REVIEWED BY PROF RANK

UNIVERSITY OF UYO

ABASUBONG; The Boy With No Running Shoes

 

Title: ABASUBONG- The Boy With no Running Shoes-

Author: DAVID ETUKUDO UDONDAGH.

Place of Publication: London

Publisher: Vantage Publishing –Goldaming Surrey .

Date: July, 2019 .

Edition: First .

Pages: 192

 

BACKGROUND

The book is entirely fictional but the author is a creative literary giant, who has translated fiction into a high degree of believability in this book. A patriot who used the character ‘Abasubong’ who was later to be known as ‘Ete Calabar’ to create the person he would had wished every Nigerian to be like.

The personality mixed very well with non-indigenes of the then South –Eastern and later Cross River State, and was accepted by other ethnic groups within the then Eastern region-the author in this character, displayed was wishing a Nigerian to be accepted everywhere in Nigeria, as Abasubong. The wish and expectation of the author is possible, where ‘nation-building’ had nearly been achieved, unlike what is currently obtainable in Nigeria now.

Let us note that no person calIed a Nigerian is now accepted as Abasubong was received in Enugu. This is because there are no citizens of Nigeria but indigenes of the numerous tribes and ethnic group. Today Nigerian citizenship cannot erase the Nigerian indigeneship. This what the author wished it never happen, but here we are with it.

This is because we had the Nigerian state created in 1914, but have not been able to have the Nigerian nation, as exemplified in the character Abasubong.

Setting: The setting of the book is simple and natural; in the old Cross River State and in the Eket division now Local Government area and in the village of Afaha Atai, where the ‘boy with no running shoes’ had his home; then Enugu –the headquarters of the then Eastern region where Abasubong completed his Ordinary level study and proceeded to pick up Government job which was the dominant employer then and now.  Ibadan was the last stage of the action with the author creating suspense as to whether Abasubong would walk away from the Laboratory technology job in the UCTH. The situation created here call for part II of the book to expense the suspense in the minds of readers.

The book is not based on empirical history but on the imagination of the author. It displayed the capacity of the author to translate fiction into reality thereby placing him in the class of;

* James Hadley Chase – ‘James Bond 007’

*Chinua Achebe – ‘Things Fall Apart & There was a country’

*Peter Abraham – ‘The Mine Boy’

*Kenneth Kaunda – ‘Zambia Shall be Free’

*Cyprian Ekwensi – ‘Burning Grass & People of the City’

Ladies and Gentlemen, a standing ovation for the author while he remains seated.

 

ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK

Hope Waddle Training Institution (HOWAD)

*While at Hope Waddle, he was assigned to McGregor House in dormitory ≠4. *Each school day at Hope Waddle started with wake-up bell at 5.45 am, Breakfast at 7.00am, morning worship at the school assembly at the chapel at 8.30am- the day students kept to this schedule as well. *The School Inter-house sport was held between Kennedy, Hamilton, Cameron, and McGregor House.

A Steely Determination

*As Abasubong left the gym, he felt somehow confident that he had got over the first hurdle in his race to take part in the coming sport day *He without any sport shoes on. stood out noticeably for everyone too see, for a peculiar reason. This was because he was the only one on the tracks *The bell was rung to signal the end was near, Abasubong, ‘the boy with no running shoes’ on leapt out like a thunderbolt with an incredible speed… *Abasubong speeding very close to Tom Ibiam, cheers and loud shout of: ‘Abas1!’ ‘!Abas! ‘Abas!’ were coming from everywhere among the spectators, Abasubong , the boy with no running shoes came 2nd in 440 yards race (p 46). *His father, his uncles, as well as his cousins and the school friends, were truly amazed at Absubong ‘s performance. *He was the champion of the 880 yards race by 12 second in athletics

YOU’VE BEEN CARRYING ALL THIS ON YOUR MIND ALONE?

*Abasubong started to tell Bonny-Face about the situation at his home-difficulty in paying his fees *He was given a scholarship given his academic position and his sport achievements. *At Enugu he arrived to work and moved on to the second job as the Junior Science and Technology Laboratory Technician in the Government Technical College and Training Centre in Enugu (p111). * In fact I will like you to come and work, If you like I would pay you much more than you could get in any civil service ministry or in any other company or department whether is a government job or a private business (128).

