Novel Review: Twingle Twangle By Femi Osofisan – Part One

Twingle Twangle is a novel written by Femi Osofisan based on a typical Yoruba setting with two male actors (a twin – Taye and Kehinde) who went on adventure into a forest in search for better life. The writer tried to portray in the novel war and peace and these were placed side by side in it. Based on the central theme of the novel, POVERTY, the writer tried to pin-point on the widespread of poverty.

The write, Femi, satirically portray that the world can be ruled even without strong hand – coercion or force, while at the same time, a leader can as well uses iron hand to rule his people – a tyrant, dictator and heartless leader, both aiming or targeting a purpose – protecting the interest of the people or self.

Baba Ibeji (father of twins) and Mama Ibeji (mother of twins) happened to be a victim of poverty and only to be given a twin as a solution to this problem. This is also one of the beliefs of the writer’s community that twins do turn a wretched family to a fortunate or wealthy family. After a while, the twin took an adventure to go and search out for life with their father’s consent. The journey is to take five years.

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Some years passed, these two brothers didn’t return from their journey; this caused Mama Ibeji to be fearful as to whether they are still alive or not, a highly tempered woman, insulting and rude and pounced on the Babalawo (herbalist) who she believed must have hand in the death or the non-return of her children.

In order to avert terrible scandal, the Babalawo asked her to be patient and he took out his opele (divination beads) which he cast for divination to know the where about of the twins. The man after casting the opele told Mama Ibeji that her sons are still leaving and to Baba Ibeji standing helplessly. A kind of flash back was used by the author to reveal what has happened and is happening presently in respect to the twins.

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The journey was not at all interesting and likewise very hard for the two brothers and their servants, Digbaro and Efundunke. It was energy consuming, redolent and stressful. A lot of argument came in at the crossing of frontiers due to the fact that the road has divided into two – one heading to the seashore and the other heading to the forest. At last Digbaro followed Kehinde to the way that led to the seashore with a bag full of weapons, while Efundunke followed Taye to the forest with a bag full of musical instrument. The writer made a comparison as to what it takes to be a leader and system of government, military rule and democracy.


by Oluwanisola Seun