”Once upon a time, there was a boy and a girl. In the beginning, there was love then their love made way for more love. It brought together a few souls but they all suffered a great loss. After their loss, they had to learn to live without hope while struggling to hold on to their faith. This is a story of his journey towards healing. Towards love. Towards learning.” – Jade Novelist
Tumaini is an indulgence for those who love poetry and those who seek to find guidance towards their own healing journeys. In this anthology, Jade Novelist tells the story of the passing of his son, his relationship with the mother of his son as well as his healing journey.
He makes use of poetry to eloquently apprise his story. With 10 chapters, namely Forever & Eternity, Anticipation, The days After Forever, Life Without Hope, Dear God, Finding Jade, Angels, Lost & Found, Teach Me How To Love and lastly The Healing; each chapter addresses a phase in his life, the emotions he went through during that time, healing as well as instilling hope.
I have to say this anthology made me uncomfortable and uneasy. Uncomfortable in the sense that it forced me to accept that my healing journey is yet to begin and that I still have a lot of work to do within myself, for myself. Although I am grateful for this, it was definitely not an easy realization. Therefore, even though the anthology encourages healing, it definitely will make you uncomfortable because it will force you to uncover the pain you choose to hide and force you to dig out the trauma you have worked years to forget and for that I am sorry but it wouldn’t be an amazing book if it didn’t live you either shaken or not moved at all.
This is a doorway for us, the readers, to get to know Jade Novelist on a somewhat personal level, not just the poet but the person behind the words. We often forget that those who give content are also human and forget that maybe they could be going through a rough patch at times thus I believe that Tumaini is Jade Novelist’s way of reminding us that behind the “Nothing but Word Porn” there’s also a person, just like me and you.
The word play and use of poetry as a story telling technique is unmatched in this anthology. Jade Novelist found words I was yet to find to express the pain that comes with losing someone you care about. This makes the anthology not only relatable but able to set one free and give one a voice.
In addition, I commend Jade Novelist for his ability to call out toxic masculinity and to show its negative implications on men’s mental health as well as emotional well being. It is unfair that men continue to not be allowed to fully process and feel pain especially when they have suffered the loss of a child. It is unfair for men to have to hear how their pain is insignificant compared to the pain that the mother of their late child is feeling. I am glad that through this anthology he has allowed himself to feel and process some of his pain even though those around him at the time never gave him room to do so.
To end this review, I would like to confess and acknowledge my close relationship to both Jade and the book, as I have known Jade for a long time and wrote the book’s foreword. However, relationship aside, my review was my fair reflection of his work and the message it relays.
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