IN POLICE STATION –

*Hey Mr. man, whatever your name is, you don’t come here to argue with me, after what you have done and no doubt, have been doing for quite sometime , if you don’t cooperate and answer my questions, you are most certainly going straight into the cell… (p 140). *But cocaine is an illegal drug and a very dangerous substance. It is more dangerous than cannabis . Why then is t so widely used by all at the top people who are supposed to know better and supposed to guide and protect and protect the ordinary people from the danger…which the drug poses…

ABIGAIL NWOKEJI-THE GOLDEN GIRL

*Abasubong, have spent some time to think and consider seriously if there was a reason why you did not go in the taxi that got smashed? *Abigail…’I think God was trying to tell you something, Abasubong! *Abasubong, you have said that you once had a deep passion and real desire to study and work in Biochemistry… and admitted that following your passion would have given real fulfillment and satisfaction (p 177). Unfortunately, the churches and not only my own church, the Methodist church; almost all the churches, seem to have failed to promote fully the true feelings, and the values that Jesus gave…and taught his followers (p 199) *After the scholarship disappointment I became very depressed. I turned to worldly pleasures thinking I would find satisfaction… (p 199)

THE END!

There he was ‘the boy with no running shoes’ who ran not only on the athletic tracks in Hope Waddle, he also ran out of Afaha-Atai, the small rural village, where he was born to the capital of the province-Calabar, where he was educated.

*He then ran to the capital city of the region-Enugu where he started his employment and was to run to the most highly rated center of medical research and treatment in Nigeria and in tropical Africa-UCH Ibadan

THE END! WOULD HE HAVE TO RUN AGAIN FROM THERE TO SOMEWHERE ELSE? WHO KNOWS

Find out in  the next series, “ABASUBONG; The Unexpected”

REVIEWED BY PROF. ETIM FRANK

UNIVERSITY OF UYO

ABASUBONG; The Unexpected

 

 

Place of Publication: London –Uk

Publisher: Martin Luther King/ Root/ Branch Consultancy Crofton Park, London Date: 2021 .

Edition: First.

Pages: 269.

Chapters: 17

BACKGROUND

Category: The book is a follow-up to Abasubong; the boy with no running shoes’.

Though a fiction, the master story teller Mr. David Etukudo Udondagh had translated it into the realm of reality.

 Setting: *The coal-city of Enugu the regional capital of the old eastern region.

*The University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan where he was enrolled to pursue a course in Medical Laboratory Science-   (Biochemistry)

* Another scenery where the actions which made this work was

*Lagos-Yaba where he worked after losing his job at UCH-Ibadan

*London-Cambridge –where he undertook his studies coming top

and earning yet another scholarship up to the doctorate level.

*Apapa-Lagos on his return to the Nigeria.

* Calabar on his return and eventually Afaha-Atai-Eket where he set out on his adventures.

 

Language: The author presented the narration in very simple straight forward      language that is easily comprehensible.

 

Style: The author employed all style of writing in this masterpiece, the book is persuasive, expository, descriptive and above full od suspense where he created uneasy feelings as you read the book and the curiosity of what is going to happen next. He controlled the release of information creating the desire to  know what would happen next. All parts of speeches and literary variables, simile, metaphor personification, hyperbole, irony, euphemism etc.

 Strength: The ability to convert fiction to realism in the mold of an autobiography with a semblance of living legend.

 Weakness : The book is too real to be a fiction, other than this one can hardly find any weakness with the book.

 

Assessment: It is a masterpiece  of a literature which has come to replace James Hardley Chase, Agatha Christie, but to compliment, Ngugi Wa Thiongo- Weep Not Child, Chunua Achebe –Thibngs Fall Apart, Peter Abraham-’The Mine Boy, Kenneth Kaunda-Zambia Shall be Free and Cyprian Ekwensi- Burning Grass and People of the City among others.’

