Understanding Biyi Bandele’s Burma Boy

Burma Boy tells the little-known history of Nigerian soldiers who fought in the Chindits, a commando division of the British Army in Burma during the Second World War. The protagonist is Ali Banana, an irrepresible 14-year-old boy who sneaks away from home to join the battle. He is soon deployed with the Thunder Brigade to fight the Japanese in Burma. Dropped unceremoniously into enemy territory with orders to defend a lonely jungle stronghold, Ali Banana and the Thunder Brigade must rely on laughter, camaraderie and sheer faith to survive. Burma Boy is a work of historical fiction based on extensive research and the author’s remembrance of his veteran father’s tales. It describes war and weaponry, booby-traps and bombardment, in often stunning detail, and with much subtlety, humour and humanity. 

Ahmed Maiwada, a Nigerian lawyer and writer has reviewed this book to aid better understanding of the author’s intent. This review not only touches on Biyi Bandele’s characterization which influences the theme of the book, it also explains the author’s method of narration. Click to read

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