In Tolu’ A. Akinyemi’s debut to storytelling; Inferno of Silence. The book cover depicts a picture of a young man; whose mouth was covered by several hands—forced to remain silent from narrating the true realities of his life struggles. The title INFERNO OF SILENCE gives a notion of a very large and dangerous problem resulting from silence and negligence toward the problems for a very long time.
Inferno of Silence is an eye-opener to the reality of men’s struggle to cope with an invented stereotype of what they want a man to be rather than what they should be. Merged with contemporary societal issues that affect both Male and Female like racism, tribalism, parenting, love, masculinity, domestic violence, broken marriage.
Black Lives Matter tells the story of Ikemefuna, a young promising player of the Shoot for the Stars Football Club, Ibadan – in the prime of his footballing career, hit a break. After an unfortunate tragedy while on a journey to play an away match. He couldn’t get over the horror of that night as it kept recurring in his every thought. He eventually left his boyhood club to play in Europe.
Upon getting to Europe, he was confronted almost immediately with yet another problem he could have never imagined. He was a victim of racism frequently. He eventually gets over it, thanks to support from Gyan, his only black teammate, and his artistic skills on display on the pitch to the racist displeasure.
Black Lives Matter, the first story of seven-stories in Inferno of Silence; narrates how an orphaned young man intermittently faced with societal issues dealt with it—specifically the racism he experienced in Europe. The struggles and triumph of Ikemefuna were succinctly expressed.
In the fourth story, Inferno of Silence named after the book. It narrates the ordeal of a young man named Kunle who was stuck in a failing marriage. Kunle was raised in an abusive home, his father regularly beat up his mother to follow his instructions and corrections. Kunle was never going to follow in his father’s path. When his marriage with the love of his life Adaeze begins to crumble, Kunle became emotionally abused. Trapped in his failing marriage, Kunle never took to violence. The fear of disappointing his Pastor haunted him who once told him “Keep this in your left hand, God hates divorce”.
Inferno of Silence is a perfect illustration of the struggle of many men in the society, who are suffering in silence—trapped in their reality to remain what society expects of them. Forced to remain silent at all costs because it is unfit of their masculinity to admit their flaws.
‘Inferno of Silence’ is available now: https://amzn.to/2xLUdJr and