The Ultimate Path To Reality; A Review of Homecoming by Ola W. Halim

I came out of the mirror of my mind; I should be tall with a
skin toned the flesh of pawpaw and teeth a row of sparkling white laughter and a
perfect gapped tooth. Gifted and talented I am altogether… I am the picture
in the cynosure of eyes and I am the desire of all hearts- this is how I wanted
to be, but to traverse back with this perfect picture to my mother’s womb is a nightmare
and now that you despise my being… I am the child you will never pray to have
as a son/daughter. Introspection curses you and your hypocrisy of saying you want
me for a child in your loins. I am the child called the presence of the market,
the enemy of sun and the sole eyes of night. You say I am not made for salt; and
dammed me as the fragile savoury to appease the fury of the gods…                                                                                                                          
Critically, it is from this shade
I will begin to write about the strange shadow that opens the page with a rustle:    

 …I had crept into this world, munched in
a skin I thought was
The slipping
peel of cocoyam:
a spill of
light in the dark, a patch of pink and milk in the light, a pair of hazel eyes
seas worlds
drowned with their victories and failures.

I am albino! Fluently identified in father’s startled mouths,
the first doom of birth and a citizenship identity of Neverland. Homecoming is Ola
W. Halim’s personal reflection on albinism and the burden of wearing the skin of
an albino and couple with philosophy of life. I pray to sing sweetly the song of
INJURED EMOTIONS and other sub-themes around the ultimate realities of life that
form the marrow in the bone of this reflection.
BILDUNGSROMAN captures the reflection with a postpartum flicker
light through the wake of selecting a song from the discography of boyhood while
the ears see, the eyes listen to a faceless prejudice that summons God within a
twinkle to appear sitting on the heavenly lofty throne with massive regal before
the heart of imagination to answer the narrator’s query:and out of a million questions
I had found no answer for, I would ask him why he had made me albino…
The journey of life is a paved path or crooked path, even a slithering
road with tiers of discovery as labyrinth stretched arms or you yawn and forget
why the wind is suddenly angry with the dust. Let kindergarten be a metonymy for
education; the garden of dreams and loftiness, but the school becomes the blurry
eyeballs with hallucinatory film starring myopics in the eyes of Miss Umaru, and
mood looms as gloom. The incandescence of living is switched on again within the
spacious room of meditating a nirvana of actualization.
Organically, the plot
leaves the narrotor’s heart and family’s room to the street of Ibadan, being a universal
set that houses the social environment of Mokola, too and climatically, a typical
rural is alive and culturally, the cheeks that pledge to tribal marks accentuate
the locality; but significantly, it is the centre of the apparition that questions
if an albino boy is truly a spirit-child, but the mother prays and implicates Esu.
The exceptionality of albinism looms between the glasses and the binoculars.
Finding an unworkable
synonym between exceptionality and prejudice is a straightjacket that put the narratror’s
attention before the classroom of nature, but the normal school intervenes to spell
rightly or wrongly, the identity of an albino, but between prejudice and exceptionality
the ingredient of silence that spices pain is to become a theraphy advising imagination
to be creative as art’s boundless boundaries and being a prefiguration to attempt
being a writer, and the writer’s mind that barfs freethinking. But, doubt of being
a writer sticks out its jeering tongue and school still wears the face of wry.
Reality rises and broadly
as gay to be searched as universal glory. The ability of the narrative to switch
gives it the quality of a creative meander and the plot becomes organic and inorganic.
However, chapter opens to a family where father affectionately endears his son in
what the writer, Ola W. Halim expresses this way,
…Daddy held me
up to his eyes and I thought he was going to paint tales of echoes without my
footfalls. Rather he said I could never fly without the wings of Mummy, taking
up every raindrop meant for my skin and I laughed a sincere laugh for the first
time in my life…
Factual or fictitiously? Eagerness probes and gropes
for an objective memoir of the  per-sonae’s family’s warmth. Love, here emerges as a
sub-theme, but the element of an inorganic narratives surges again when reality
is for the first time attained in the reflection. The narrator agrees with reality
