TITLE: I MUST RETURN HOME
AUTHOR: BRIGHT IGBINIGUN
NUMBER OF PAGES: 51
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2017
REVIEWER: OYINDAMOLA SHOOLA
Writers bear a great responsibility to document our history and our predictions of the future. We even bear greater responsibility in penning solutions to society’s many. It is expected that, just like music is the weapon of a singer, pens and books should be writers’ weapons to ensure that our communities’ problems in are not disguised and that our shared victories are not underestimated.
We encounter a consciousness and acceptance of these responsibilities in the poetry collection ‘I Must Return Home’ by Bright Igbinigun, a writer who is unashamed of telling the truth that Nigeria – the place he calls home alongside almost 200 million other, can and ought to be better.
In this debut collection, Igbinigun calls a spade a spade and goes further to declares solutions to the nation’s problems of corruption, injustices, unemployment and many others, unlike many people who prefer to complain and blame the so-called government.
Just like Kehinde Badiru, author of I Know Why Your Mother Cries, Igbinigun contributes to a generation that desires change and pursues it diligently, effectively using poetry as a vessel for social transformation.
He, therefore, distinguishes himself by deciding to be a part of the solutions. This is visible in many poems like I Must Return Home on page 23 in which he writes:
“I must return home
To clear the weeds,
Weeds that took over our nation.
The grasses on a green land.
That the crops might blossom,
That our soil be no more barren,
That crops may smile again.”
In addition to the message of hope that Bright projects in his poems, he also reflects on the teachings of the Scriptures. He challenges youths to stand for what they believe.
In a poem titled The Timothy Me, he writes:
“In you, Christ-likeness is no vague.”
“With an apple heart they shouted
Timothy has arrived
A different youth, Timothy.”
Another dominant theme explored in I Must Return Home is the realities of being an immigrant in America. In a poem titled ‘American Dream’ (page 46), Igbinigun reflects:
“I am that dreamer that never sleeps…”
This line caught my eye because, as an immigrant myself, it shares an experience I can relate to. He revealed in this poem that the true American Dream is not just about the dream, it is about the sleep that you are willing to sacrifice to attain the dream.
In conclusion, this book shows the possibility and effectiveness of reflecting upon and sharing our realities through words, as well as motivating us to act upon our goals and aspirations.
This is a book that can spark conversations and ideas of change in our communities and motivate youths to transform their societies.
Overall we experience a writer who is honest and whose works will and countries.