Dead Lions Don’t Roar is a collection of fantastic poems. The writer, Tolu Akinyemi did a great job using short but powerful poems to discuss a variety of issues that affect us all, either directly or indirectly. His poems are packed with important lessons that we all can benefit from regardless of age or status. I especially liked the fact that he addressed a number of cogent social issues, which are reflective of a society like ours, that focuses on the mundane.
For example, in Wedding Party, Tolu Akinyemi talks about weddings -which have now become a lavish and ostentatious affair, especially but not only in Nigeria- ahead of what really matters, the marriage proper. In Nigeria, we place so much premium on weddings.; We want the wedding to be the talk of the town, a fairy tale wedding, with breathtaking decorations, pyrotechnics, exotic food and drinks. We max out our bank accounts and incur debts because we want to impress people, who typically still pass snide remarks. We say, “weddings happen once in a lifetime, so mine must be memorable”, which is why, in my opinion, a good number of marriages no longer last beyond five years. Maybe if we begin to place more emphasis on the marriage rather than wedding, we just might start to record a reduction in the number of failed marriages in our society.
Tolu’s poems are deep, yet very easy to appreciate. His language, though poetic, is simple and tends to be humorous too, sometimes using everyday words, expressions, and slangs that Nigerian readers can relate to. He also does well to carry his oyinbo readers along by explaining words and terminologies that they might not be familiar with. The poems in Dead Lions Don’t Roar are so relevant, that it is difficult to choose a favourite. Although, I really like Wedding Party because it addresses a trend I have observed in our society, and in this same line of reasoning.
From Dead Lions Don’t Roar, you’ll learn that no matter what you are going through, however tough and difficult, there is always hope as long as you are alive. Whether you are dealing with a ‘monster-in-law,’ an abusive spouse, struggling with the economy, or looking for Mr or Miss Right, always remember that as long as there is life, there is hope.
The poems in this book are very inspirational and will certainly get you reflecting on your own life. I would read it over and over again and recommend to others, because there are lessons to be learned in each poem, including those he wrote for his wife (so married men can learn from his example to always cherish their wives, although they may not need to be poetic about it).
About the Reviewer: Ifeanyi Idiaye holds a degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University, but has over the past five years, ventured into copy editing, proofreading, and writing. He loves knowing a little about everything, and is very fascinated by history and, generally, anything that happened before he was born. For relaxation, he puts on his headphones and listens to soothing old school music; he loves being in ‘that place’.