Year of Publication: 2010
‘Was my arrival in the US a day to curse or bless?’ begins the story.
‘All is renewed and my life starts again.’ ends the story.
Between these two lines is a masterly, well-crafted narrative with its twists and turns, despair and hopes, high-pitched dreams and stuggles of a young man named Jojo Badu.
The novel tells the story of Jojo Badu, who seeks educational sojourn in the United States. Before he leaves to the United States, his family and loved ones bid him farewell and hope for his return. His much loved Uncle, Uncle Kusi pleadges his support to work with him upon return. Marjorie, his beloved, refuses to accompany him to the airport.
Upon arrival in the States, Jojo is presented with many challenges that would later help reshape him into a responsible man.
Having knocked the novel down in a day and a half, the story left me with many thoughts.
When there is an attempted coup in Ghana, Jojo is met with sorrow, pain and fear when the news about the involvement of his uncle is relayed to him.
So what happened to Uncle Kusi who was more than a father to Jojo Badu?
Would Jojo Badu return back home?
Benjamin Kwakye is a brilliant writer, he writes intellectually.
The Other Crucifix is expertly written with a blend of political and historical events and explore themes that are relevant to Africa and African-American culture.
My favorite part of the novel is summed up in Jojo’s utterances:
‘How could my Uncle Kusi be rendered so inconsequencial? Was this the country to which I wanted to return to after graduation? Check.’ Page 112.
This is one novel you cannot underrate. Highly, Highly, Highly, Highly, Highly Recommended!
Copies are available at amazon.com.
Purchases in Ghana can be made at The Silverbird Bookstore in Accra.