By Mwalimu George Ngwane
(Being a paper presented at the Book Launch of Sammy Oke Akombi’s book “The Wages of Corruption” in Buea Mountain Hotel on Friday 3rd October 2014).
The book as the title suggests is on corruption. The book is a mirror of moral rectitude where attitude and aptitude are reflected; it is a courtroom where grief and greed are cross-examined and it is a classroom where human conscience and sexual perversion are taught. The author, like a seasoned Hausa butcher has in 13 short stories and in 128 pages exposed the putrescent bones and putrid meat of a once robust cow that has been killed by her own “nganakors”. The stories are simple in style yet serious in message; pregnant with soul-searching rhetoric questions, subtle in tone but satirical in content. The author does not pretend to be prescriptive of the solutions to corruption. He has left that with politicians who are having a field day with slogans, prison sentences and National Anti-corruption corrupt Commissions. The author instead engages the reader in a graphic narrative journey that lays bare the bends and bumps of a corrupt-riddled road. Yes, after reading the book you may be tempted to say we have heard this before but the author’s compelling stream of consciousness, his use of mind games, intrigues and suspense leaves the reader with the question “Why do we choose the vicious rather than the virtuous path to society’s renewal?” Self-examination, Introspection and Collective catharsis are bound to be your therapy to the author’s diagnosis.