TITLE: Caricature of Colors
AUTHOR: Olanrewaju Oranyeli
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: August, 2017
NUMBER OF PAGES: 136
REVIEWER: Oyindamola Shoola
“Olanrewaju has penned words that authenticate human emotions while concurrently guiding the reader to draw wisdom from experiences. With superb use of imagery, Olanrewaju kidnaps a reader’s attention from reality into his expressions. He effortlessly succeeds to create human existence in different hues.”
This collection shows that humor strange to the African culture. Divided into 5 palettes – Yellow, Mint, Grey, Blue, and Orange, Caricature of Colors comes with a mix of themes including friendship, love, motivation, goals and life’s pursuits, self-discovery, time, and death.
Caricature of Colors is a unique collection that transcends into the hues of our humanity and growth.
It gives an outstanding perception to value. Take for example the poem “Possessed” (page 14) where Olanrewaju writes:
“…for I’d always wanted to find something with someone
but not someone with something…”
In a poem that discusses relationships and marriage, Olanrewaju writes of an aunt’s concern about the woman that he may bring home. She says:
“Don’t bring a masquerade home
with long nails and lips that glow
beautiful to look at in the day when she naps
until the bight comes and she starts a dancing ritual…”
In another stanza of this poem titled “Masquerades”, Olanrewaju writes:
“She has so much stuffed in those clothes
a frown, some grudges and even a few farts…” (Page 22)
This poem is honest to the expectations that many African elders have for their children’s lovers.
In another poem titled “Wahala” (Page 32), a Yoruba word translated as trouble or a terrible mess, Olanrewaju paints the insecurities of love in a lighthearted way.
I like this book for any reasons, chief of which is the fact that it is not preachy. Similar to what Luvvie Ajayi did in “I’m Judging You”. Olanrewaju doesn’t write didactically in a way that punishes a reader. Still, he uses wisdom, and humor, to ensure that one can learn morals from his works ‘guitlessly‘.
It seems that I also see the influence of Tolu Akinyemi’s poems and a sprinkle of the Halima series in some of Olanrewaju’s works.
In conclusion, I’d like to state that Caricature of Colors is indeed one of very few poetry collections that represent Nigerian poetry, distinctly.
Get your copy.