You will have to handle some situations on your own -A Review of Abimbola O. Alaka’s The Things Father Did Not Teach Us

Title: The Things Father Did Not Teach Us
Author: Abimbola O. Alaka
Publisher: The Roaring Lion Newcastle
Year of Publication: 2021
Number of Pages: 35
Category: Poetry

In today’s world, young people face a variety of obstacles, each of which has the potential to make life more difficult for them. Abimbola O. Alaka, in her collection of poetry titled “The Things Our Fathers Didn’t Teach Us,” examines the challenges that young people confront in today’s society.

When you first lay eyes on this book, the illustration that appears on the front cover is compelling enough to make you want to pick it up and flip through its pages. This poetry collection may not be very long, but despite its brevity, it is packed with wit and insight.

In this book, the author discusses a wide variety of subjects and it is abundantly clear in the text that if these problems aren’t addressed when they first appear, they can snowball into much more significant difficulties in later years of one’s life.

To begin, Alaka’s sentences are simple and unambiguous; once past that point, you can begin to discern the author’s desire for you to read aloud specific words and affirmations from her collection. “Self-Declaration” is the perfect poem to read if you’re a woman who needs encouragement to keep going.

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Others are more direct, like the poem “You Versus the World,” which makes it quite evident that one’s mistakes can teach one significant lesson about life: Like death, mistakes are inevitable /And when you fall, /you don’t build a tent in the mud. / You stand. /You walk. /You run.

Even though she expresses genuine concern in the same moment, Alaka is still able to be brutally honest when the situation calls for it. There are a couple of lines in the poem “Puzzle” that could be interpreted as an angry outburst: why do you/lead yourself to dark rooms/without windows and choke yourself? /why do you pretend/that you are happy/when you sleep every night with a heavy heart? / Catch yourself; you are drifting away. / Wake up and solve this puzzle. However, the author is forthright in her approach to dealing with difficult situations.

It seems that other works, such as “Prayers,” approach the subject of traumatic experiences in a delicate and sensitive manner.
Reading this book is very much like paying a visit to some of your mentors and obtaining a plethora of advice from them in person.

In what ways did your father fail to pass on important life lessons to you? According to the poet, our parents might or might not have taught us a lot of things, but as adults, we are expected to figure things out on our own when we are confronted with obstacles.

If you have a young person in the house, make sure they have space on their bookshelf for this book.

About the reviewer
Titilade Oyemade is a business executive in a leading organisation and holds a degree in Russian Language. She’s the convener of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. She spends her weekends attending women conferences, events and book readings. She loves to have fun and to help other women have the same in their lives. Email: Social: @tiipreeofficial

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