Title: Caricature of Colors
Author: Olanrewaju Oranyeli
Year of Publication: August, 2017
Number of Pages: 136
REVIEWER: Oyindamola Shoola
"Olanrewaju has penned words that authenticate human emotions while concurrently guiding the reader to draw wisdom from experiences. With superb use of imagery, Olanrewaju kidnaps a reader's attention from reality into his expressions. He effortlessly succeeds to create human existence in different hues."
Caricature of Colors gives an outstanding perception to value. In a poem titled "Possessed" (page 14) Olanrewaju writes;
"...for I'd always wanted to find something with someone
but not someone with something..."
Furthermore, in Caricature of Colors, you will find humor that is not strange to the African culture. In a poem that discusses relationships and marriage, Olanrewaju writes of an aunt's concern about the woman that he may bring home. She says;
"Don't bring a masquerade home
with long nails and lips that glow
beautiful to look at in the day when she naps
until the bight comes and she starts a dancing ritual..."
In another stanza of this poem titled "Masquerades", Olanrewaju writes;
"She has so much stuffed in those clothes
a frown, some grudges and even a few farts..." (Page 22)
This poem is honest to the expectations that many African elders have for their children's lovers. I also see the influence of Tolu Akinyemi's poems and a sprinkle of the Halima series in some of Olanrewaju's works.
In another poem titled "Wahala" (Page 32), a Yoruba word translated as trouble or a terrible mess, Olanrewaju paints the insecurities of love in a lighthearted way. Just like in Luvvie Ajayi's "I'm Judging You", Olanrewaju doesn't write didactically in a way that punishes a reader. However, with wisdom, and humor, one can learn morals from his works without any form of guilt.
Caricature of colors is divided into 5 palettes; Yellow, Mint, Grey, Blue, and Orange. The themes of this anthology include, friendship, love, motivation, goals and life's pursuits, self-discovery, time, and death.
I am so proud to say that this book is one of very few poetry collections that represents Nigerian poetry in a distinguishing way. I admire Caricature of Colors and it is a unique collection that transcends into the hues of our humanity and growth.