Ayo Sogunro is well known as one of our illustrious twitter lords over on “Naija Twitter”. In real life, he is a lawyer and a human rights activist…wait, it also says here that he is a writer.
The Wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and other Sorry Tales is a collection of short stories and poems. The stories are a mix of themes that all speak to what we call “the Nigerian condition” – politics, university life, working, pastors, your car breaking down on Third Mainland Bridge and it is getting dark…
Two of the stories dabble into the supernatural, while another story has taken on a foretelling of events currently unfolding. Actually, a lot of the stories feel like predictions. It is quite apparent through the book that they all come from a personal place and are imaginings of how things could play out. Many of the stories touch on topics that Ayo tweets about. (One cannot help but wonder whether there are subliminal messages hidden beneath.) The one story that was not from a personal place, is glaringly so. Ayo attempts to place himself in the mind of a university girl, and (unsurprisingly) fails. A brave attempt I must say but he was not quite able to quiet his own voice which came through (a bit too loudly) at times. All the stories end with an interesting twist, not always unexpected, but still oddly satisfying.
Let us not forget the poems. Ayo has a way with words, this we all know, and it works for him just as well in his poetry as it does in his prose. The poems do not feel as personal as the stories do, however. They are arranged fittingly through the book so that they go with the stories they precede, but one does not get that raw, from-the-heart impression you get from the stories themselves.
All in all, Sorry Tales was a good work of fiction from a person known for stating facts and forming opinions.