 

ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK

IBADAN

*Hey ‘Da’! Abas! My goodness ! Whom am I seeing now? What brings you here? A voice shouted quite alarmingly. He was startled, but very pleased by the totally Unexpected , but quite familiar voice that called out at him (p1).

*Da you are going to stay with me, unless you’ve made other arrangements. I know that it is not all that easy to find a decent accommodation in Ibadan

BIOCHEMISTRY (BUN) BLOOD UREA NITROGEN

*To know the condition of the patient’s Kidneys *The substance in the blood stream known as Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN). *Part of the normal waste that was created in the liver after breaking down the proteins taken by a person in the food. *BUN is then released into the blood stream, ending up in the kidneys. *If the kidneys were functioning well, they would flush out the waste substance into the bladder, to be excreted in the normal urine that is passed. * But a pair of unhealthy or badly damaged and dysfunctional Kidneys would not be able to flush out the waste, but retain it in the blood p 15).

Query

*Abasubong was invited to a Christian weekend conference outside UCH…with his soul brother Eric Oluwole Williams. He was ‘on-call’ duty. *On return he saw a white envelope addressed in his name, lying on the counter (p 55).

*…Akanim Professor Edison was very concerned that you failed to turn up for your ‘on-call’ duty throughout the weekend. Failure to carry them out could result in the loss of a patient’s life….I arranged a swap with Israel Oforofoh (p 56).

DISMISSAL

*He knew that it wasn’t just Professor Edison…Mr. Prescott himself, had a hand in his dismissal. Instant termination of his position at the UCH: A summary dismissal from the profession and the career (p 56).

*Elsie ….I am really grateful for your offer to stand by me. I am just concerned that they may….victimize you or anyone sticking out his head or neck for me (p 64).

MARINA LAGOS ONE DOOR CLOSES, OTHERS OPEN

*Truth crushed to the earth, must surely rise again; The arch of the moral universe may be long, but it bends towards justice (p 77).

*Akpanim …spend this weekend with your aunt and family after the week’s traumatic experience…come back and see me on Monday for a proper interview (p 83).

OPEN DOORS

*Tim Brookes confident that Abasubong was qualified for admission into one of the good universities in the UK, He applied for admission on his behalf, within two months, Tim Brrokes received replies from six universities. *Abasubong decided to apply for the Federal Government scholarship with copies of the letters of conditional admission from five universities. *Dear Mr. Akpanim I am directed to let you know that you have been awarded a full scholarship by the federal Government of Nigeria to study Biochemistry at any University or an institution of higher learning of your choice in the United Kingdom… You will be required to complete an acceptance form when you come. Please bring also two passport photographs of yourself. Yours faithfully Secretary, Federal Government of Nigeria Scholarship Board

ELSIE & ABASUBONG WORKED IN CAMBRIDGE

*Elsie was offered a temporary job at the Addenbrooke’s hospital where Abasubong was treated for astma, her experience at UCH AS A Senior Medical Laboratory Scientist, was very much appreciated (215). *Abasubong did a further year and a half at the University of Cambridge, as an Assistant Lecturer in Biological Sciences.

 

ASTHMA

*The doctor had found that Abasubong suffered some quite severe asthma attack, a condition he had not realized he still had(p 202).

*You said Fluticasone Salmeterol inhaler, used through a spacer would helpyour fiance, rather than the operation that was explained to you. Here is what you said in your own words (p 212).

Oh yes, Miss Cookey-Gam, you were right, quite right,. Last night one of the nurses gave your fiane the Fluticasone Salmeterol inhaler with a spacer, and she repeated that every 3 hours. There is the result! You were right. You can go and hug your fiance (p 213).

*O, Ubong it is God! O, I am so, so happy (p213).

ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE STATE

*What made Abasubong and Elsie disappointed and lose faith in the government, were; *empty promises, year after year for very many years. *Local authorities were even worse. *There was absolute failure of any governing ‘body’ to do anything… *Year after year the state things remain the same, and even in majority of cases even worse than the previous years (p 240).

