Book Review: Chimeka Garricks 'Tomorrow Died Yesterday'

by - 15:04

Tomorrow Died Yesterday is the story of four friends: Doughboy (Doye), Amaibi, Kaniye and Tubo, who grew up together in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria.

The Niger-Delta region produces most of Nigeria’s oil and since the early 1990s has experienced a lot of conflict caused by tensions between foreign oil companies and the Niger Delta's ethnic minority groups who feel they are being exploited. This has led to increased militarisation in the area and kidnapping of foreign oil workers. It is against this backdrop that Chimeka Garricks writes. 

The novel starts in 2003, when a routine kidnapping of a foreign oil worker by Doughboy (Doye) goes terribly wrong. This kidnapping leads to a chain of events that reunites the four friends. Kaniye is the lawyer in the group, although he hasn't practiced law in years and owns a restaurant; Tubo is the self-centred one who works for Imperial Oil - the oil company at the centre of the story; Doye (Doughboy) is the leader of a militant oil group that kidnaps foreign Imperial Oil workers; and Amaibi is the lecturer and activist in the group. 

Tomorrow Died Yesterday spans 3 decades – part way through the book we go back to 1970, the year all four boys were born. The novel flicks back and forth between 2003/4, when the kidnapping occurred and the series of unfortunate events that unfolded afterwards, and key moments in each of the boys lives – the 70s, 80s and 90s. We get glimpses of each of the boys childhoods, how they became friends, the eventual demise of their friendship, and the events that shaped their lives and made them who they are.

The novel explores one of the major challenges facing Nigeria today – oil. Chimeka Garricks manages to capture it all in his book - oil bunkering, oil militancy, the impact oil has had on the every day Nigerians living in the Niger-Delta regions, the corrupt politicians and employees of oil companies, and how people try and live their lives in this situation. 

Both my sister and friend recommended this and they couldn't stop raving about it so I thought I'd give it a go. I didn't know what to expect, but I really enjoyed reading this novel. There were a few typos/grammatical errors but I would still recommend this book.

4 out of 5 stars.

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