Life Lessons in Remilekun Jaiyeola’ ‘The Silver Lining In The Dark Cloud’ A review by Folorunsho Moshood

Life Lessons in Remilekun Jaiyeola’ ‘The Silver Lining In The Dark Cloud’ A review by Folorunsho Moshood

It is known that the phrase, the silver lining in the dark cloud, is a metaphor of hope in a
seemingly bad situation. It could also be something positive coming out of a difficult or
unpleasant situation. A difficult situation can be man-made or natural. If a difficult situation is man-made, it could be easily and quickly addressed by identifying its source or cause.
However, if a difficult situation is as a result of a natural force, it might take a miracle to
address it. Without any doubt, life is full of ups and downs, pains and pleasures, gladness and sadness, rises and falls, light and darkness, night and day etc. Whether it is man-made or natural, the wise thing for human beings to do is to always get prepared for battles of life.

Th e book, ‘The Silver LiningIn The Dark Cloud, is a collection of three short stories w ritten by Remilekun Jaiyeola and published by New Touch Int. Ltd 1Pemberton Road, Bradford, the United Kingdom.

It explores both man-made and natural challenges of life and possible ways people can address them and even rise above them.

The book, creatively written, is made up of 61 pages, which branched into 3 good stories – ‘A Blessing In Disguise’, ‘Mixed Blessing’ and ‘Grace’.

Coincidentally, the three stories have a common denominator – the birth of a child.

They address the issues of bad governance, sickle cell anaemia, bareness, genotype,
resilience in the face of hardship, miscarriage in marriage, student leadership, love, hatred, broken relationship etc. Just like the birth of new babies in the three stories, every hardship in the book also births at least an opportunity.

The first story, ‘A Blessing In Disguise’ is divided into three chapters, ‘Hardship On The
Spot’, ‘Responsibility of A Leader’, and ‘The Timely Preparation’. The story, which is written in third person narrative, is set in a village called Atiba that has only one school, Best Legacy Government School.

The village has been neglected for long by the government. It has no good road, no g ood health facility and no electricity supply. Even the teachers in Best Legacy Secondary School have not been remunerated for three months. The story, which also has a sub-plot, revolved around the principal of the school and some students who have just been selected to be school prefects. The story has Mr. Obi as the main character.

At home, Mr. Obi and his wife, Sandra are praying for the seeds of the womb after years of marriage. God finally answers their prayers, Sandra conceives but later has a miscarriage.

In school, the newly selected prefects decide to change the bad narrative of their village.

Th head boy, Ezekiel, prepares a road map towards achieving that. When the roadmap is presented to the village chief, a silver lining comes out the dark cloud.

The chief informs the students about the spelling competition that is scheduled to take place in the city. The winner of the competition will act as the governor of the state for a day. Mrs. Chike, a teacher in the school prepares the students for the competition that is eventually won by the school.

This achievement gives Ezekiel, the winning student, who acts as a one-day governor of the state, the opportunity to bring development to Atiba village.

Two months after, Sandra, the wife of Mr. Obi, conceives again and subsequently gives birth to a set of triplets.
The second story, ‘Mixed Blessing’, is also written in third person narrative and divided into three chapters – ‘The Dashing Hope’, ‘The Long Waiting’ and ‘Glory Dawn’.

This story is set in Mr. Dotun’s home, and it opens with the protagonist, Mr. Dotun playing romantically with his pregnant wife, Funmi. They have been married for two years without a child in the family.

When the family eventually loses the pregnancy, Dotun’s mother becomes angry with Funmi and vents her spleen on the innocent wife. Three years later, Funmi’s mother-in-law vows to get Dotun another wife if Funmi does not conceive in the next three months and give her a grand-child. Expectedly, Funmi’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Adebire and Funmi’s husband, Dotun are spiritually and morally behind her – they provide the needed succour for her.

One day, Funmi’s parents visit their daughter and offer some spiritual tips which later work out perfectly well. Six months after following the tips, Funmi conceives again and later gives birth to a baby boy.

Just like the two previous stories, the third story, ‘Grace’, is also written in third person
narrative and also divided into three chapters – ‘The Crisis’, ‘The Break Up’ and ‘The Sickle Cell Initiative’. The protagonist, Dorcas, is a stickler who is often attacked by the disease called ‘Sickle Cell Anaemia’. Due to these frequent attacks by the disease, she has her job terminated by her employer. Her relationship with Solomon, her fiancé, also turns sour due to the same reason. These two misfortunes do not distract Dorcas from achieving her goal in life. She stays focused! She prepares herself for a conference on sickle cell anaemia.

At the conference, she presents a paper that stands her out among the participants. This achievement comes with an employment – she secures a job with Mega Growth Investment Limited.

Mr. Godspower, her boss at the company, later develops an amorous relationship
with her. They finally settle down as husband and wife. Fortunately, Mr. Godspower has AA genotype with Dorcas’ SS, they can only get a child who has AS genotype.

That is exactly what happens to the baby girl their union eventually brings forth to the world. She is AS! But Dorcas later succumbs to the sickle cell anaemia – she shuffles off the mortal coil at the age of forty-two. She leaves behind an enduring legacy for the world. Her husband, Godspower is very proud of her even in death.

Through the stories by Remilekun Jaiyeola, the reader will see clearly the silver lining in the dark cloud. The language is simple and easy to understand. The three stories follow the same pattern and style. The dialogues are so rich and can be easily adapted into three plays. However, there are some few errors in the three stories.

For example, in the first story, the author presents Best Legacy Government School as a School, but instead of using ‘Headmaster’ for the head of the school, he uses ‘Principal’. In the first paragraph of the same first story, the author writes, ‘…the only school in that village is Best Legacy Government School’, but in the third paragraph, he erroneously writes, ‘…with just a primary school and secondary school, the village is what we can call an undeveloped area.

There is also few typos. The errors do not in any way diminishes the real value of this book – it is a work of art that can be improved upon.

There are many lessons to be learnt from the book. The lessons in the last story is for all young lovers who are planning to get married to one another.

Remilekun Jaiyeola is telling the reader that even before you fall in love know your genotype and that of your partner.

Jaiyeola has raised his voice as a writer against losing hope in the face of any battle of life.
There is usually a silver lining in the dark cloud for everyone. This book is a must read for all and sundry, especially young lovers.

Review by Folorunsho Moshood

#nigerianwriters #africanwriters #bookreview #folorunshomoshood #remilekunjaiyeola #africanbooks

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