A Review of Jude Idada’s Boom Boom by Aisha Umar

TITLE:                                               BOOM BOOM

AUTHOR:                                         JUDE IDADA

PUBLISHER:                                   WINE PRESS

YEAR OF PUBLICATION:           2019

PAGES:                                             228

ISBN:                                                 978 – 978 – 54043 – 4 – 0

GENRE:                                            Fiction.                                              

            Jude Idada’s Boom Boom tells the story of a family, the Osagies, whose peace and happiness is ravaged by a health condition; sickle cell anemia. an eight years old boy Oseik, his little sister Eghe Boom Boom and mother, as well as the unique character, Kompa, a dog. It is a tragic comic narration of a family’s struggle to survive the scourge, sickle cell Anemia. The narrator, Osaik relates with the pain experienced by his little sister and mother, who are both sickle cell victims as well as his father’s efforts at keeping his family together and healthy.

            Osaik narration gives first-hand information of an innocent child experience of death and a losing a mother. Alone at home with his ailing mother, while his father is away in England with his his little sister, Eghe in search of medical treatment, Osaik witnesses his mother succumb to death. Osaik’s closest comfort that trying moment comes from Kompa, his dog, whose inner thought Osaik could translate to words. The dog plays the role of a father, big brother and friend and came with the idea of their late mother being a star in the sky notion that grew strongly for the kids till the end of their story. The kids believe that, their mother “…was a star in the sky looking down at (them)… ready to answer (their call) …anytime …” (p. 59). But Osaik lives with the fear of losing his little sister, since she has the sickle cell anemia too.

            The author creatively projects the experiences of sickle cell patients during their crises periods, using the character Eghe Boom Boom.  This is relevant, with the mother, dying at the early stage of the story. The novel weaves together a family’s grief of loss, collective happiness and efforts to surmount challenges. The death of Mrs Osagie is symbolic of the loss of victims to sickle cell.

            The author’s convincing use of mixed characterization; human, animals (Kompa) and object the star, (give the story a certain level of spirituality as well as creates images. These non-human characters run through the story as major stakeholders from start to finish, such that they are major determinants in the dialogue and activities of the human characters.

            The author’s exotic use of descriptive narration gives birth to vivid images of the scenes. This style creates bathos that helps the readers to feel for the victims and project realistic situations of a typical sickle cell crisis.

Kompa’s innovative intervention brings the doctor who saved Boom Boom’s life. It’s (his) identification of a suitable donor for the little girl’s bone marrow transplant, orchestrates the falling action and eventually, the denouement. This animal character role gives the novel a fable touch and a bit of magical realism. The on usual idea of an animal being a major stakeholder in the efforts to save a sickle cell anemia patient, especially with it brilliant ideas and how the human characters obey his ideas creates magical realism.

            Boom Boom is a succinct outline of issues relating to the sickle cell anemia disease. First, it sheds light on it symptoms, challenges, course of death, losing of loved one to the condition, ignorance, choice of marital partnership, stigmatization out of ignorance, medication and medical facilities and activities and a possible cure for the scourge. To enhance magical realism in the story, Morenike is magically located as a donor; she influences Eghe Boom Boom in waking up from a coma.

The authorial intrusion toward the end of story is presented by Mr. J. J Osagie, the protagonist and narrator’s father, in his verbal address to the press on their returned from the bone marrow transplant trip in London. This exceptional narration deplores various literary aesthetics such as imagery, twist, suspense, etc to address a health condition that challenges several families in Nigeria out of ignorance and disbelieve and poor access to medical facilities and treatment. Boom Boom encourages the collective social responsibility of remedying the sickle cell anemia situation in Nigeria as well as the place of awareness creation to end or eradicate the scourge.

In conclusion, the novel is a fulfillment of a writer’s contribution to society. It brings the readers closer to sickle cell anemia, as well as gives the sufferers a sense of belonging and hope. Boom Boom aesthetically creates awareness about the disease and suggests ways of curbing it.

Aisha Umar M.

Department of European Languages,

Federal University Birnin Kebbi