The Shoeshine Boy

The Shoeshine Boy

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This book is about Akin Quicksilver's struggle to acquire education, which every Nigerian knows to be the surest means of ascending from poverty. With the death of his benefactor and a mediocre performance at the West African School Certificate Examinations, he knows that the only way to advance himself academically must be through his own exertion and determination. The inability to fulfill his educational ambition in Nigeria sets him out on adventure, which eventually takes him to Liberia where he has to eke out an existence by shining shoes. Through his dedication to his shoeshine business, he gets a lucky break. An Episcopal Mission in the country employs him as a utility man. In spite of suffering a series of setbacks, he obtains a scholarship to an American university and eventually wends his way to America. His strongest motivation for success is his love for Jumoke Phoenix, which is seriously threatened by his poor performance in the West African School Certificate Examinations. Jumoke is in grade one and Akin in three, with little or no chance for further advancement. The problem is further complicated by the appearance of a rival who seems to be gaining an upper hand in the competition for Jumoke's affection. Akin is determined not to give Jumoke the satisfaction of saying in future: qI m glad I left him at the time I did.qHe did this for two months, wearing out the soles of his shoes and with nothing to show for his efforts. ... Akin saw many Nigerians, Sierra Leoneans, and Ghanaians either repairing watches or shining shoes in the commercial section of the city. ... He decided to go into shoeshine business because it required little or no investment. ... He also bought work uniforms: a pair of khaki shorts and a khaki shirt.

Title:The Shoeshine Boy
Author: Harrison O. Akingbade
Publisher:Trafford Publishing - 2003-07-01

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