This is a forcefull book, written in “poor” English, as the writer wanted it. In this way he captured the mood and the situation of the protagonist who is a young man who learns to be a driver and in another town he meets a beautifull young girl Agnes, who happens to be from his homevillage. She brings with her the experience of Lagos.
But then strange things happens, strange to the young man Mene who has little experience of life. He sees things changing in his village of Dukana. There are rumours of an Enemy and rumours of a Front. Mysteries words and mysterious meanings. When he sees soldiers he is not straight attracted to them, but his wife Agnes want a man who can protect him. So he decides to join the army and become a Sozaboy (a soldier boy). He is fighting this enigmatic Enemy and is at the Front (whatever that may be). All the while he thinks of returning to his mother and wife (all the time in that order).
A young man caught up in a civil war, unmentioned are names like Nigeria, like Biafra. The situation is clear to the outsider, but becomes less clear. Where is the line between your own army and the Enemy. One day you wake up and you are in the territory of the enemy that previously belonged to you and your fellow sozaboys. It is the folly of a fight.
The writer want to impress on us that war is a folly, it is without meaning. But is war always without meaning?
Ken Saro-Wiwa left a a very good book to us, part of his legacy.
Ken Saro-Wiwa – Sozaboy – 1995