TITLE: FUNNY MEN CANNOT BE TRUSTED
AUTHOR: TOLU AKINYEMI
NUMBER OF PAGES: 159
PUBLISHER: Heart of Words UK
DATE OF PUBLICATION: February 9, 2017
REVIEWER: Shoola Oyindamola
From experience, I have come to believe that a writer, after a first success, must work at least twice as hard to ensure a successful comeback. And, more often than not, writers fail to hit the same high note in their second attempts.
But Akinyemi, after his successes with I LAUGH AT THESE SKINNY GIRLS and YOUR FATHER WALKS LIKE CRAB, again effortlessly prospers with brilliance and humor in this new collection: FUNNY MEN CANNOT BE TRUSTED.
Tolu’s style of writing and the content of his works realign many people’s preconceptions of poetry. The simplicity of his work is extremely admirable. With it, Tolu brings a transformation to poetry, as though motivated by awareness of the joy that poetry readers have when they understand poems.
Most of the poems in FUNNY MEN CANNOT BE TRUSTED are hilarious, albeit a bit didactic.
In the collection, there are poems about relationship that I thoroughly enjoyed, because they bring wisdom and knowledge to the things that matter when it comes to loving a significant other. There are also poems where he talks about infidelity in relationships by highlighting their consequences.
I particularly admire how Tolu embraces his “Nigerianess” in this collection by penning the realities of our culture and lifestyle – infusing the attributes and experiences of Nigerians. For example, he mentions our habit of asking people to join us to eat a meal when we silently mean that they are not invited and how we politely insult people, like in situations when they have overstayed their welcome.
Another thing I like about the book is its size – portability. I also particularly love the title. It could attract attention easily.
FUNNY MEN CANNOT BE TRUSTED is the kind of book that makes you forget to eat, because it’s keeping you satisfyingly occupied. Alongside I LAUGH AT THESE SKINNY GIRLS and YOUR FATHER WALKS LIKE CRAB, it changes the game in poetry writing all over the world and specifically in Nigerian literature.
This collection is a must read especially for upcoming writers to develop their creativity and ability to find writing-prompts from ordinary or daily situations. Any writer that needs a book to challenge his or her creativity should get any or all of Tolu Akinyemi’s books.
On a more serious note, I sincerely wish that poetry collections like Tolu’s can be included in the syllabuses for teaching English and Literature in Nigerian schools because they motivate students to learn, to read, to analyze and to write, unlike the boring poems that kill students’ motivation to love poetry.
SHOOLA OYINDAMOLA was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria. She is a published poet, a feminist, a mentor, a blogger and Co-founder and Resource manager of Sprinng Literary Movement. She loves to writes poems, essays and her non-classifiable opinions. She uses her writing skills with her feminist drive to discuss the gender injustices that need to be fixed. She published her first collection of poems titled “Heartbeat” in New Yo