Author: Justin Chukwunonso Nzekwe
Price: 1,000 naira
‘Broken Portrait’ is a unique and interesting novel written by a gifted writer, and inspiring catholic priest, Justin Nzekwe. By all standards of evaluation and analysis, this is an inspiring cum creative work of art.
The novel tells the story of a formally bizarre African traditionalist Mazi Jideofor, whoparticipated actively in mundane traditional practices before his eventual conversion into the Roman Catholic Faith.
But, out of sheer ignorance, he tried to become more catholic than the pope to the chagrin and enchantment of onlookers, and early missionaries of his time. What many thought would have created an avenue for him to become a distinctive Christian, paved the way for the exhibition of Jideofor’s foolery. All useful attempts aimed at proving to Jideofor that he is not getting it right fell on deaf ears.
His actions and inactions generated lots of negative outcomes, even his appointment to a catechist status was unable to quench and/ or purify him. His son Agu, another key character in the novel was the first and one of the foremost beneficiaries of Mazi Jideofor’s extreme religious recklessness, spiritual brutality, and fanaticism.
Agu, propelled by a vision that is relentless got refined after his western encounter in the Great Britain, but the death of his grandfather, the loss of his precious jewel, loving and delectable wife, Olamma to slave masters, and the broken family portrait all traumatized him, and made him lonely and poor, lacking in direction.
He attempted to heal the wound of a clan deeply bruised, but met vehement resistance by his ignorant kinsmen, who saw him as a big threat that should be dealt with. Subsequently, Agu was struck by an incurable heart disease, and there was sunset at dawn.
This is a wonderful book, well crafted and beautifully written; the reader would be glued to the story from beginning till the end. Fr Justin Nzekwe did a great job in aptly capturing the behaviours of different personalities involved in the novel. No doubt, he was a good student of literature, his enviable literary skills exhibited in this novel was legendry.
‘Broken Portrait’ is one book you will get ultimate value from, written in simplified and readable English. It would absolutely worth your time, and money a thousand times over. I therefore recommend this fantastic, educative and eye-opening book to all and sundry. Pick a copy for yourself and your friends right away!
- Ethelbert Obinna Umeh, Seasoned Nigerian Journalist & Leadership Consultant.
(Vice President, International Institute for Global Leadership, IIGL, USA)