• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Born in Lockdown

Born in lockdown

The Year 2020 Unveiled Numerous Realities-A Review of Tolu A. Akinyemi’s Born in Lockdown
Author: Tolu A. Akinyemi
Publisher: The Roaring Lion Newcastle
Year of Publication: 2021
Number of Pages: 80
Category: Poetry

Many individuals opt not to reflect on the events of 2020 due to the chaos and unpredictability it ushered in, along with the widespread anxiety it generated. Nevertheless, for some, the year presented an opportunity to relax, enjoy movies, or even engage in creative pursuits like writing, or simply doing nothing at all.

Tolu A. Akinyemi, the author of “Born in Lockdown,” argues that 2020 should be erased from our memories. Nonetheless, it’s undeniable that this book will become a cherished relic and will be read by future generations, serving as a testament to the period when the world was in lockdown.

The year brought about a series of tragedies, including heartbreak, anxiety, loneliness, depression, verbal abuse, domestic violence, and untimely deaths.

Similarly, 2020 unveiled moments of profound sadness. In virus: your love in my heart was innocent/ and untainted/ until COVID crept in and the veil of deceit was lifted. / The hallmark of our love were red roses, /flowers and sexting/ until COVID crept in/ and it became a virus.

“Palliatives” may be challenging to grasp for those unfamiliar with Nigeria, but it holds deep significance for many Nigerians.

Despite global hopes for the pandemic’s end, cases continued to rise.

Those not born in 2020 may find the author’s perspective on the pandemic to be exaggerated, but for survivors of COVID-19, certain poems can help recollect the moments preceding their recovery.

As you delve further into the author’s work, you’ll understand why he suggests erasing 2020 from our historical records, given the multitude of fatalities that marked the year, potentially evoking sorrow and painful memories in readers.
The poem “survivors” effectively captures the unease experienced by some readers: The paranoia of COVID sends us into a dark hole/ and we sing an elegy as grief fouls the air. / Our lives are rocked like ships in a tumultuous storm, / My skin bears a testament- Pandemic Survivor.

Akinyemi consistently employs plain language and striking metaphors to convey his ideas. Words like “isolation,” “fake news,” “jabs,” and “vaccines” are familiar and may evoke nostalgia.

While the author typically maintains composure, signs of frustration become apparent in a poem like ‘Grow Some Balls,’ which may resonate with those who have experienced scams personally or through someone close: My phone has been besieged by texts streaming in like torrents of rain. / Lazy wankers flying the kite of COVID scams. / A pandemic among a raging pandemic- /beware of unknown and non-existent parcels/ and scam messages.

The author also takes a moment to commend healthcare professionals who risked their lives to safeguard the well-being of everyone. In Frontline: It takes guts and selflessness to be on the frontline/fighting an invisible enemy with countless casualties.

Tolu A. Akinyemi’s work isn’t intended to revive unpleasant memories, but rather to remind readers to appreciate life and its often overlooked, smaller aspects.

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: [email protected] Social: @tiipreeofficial