*He thanked Eket Progressive Youth Movement and was deeply touched by what they witnessed at the airport (p 262)

…and looked forward to meeting with their patron in Eket (p.262). There must be other unexpected in Eket lets see! !! !!!

Working in Lagos

Mr. Richard Princewill, Elsie Cookey-Gam’s uncle employed Abasubong. *One door is shut; the same door opens again, I will now ask someone else to explain why we have asked you to come here a second time. We did not give you a chance to explain why you had such a bad record kept against your name at the UCH, Ibadan(p 113).

LAGOS TO CAMBRIDGE

*It was indeed, like a hero’s farewell, as they all waved back, and some even shouted: ‘Go well’ and ‘safe journey’(p 149).

*≠25 Grove Hill Lane, Cambridge was his resident *A thief on the train prowling about, looking for what to steal, please hold on tightly to your handbags (p166).

*When the police saw the papers… Abasubong was postgraduate student…they apologized (167).

*It was indeed, like a hero’s farewell, as they all waved back, and some even shouted: ‘Go well’ and ‘safe journey’(p 149).

*≠25 Grove Hill Lane, Cambridge was his resident. *A thief on the train prowling about, looking for what to steal, please hold on tightly to your handbags (p166).

*When the police saw the papers… Abasubong was postgraduate student…they apologized (167).

Elsie-Cookey-Gam in Cambridge

*Abasubong looked like real African prince, O’ I’m so proud of you (p175). *local newspapers and national papers carried photographs on the black and white engagement… wedding, to be announced (p178)

STUDENT LEADERSHIP

* Mr. Prescott, there are several empty buildings in the UCH, one of which could be adequate for us. ..Listen Akpanim you’ve only just arrived at the UCH, Mr. Prescott responded…(p 17).

*…the good relationship that he thought he had established with the Chief Technologist was badly damaged (p 18).

*…was this the same person Abasubong had come to regard as ‘God-sent’, who was to lay a firm foundation for his future?…quite close to, whose wife and family had sat and laughed so freely in his little bedsitter…before the unexpected encounter? * Mr. Prescott, there are several empty buildings in the UCH, one of which could be adequate for us. ..Listen Akpanim you’ve only just arrived at the UCH, Mr. Prescott responded…(p 17).

*…the good relationship that he thought he had established with the Chief Technologist was badly damaged (p 18).

*…was this the same person Abasubong had come to regard as ‘God-sent’, who was to lay a firm foundation for his future?…quite close to, whose wife and family had sat and laughed so freely in his little bedsitter…before the unexpected encounter?

* Mr. Prescott, there are several empty buildings in the UCH, one of which could be adequate for us. ..Listen Akpanim you’ve only just arrived at the UCH, Mr. Prescott responded…(p 17).

*…the good relationship that he thought he had established with the Chief Technologist was badly damaged (p 18).

*…was this the same person Abasubong had come to regard as ‘God-sent’, who was to lay a firm foundation for his future?…quite close to, whose wife and family had sat and laughed so freely in his little bedsitter…before the unexpected encounter?

* Mr. Prescott, there are several empty buildings in the UCH, one of which could be adequate for us. ..Listen Akpanim you’ve only just arrived at the UCH, Mr. Prescott responded…(p 17).

*…the good relationship that he thought he had established with the Chief Technologist was badly damaged (p 18).

*…was this the same person Abasubong had come to regard as ‘God-sent’, who was to lay a firm foundation for his future?…quite close to, whose wife and family had sat and laughed so freely in his little bedsitter…before the unexpected encounter?

FAREWELL TO CAMBRIDGE & WELCOME TO NIGERIA

Abasubong and Elsie left Cambridge to Nigeria by MV Apapa from Liverpool (p 218).

*Abasubong and Elsie, I have a strong belief …that the situation in this country will change.You and others like you,…even younger ones that we may not know, are those who will bring about the change (p 236).

 

THE END!

There must be other unexpected in Eket lets see! !! !!!

Satisfy your curiosity in the  next series. ABASUBONG; Man Of The People.

COMING SOON!

THE LAUNCH OF ABASUBONG; MAN OF THE PEOPLE