Film Critic Unveils Football-themed Book to Inspire Children


Mary Nnah

Augusta Okon, a film critic and adaptation advocate, has unveiled ‘The Dreamer, The Traitor and The Forgotten’, which is the latest children’s book currently turning heads in her direction for good

The sports-based book revolves around the much loved game of football, which is a departure from the norm, and explores the world of a child as a young dreamer with the desire to leave his footprints in the sands of time.

The story is one of courage, hope, determination to succeed in the face of opposition and to encourage children never to give up on their dreams.

The story unveils nine year old Prince, who has dreams of becoming a great footballer. However, his parents kick against it, preferring the highly rated profession carrying prestige and the weighty financial reward.

As events unfold, he realises there’s a traitor who is bent on pulling him down as no one believes in this young dreamer living in the backward town of Imoren, not even his friends.

An encounter with The Forgotten, a mean old man feared by the indigenes with a haunted past, sets him on course into discovering something that would change his life forever.

According to Okon, “I chose the game of football based on its global acceptance and I dare say it’s the number one sport that commands a huge viewing audience both locally and internationally.

“The game of football has proven to be a powerful medium and unites people of different tribes, religion and race every time a match is played.

“Growing up in the 80’s, I heard of players such as Thunder Balogun, Mathematical Segun Odegbami, Samuel Okwaraji, Henry Nwosu, Muda Lawal, Philip Osondu, Fatai Atere, Etim Essien, Friday Ekpo, Nduka Ugbade and Stephen Keshi, among others and Nigerians were passionate about watching their local clubs play.
“Boys played street soccer, inter- house soccer and it was fun. Unfortunately, our parents kicked against a career in sports and entertainment and we had to choose to either be a lawyer, doctor or an engineer.

“Today the table has turned and the former is now the rave of the moment. Kanu Nwankwo, Austin Okocha, Rashidi Yekini, Finidi George, Victor Ikpeba and Obafemi Martins, among a host of awesome Nigerian footballers made the game of football a delight to watch.

“Fond memories of what we experienced growing up in the 80’s are captured in the book, making it easy for children in this generation to connect with our past, explore our world, and be inspired to be the best at what they do.”
The book’s title which no doubt has a filmy ring to it, style of writing was influenced by the movie side of her. Her previous book ‘The Quest For The Gem of Arubia’ which was shortlisted for the 2016 ANA/Ngozi Chuma Udeh Prize for Children’s Literature was fantasy based.

The Dreamer, The Traitor and The Forgotten encourages children to discover their talents, and encourages parents to aid in harnessing their talents rather than opposing their chosen field.

Children will find the illustrations by Trevon Crox visually appealing and be further drawn into the world of possibilities, keeping them engrossed with the story until the last page.
Children learn that irrespective of the nature of their birth, or what friends, families have tagged them as, they can achieve their dreams if they believe in themselves and work towards achieving it.