ‘The World May Choose to Live with This Virus to save Life and Economy’. In the story, published on April 24, 2020, the time when experts still did not know much about the pandemic and how to go about containing it, the author makes a foreboded statement—that the world should find a way to live with whatever they could not defeat.
Kelechi notes that humanity has a way of living with whatever it cannot subdue and that living with COVID-19 entails fashioning effective ways to manage it such as homegrown measures to cure or at least manage the disease.
The Spokesman contains wide-ranging inspiring topics which reflect the personality of the author: Revisiting Empathy and the Kevin Carter Tragedy; Nigeria Has Come; Piteous Reality of the ‘Second Scramble’ for Partition of Africa; How Much Does Freedom Cost; Where are Our CSOs; Jacob Zuma is not Retiring a Hero among others. The author’s reflections on each topic he writes on portray him as writer who bears the burden of the society.
The Spokesman by Kelechi Okoronkwo is a great book needed to impact the world positively. It is my utmost belief that this book will secure all my hopes and serve humanity both now and in the future.
Emmanuel Ogbeche is the Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja Chapter
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