AUTHOR: Agatha Rachael Akullu
PUBLISHER: Iconic Publications
REVIEWER: Daniel Tusiimukye K’abaasa
Agatha Rachael Akullu wrote Arrow of Destiny at 14 and it is her maiden published book.
The story centers around the protagonist- Oumo Cana, who having lost both parents to the disease of the flesh is forced to seek hostage in the streets.
An Indian man, one Sudhir adopts him, but as fate would have it, Sudhir leaves for India.
This leaves the protagonist oscillating back to the streets again.
Amidst that jungle life, he discovers his athletic golden talent; an opportunity that saw doors of success open before him through time until he became an international Icon.
Agatha uses unique dark humour, fierce satire and penetrating insight.
She reflects social injustices and unsatisfied psychological needs like education, shelter in many African societies.
She calls for the adherence and procurement of such basic opportunities which will help change the lives of individuals engulfed in the perils of social injustice.
Beautifully combining facts and fiction, with fertile imagery, the author lays bare the supremacy of destiny in the life of Oumo.
Oumo is a total orphan who turned out to be a man of great reputation after a thought-provoking trajectory of life.
The thoughtfully employed coincidences bring simultaneity into the story, as well as makes the narrative richer and deeper.
An instance is when Drakes turns out to be Oumo’s uncle (his father’s long lost twin brother), and also when Oumo turns up to be Dinnah’s employer, even though she had ousted him out of her house thirty years ago.
It is upon such instances of coincidence that the theme of destiny in the book is also fully explored.
The sensory details, imagery and descriptions in the book paints mental images of scenes that grip readers from the very beginning to the end.
The striking descriptions of the flea beaten streets, the poverty struck homes, the rotten sewages among many others, further expose the dark sides of Alyat.
The intriguing suspense in the book builds immense tension in readers and sustains our interest.
A case in point is when Oumo is robbed, Dinnah is ousted out of home, and when she later meets Oumo.
Readers are immensely hooked to find out what happens next.
The aspect of foreshadowing in the book, especially when Ketty warns Prossy against willingly going to the streets to engage in prostitution, and when Dan Marvins says that Oumo’s talents will open doors for him; further creates an atmosphere of suspense and dramatic tension in the readers.
Readers cannot help to read further and find out what will prevail next.
The dark humor and hyperbole employed by the writer give the rather distressful, and sad storyline some sort of comic relief, and creates a lasting impression in us.
The writer did justice to the title since it is s a reflection of what transpires not only in Oumo- the protagonist’s life but also in the life of characters like Prossy, Drakes, Magall, and Tracy.
Events like the races, Dinnah’s conspiracy against Oumo, meeting the Sudhirs, Dan Marvins, and Drakes are all vivid instances of the supremacy of destiny; Oumo’s destiny being delayed but not changed.
Lessons like ‘no one knows what the future holds,’ ‘what goes around comes around,’ ‘life is not a bed of roses’ and ‘no one knows what he can do until he tries’ can be derived.
It was an edifying read for me, and I would recommend it for all, especially those who think life is prejudicial and contemplate giving up.
You can also read BOOK REVIEW: Dispersing Seeds of Discord
Daniel Tusiimukye K’abaasa, a columist with The Scholar Media Africa, is a Mechanical Engineering student at Makerere University, Uganda. He is also the CEO at Iconic Publications. His contact: firstname.lastname@example.org