Oyebanji Makanjuola

Number crunching “virtuoso” by day, procrastinating “wanna-be” writer by night, father of two troublesome tyrants in between. Lord knows how I manage! I spent the better part of my childhood straddling the borderline of my British birthplace and Nigerian heritage. A disengaged, somewhat far-removed child of the diaspora, lounging halfway, somewhere in between here and home. Or perhaps, this was now home, as that slowly became there? Perhaps home is, as they say, where the heart is.

At the heart of my fiction, these are the narratives that flow through. Stories about broken men, shattered women, searching for home—for love, for purpose, for untold treasures offshore—yet to come full circle. Back to the heart, back to home.

Growing up, Father always told us to “face your books,” and everything else would follow. To face. Literally. To read, to learn. But to write? “No! Not in our home.” One found prestige in a profession. A lawyer, a doctor, an accountant, maybe. I’ve since obtained his degree, begat seeds of my own, and my beard has finally grown to console the recent bereavement up top. Yet I still find myself at that same juncture time after time. 08.55, Monday morning, Bank station, plodding along with the herd when my heart pricks me so sharp I assume it to be an electric shock.

I yearn for more. I yearn for home.

So, its time to face my books. Though, with a smidgen of hope this time. That perhaps a tribe of readers will one day get the chance to face them too.

Sorry Dad. Not sorry.

Advertisements