The Other Side of Truth

Describe your favourite book or movie. Why does this choice appeal to you?

The sound of the bullet pierced the air like a 'banger' set off on Independence Day. From my bedroom window, I saw mother slump to the ground. My leaden lips trapped my scream within me. Why did nobody rush to her side? Where was Friday, our trusted security guard? I wiped moist palms on the hem of my school skirt as the Librarian cast a curious glance at me.

"All right, Rae?"

I blinked first at her then at the hardback in my laps, unable to answer. Reading the Other Side of Truth by Beverly Naidoo opened my eyes to the brutal, alternate reality that may have become my mother's fate had she not fled the tyranny of Sanni Abacha in Nigeria. Her father, my grandfather, had been delayed by traffic when men were sent by Abacha to kill the Ogoni leaders at the meeting he intended to attend. It was a narrow escape. Soon after, his charismatic neighbour, friend, and fellow Ogoni, Ken Saro-Wiwa was famously hanged by Abacha. I was fortunate to have my family preserved. However, Sade, the protagonist in the Other Side of Truth, was not so fortunate. While I bemoaned my family's return to Nigeria from Ireland after Abacha's death and grudgingly adopted a new culture I formerly deemed "unprogressive", Sade grieved for her murdered mother...

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