Title: Inferno of Silence
Author: Tolu’ A. Akinyemi
Publisher: The Roaring
Reviewer: Jimi David
With the publication of Inferno of Silence, a collection of short stories, Tolu Akinyemi, the prolific author of motivational cum inspirational books and poet of repute, has joined the pantheons of storytellers.
Before now, Akinyemi has authored a collection of Inspirational essays and five poetry collections which include his debut effort; Dead Lions Don’t Roar, Unravel Your Hidden Gems (inspirational/motivational essays), and Dead Dogs Don’t Bark (poetry). Others are Dead Cats Don’t Meow, Never Play Games With The Devil, and A Booktiful Love (Poetry – Released on the same day with Inferno of Silence). However, none of these aforementioned works was a product from the realm of the fantasia until his latest work, Inferno of Silence, published in 2020 under the aegis of UK-based The Roaring Lion Newcastle publishing house.
Apart from the lead story, Inferno of Silence, the book features six other stories including Black Lives Matter, In the Trap of Seers, Everybody Don Kolomental, and Return Journey. Others are Trouble in Umudike and Blinded by Silence. The stories deal with diverse contemporary issues affecting humanity. From parenting and marriage aggro to racism in global professional football arena despite its lucrative nature and career prospect for young Africans. Also, from religious fanaticism and charlatanism to the positive and evils of social media, the author effectively deals with all issues.
Indeed, a common thread runs through all the seven stories: the reality of our ever-changing times. In each of the stories, Akinyemi evokes different emotions depending on the issues at stake and the mood of the protagonist. For example, in Everybody Don Kolomental, a tertiary character, Shindara encapsulates the problems of people dealing with mental illness.
With over 3.484 billion users, the social media—Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr and Reddit—is the largest communication platform in the world. With Facebook leading with 2.3 billion users, there is no doubt that the social media has contributed immensely to civilization and modernization, turning the world into one huge village square where the man in a remote village of Zungeru can easily communicate with a lady on the street of London at the touch of a button.
However, despite its positive aspect, the social media also has its negative side. In a story in the collection, Akinyemi exposes the evils of social media. He narrates how a character in the book committed suicide due to the pressure of social media. In the Trap of Seers, the writer exposes activities of fake prophets, alfas and witch doctors, as captured in the relationship between Iyanu, a girl-child and her mother, Maami.
Like he did with his previous works where he has already etched his name in gold, Tolu Akinyemi as a debuting storyteller, holds a lot of promise for the future if he maintains the current standard or even attempts to surpass it. I recommend the book to all lovers of good fiction.