The Thief and the Patriot by Chikodi Anunobi: 5*****

What a unique and fascinating novel set in Nigeria, which to me has definite words of wisdom for those of us here in the United States. Chikodi Anunobi has written a wonderful book that takes an inside look at corruption that has plagued the country of Nigeria for decades. He takes pain to tell us that not all Nigerians are corrupt or dishonest, and he’s correct but unfortunately the power elite rely on this corruption, greed and power to rule this country, and to keep it from becoming a truly unified nation. This is the story as told by Bonaventure Angila who was from the Kwenzu tribe of Nigeria, and about his rise to power until his eventual downfall years later. Bona tells us how he initially fell into the easy way of getting ahead: by bribing a school official so he could become a student mentor. Things snowballed from that initial realization that it was easier to get ahead by bribery than by hard work. Not that he does not work hard, Bona is a fine student, and eventually gets his degree and becomes an integral part of helping the political powers that be remain in power as well as collecting untold wealth. These people have their fingers in every Nigerian business, and in particular the Off-OPEC oil that they personally sold in order to reap billions of dollars for their personal gain.

It’s a cautionary tale of someone who gets caught up in each and every revolution in the country and always lands on his feet, because of his knowledge and what he can do with the money and the hidden assets. But eventually Bona is arrested as those people who were supposedly his friends and protectors turned upon him, because they were afraid that Bona would turn on them. In prison has ag enuine change of heart and mind, and eventually writes a story about his life. By the end this turns out to be not just a story of Bona, but a discourse on culture, cultural diversity and cultural assimilation. Is a thought-provoking book because even though the United States is not tribal in nature we are a country of multiple cultures and how these cultures must blend in order to become one cohesive unit. This is a wonderful novel, that is a short simple read, and grabs your attention from page 1. It is a book that most of us should read, and not just as cautionary tale of what has happened in Nigeria, but what could happen right here in the United States. A strong 4.5**** that I rounded up to a 5*****

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