Now out is this rich book titled, The General’s Orderly by Arua Okereke.
The book is about the true life story of a boy of seven who was born born into a barely comfortable polygamous family, being of the Ehugbo stock that practices a matrilineal system of inheritance, and of course, as is typical of an ambitious Igbo boy, he was happy to leave home for Southern Cameroon with his maternal uncle in search for greener pasture. This search would finally see him dwelling in various settings and across many seas away from home to achieve his goals.
The story spoke of three major prophecies that came to pass and helped shape the boy’s life. It spoke of Africa, it spoke of Europe; it spoke of various languages, cultures, religions, politics and isms. It told of reincarnation and metaphysics; and recounted the history of the boy’s people; of the abuses suffered by him both while under his uncle’s care at Cameroun, at school, and in his conscription as a
barely armed, barely trained child soldier fighting in the frontlines of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war. It spoke of the remote and immediate causes of that war and its long term consequences on the people. It also gave exciting accounts of the experience: the fight, the escapes, and an eventual surrender.
It also goes around many firsts and of successes of an exceptionally gifted child who loved education, inventions, sport; and who always came tops in class all through to his doctorate award bagged in 1987. A boy saved from more perilous war circumstances to become orderly to a General, the second-in-command of a rebel group. A boy now a grandfather, who came small in size, but activist in nature to achieve greatness for himself and family name; and to establish precedents that encourage others. A boy fated to be lucky; winning lotteries and opportunities, gaining support and mentoring every step of the way to see him through life itself and its many hurdles.
This book delivers fantasy and romance; detailing the childish romance with Rose Mukete in Cameroun – the meeting and falling in love with Grace Jombo who turned out to become a strong pillar of support to him in Warri. This later love story is particularly touching as it tells
of a young man’s evergreen experiences with a Grace who suddenly was no longer reachable and whose unknown whereabouts till date leaves a gap in his mind, that only she can fill. The story went forward to show the inter-racial meeting, falling in love and marriage in Bulgaria to Vanya Dimitrova that helped stabilize the young man’s focus, and of the family they built together.
The story further itemized the man’s work career in the academic world and in the private sector, and how he rose up to become a community leader on many fronts: tutorials, students and trade unions, in
traditional settings, local and tribal politics. The story also brought to light the many rots in the ivory tower, and the spiritual powers inherent in man.
Emelda Ochuba, a freelance writer, philosopher, activist and social commentator who writes from Enugu, Nigeria says,
Not only was I totally engrossed while I read the book “The General’s
Orderly … An Autobiography of a Biafran Soldier by Arua Okereke”, I
found myself out rightly seduced by the way the gifted writer played
with his words in the 436-page, 17-chapter book published by LifeRich;
and how he finally wove them all together with tasty spices of poetry
and adventure to achieve an authoritative masterpiece. Indeed, as a
creative builder, engineering expert and professor of construction
technology, Arua ‘Patrick’ Okereke must have brought in his keen eye
for art and specific details to birth a beautiful book that is not
just worth reading but captivating to the very last page.
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