A review of Tosin Olukuade’s Sons of my Parents.
Son of My Parents is a remarkable improvement over the author’s first book, Son of my Father.
This is not just because Tosin Olukuade expands the subject of this new book; it is also about the structure composition and arrangement of the book. Sons of My Parents has fewer typographical and grammatical errors; it shows a much bolder writer and it is, of course, a fuller book.
The author makes this book an easy read by breaking it down into eleven (11) relatable chapters and giving a hint of the message that each of the chapters convey from the outset. These chapters are preceded by a preface, a prologue and an introduction. And it is from the latter that the author gives us a foretaste of what to expect.
In those eleven chapters, he presents the biography of his parents, Very Revd. Solomon Adebayo and Mrs. Rebecca Modupe Olukuade; the circumstances under which they met, the friends they have made in their union, the lives they have impacted, the challenges they have been through and how they have lived through them all.
The author ventilates his parents’ special relationship with the Agbesolas and the Williams. He also dedicates a small chapter to the memory of his late maternal grandmother, Mrs. Mama Victoria Ajiboro on the request of Very Revd. Solomon Adebayo who enjoyed a good relationship with his mother in law.
Romanticising over the 50 years milestone of their marriage which this book celebrates, the author shares a number of factors responsible for this laying more emphasis on Jesus being the head of the home instead of the man, as well as the couple’s deliberate commitment of “oneness.”
With this, one may be led to ask what qualifies the book to become such a valuable piece on the institution of Christian marriage when it evidently does not intend to do so; more especially as the author, by his own confession, is yet to be married?
This book, however, innocently reveals the thin line between good marriages and good parenting. There seems to be no substitute for homes where two parents work together to bring up their children for the benefit of the society.
Research has established links between the self-esteem of children, their academic performances, how they eventually turn out and the presence of one or two parents in their lives.
As much as the author tries, therefore, I think he has given us more of a book on how to make marriages work than how to be good parents. Either way; it is a book that anyone who desires to be a good spouse and parent should read.
Finally, there are one or two things that the author could have done better with this book. One of this is to have shown us the fallibility of his parents. They are after all human and there are no perfect human beings. There is an occasion where he speaks about mama being implacably upset for a while, but he does not go enough to show these two people are human beings who also have their foibles. Not in the same way he speaks about the humanity of papa in his first book. Here, he falls into the temptations that overtake biographers when writing about the people they adore.
I also think he did not do justice to the chapter on his grandmother. Readers would better connect with her if they had one or two instances of the deeds of this great woman.
But none of these detracts from the authenticity and the honesty of this book and the utilitarian value it holds for people who desire happy homes and see it as vital to the realisation of a sane and cohesive society. That kind of thing that Nigeria sorely needs to become at the moment.