that resilience is quintessential to time, tide, age and relatively the role of
achievement is key no matter the circumstances. Also, it is the answer of reality
that children are byproducts of intoxicating love, veiled with the coverlet of lust,
an urge without the knowledge of the end result of the desire and it concurs further,
how you ennoble yourself is the royalty of your life.
Ultimately, life is up
and running and you will have to sulk if you wait and the ultimate reality o survival
becomes no stopping and no waiting. Thus, may your eyes never escape to read other
lexis/vocabularies of survival in the stanzas that ensue.
But, at the crescendo
of realities and a tug of steadfastness when mere skin or albinism /beauty matters
than knowledge and potential wealth, your mouths are mumbling prayer to God against
albinism in your lineage because you have now in your skin, the stimulus to how
it hurts not and how it doesn’t heal. Symbolically and metaphorically, the heart
in translation as the binocular of the writer, his third eye, sights afar and within.
Hence,accomplished as a writer, he writes his dream narrative of where the shoes
pinch others and how the unwashable large shit of depression becomes relatable in
those painful scenes with the inabilities of the Ministry of Emotions.
Halim is a switch with his narrative and he takes us anticlimatically,
back to the subject matter of love and acceptance through the soul of Wunmi. The
loves she has encountered should probably be crimes for the men involved as
stated in the legal code (419) of the constitution. But the new personae is an albino,
who will date an albino? two bodies fallowing love and acceptance, Wunmi is
coming to stability, but for him, the fear of soggy heart grips his already wet
soul and perhaps for the first time in the narrative acceptance came to the albino
through Wunmi’s heart translating something of to be human is amatus quoque ameris
– having been loved, you too should love; but when love is faked all around and
depressively collapsing inside the touches of the skin of emotion and tears made
a pond in his eyes.
Lagos is the land flowing
of milk and honey, just your cup you need for drink, but the cup and the milk, are
resolved this way:
 It was night
and the moon was a child’s toothprint on a loaf
The skyscrapers towered in silhouettes
against the sky. Bells chimed in the distance.
I brought my
box of books and clothes out and emptied it.
I had come to
this city with just the box and few clothes which had now turned rags.
It was with
the box and rags I was returning home. Nothing else.
I lined the
books in a circle and set the flames on them.
And the
clothes too.
By the
candlelight, I wrote a long letter addressed to myself:
About how
success was not measured by material acquisitions.
About how the
world was only unfair to those who had rejected themselves…
Those pains and hurts in the narrative are now stuffed in the
lyrics of songs by musicians like Diddy with song, Coming Home and creamed by the
lyrics of the song Home Again by Michael Kiwanuka –
Home again, home again
One day I know I’ll feel home again
Born again, born again
One day I know I’ll feel strong again
I left my head
Many times I’ve been told
All this talk will make you old
So I close my eyes, look behind
Moving on, moving on…
The road to Mokola is
now a labyrinth of road with strange signpost and familiar faces in the skin of
new people- we don’t know your agbole [compound]… will take you to the outpost
of mankind and bring you back in a wink to see what remained of home in the deficits
and the fatherly embrace that unleash warmth and tears scrolling down your face
to wash it clean for the much around realities of life.
In a world of over beaten
themes and scarce originality came this tour-de-force titled HOME-COMING by Ola
W. Halim. The lavender of aesthetic will cling to this reflection as it will walk
the path of age and in fact, to its centenaries. The ability of the writer to paint
language as work of collage and the employment of poetic and prosaic styles earns
it a foundation of originality and one of frontier breaking works.                                                                                                              
The plot plainly is structured around
bildungsroman to see how a character grows and typically, an organic plot structure
is needed, but for the employed digression with reasonable flashback technique necessitates
the employment of episodic plot structure.
Creatively, the reflection
is simply rendered in a first person narrative technique and symbolically explains
humanity and human relationship from the perspective of albinism.


Bolaji Akintola is a writer of poetry and also attempts play. A very good comrade of Ola W. Halim.

Recommended For You