Jola Naibi

Writer and amateur photog. I seek to inspire and inform with the words I write and share and the photos I take. I have written a book of short stories: Terra Cotta Beauty, and I am working on a lot more. Reading and writing fuel my energy. In reading, I explore this vast and diverse world, in writing, I employ my over-active imagination and address the 'what-if' questions that life often throws at us.


Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika: A Review

By on August 12, 2016

Like-A-Mule.jpgA title like that is bound to get anyone’s attention as it did mine and I was intrigued enough to find out more. Behind the cover of every book is a fascinating adventure and I surely did enjoy having this book as a companion during the time I read it.

I have always been drawn to this famous quote by the American inventor George Washington Carver: “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the week and strong. Because someday in your life you would have been all of these“. These are the words that linger throughout this enchanting tale. Although aging and the acceptance of the changes that accompany it, serve as the central themes, the author beautifully weaves in the vulnerability and frailty of the human character, told from the perspective of a patchwork of colorful characters who are presented to us throughout the story.

Ms. Manyika’s writing style will keep you mesmerized from start to finish as you traverse space and time from San Francisco where the story is set to Nigeria or India.

Some my favorites quotes from the book are:

I may be old, but farting and burping in public is not something I intend to succumb to. If I can help it. 

People come and go, buzzed in and out by the receptionist, who sits with her back to the outside world filing her nails and texting. All day long she’s on the phone. All day long. She’ll do well in old age, doing exactly as she’s doing now.

Featuring a rich literary sampling and a cultural potpourri, this is an unforgettable story of the beauty of the human spirit as the helplessness of aging longs for the tenderness of youth. I read somewhere that in every old person, there is a child wondering what in the heck happened to them. As you read this story, you are reminded of this ever so subtly as the mule slowly brings ice cream to the sun.