Book Review: The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.


Book Review: The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.

Ebinimi, star mechanic of Kalakala Street, is a man with a hapless knack for getting in and out of trouble.

Some of his troubles are self-inflicted: like his recurring entanglements in love triangles; and his unauthorised joyriding of a customer’s car which sets off a chain of dire events involving drugs, crooked politicians, and assassins.

Other troubles are caused by the panorama of characters in his life, like: his sister and her dysfunctional domestic situation; the three other mechanics he employs; and the money-loving preacher who has all but taken over his home.

The story is fast-paced with surprising twists and a captivating plot – a Dickenesque page-turner.

This is Ebinimi’s story but it is about a lot more than him. It is an exploration of the dynamics between working-class people as they undertake a colourful tour of Yenagoa, one of Nigeria’s lesser-known cities, while using humour, sex, and music, as coping mechanisms for the everyday struggle.
It is a modern-classic tale of small lives navigating a big city.

Book Details

Book Review: The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.

Format: 305 pages, Paperback.

Published: March 31, 2020 by Masobe Books

ISBN: 9789785728118

Language: English

Setting: NigeriaYenagoa (Nigeria)

My Review of The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.

It was my first time reading a book set in Bayelsa state, and I love it for me. I’ve heard so much about Bayelsa people and their very unique names, and I witnessed it first-hand in this book. Names like Hon. Aaron Barnabas-Treatment.

This book is about Ebinimi, a full time Mechanic, who has his workshop in Kalakala street in Yenagoa, with his co-workers; Saka, Boderick and Biodun.

Ebinimi loves women, but is scared of commitment. And that is why he is okay dating two women at the same time, Blessing and Adinna.

Maybe his fear of commitment stems from his sister, Ebiakpo’s dysfunctional marriage, maybe not. But the fact is that he isn’t ready to settle with any of the girls. Not with Blessing, not with Adinna.

Book Review: The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.

He will keep being a regular mechanic who juggles between his professional mechanic work and juggling with his studies, till he won’t.

That is the day his life will do a 360 degree turn. That is the day he would take one of his girlfriends out in Hon. Aaron Barnabas-Treatment’s car, and nearly meets his death.

I don’t like Ebinimi’s character. I think he is greedy and foolish most times. But I also don’t think I have a favourite character at all.

Blessing, one of Ebinimi’s girlfriends, is the type that latches onto a partner and refuses to let go.

And even if they are facing a ridiculous level of toxicity, would still remain in the toxic relationship and manage whatever love is dangled at her.

Book Review: The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.

She knows Ebinimi is unfaithful, but she doesn’t want to leave. Instead, she marks her territory by leaving her stuff in his house and wearing his clothes whenever she sees another girl visit him.

She is also very annoying, but a good cook, and that is why Ebinimi still keeps her by his side.

Ebiakpo is a sort of villain in this book. You won’t understand the power she wields, till you read through.

Saka murders Nigerian songs like no man’s business. I love the fact that afrobeat is infused in this book.

And reading this work, I could swear the writer wrote it in 2018. You can’t tell me the infusion of Legbegbe by Mr. Real, Diet by Tiwa Savage, Soco by Wizkid, Fake love by Wizkid and Duncan Mighty and others is merely coincidence. Nah. I was in my final year in school then, so these songs are peculiar to that time.

Saka sings these songs as they come to him, without minding the real lyrics, till the day he and his colleagues would become viral internet sensations, and then things would change.

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Book Review: The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.







Themes explored in this book

Book Review: The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.

I love the themes explored in this book. One is the theme of religion and how it is the opiate of the masses.

Reverend Ebizimor, a pastor that runs a church in Ebinimi’s compound would have so many of his female worshippers at his beck and call. I smelled something fishy from the onset, and I ended up not being wrong.

I wondered why his female worshippers were drawn to him blindly. Blessing, Ebiakpo, and Agnes, another fanatical member of his, would always go in and out of his office, conducting prayer sessions, and running errands for him.

In Nigeria today, religion has done more harm and good to us. Religion which is supposed to free us from the shackles of sin, has even become the rope that binds us hands and feet.

People are too submissive to their pastors that they fail to smell the sham that they are from miles away.

Book Review: The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.

So many marriages have been destroyed due to fake prophecies from fake pastors, but people would never learn.

Most women regard their pastors with too much respect than they even think of regarding their husbands with. These are the issues.

Also, there is the theme of greed. Everyone wants to reap where they did not sow.

When Saka and his colleagues become viral internet sensations, he becomes too greedy that he wants to enjoy the proceeds of the fame alone. This would bring problems to their friendship.

Also, when he finds out Ebinimi’s secret, he blackmails him with it, in a bid to extort money from him.

There’s also the betrayal of friendship on Ebinimi’s side. It shows the length people would go at destroying friendships because of money.

There’s also the theme of violence, and deception, and lies.

I don’t know why people are disappointed with the ending. I love it. It’s called poetic justice.

You don’t just destroy other people’s lives, and then enjoy yours with so much happiness and no regrets.

It’s a light and hilarious read, and you will laugh most of the time.

Anyway, I didn’t really feel the book so much. The author developed too many characters, and at some point the book became boring to me, and I just wanted to get it over with.

Towards the ending, when Agnes comes into the picture, I stopped enjoying it. But it’s a beautiful read regardless and you can give it a go. I will rate it as 3.9/5.

Have you read the book? What do you think about it? Please share your thoughts with me in the comment section. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on all social media platforms. Thank you for visiting Bookish Pixie.

The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.
The Mechanics of Yenagoa by Michael Afenfia.

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