All the keys to Yishau’s ‘Vaults of secrets’ -BOOK REVIEW


Credits: labphotography

Title: Vaults of Secrets

Author: Olukorede Yishau

Reviewer: Leye Abiola

Publishers: Parresia Publishers Limited

Pages: 118

Olukorede Yishau’s Vault of Secrets is rightly titled. Each chapter acts as a portal, transporting the reader to different times and places, often into the secrets and behind-the-scenes. With a hardcover book design that shows that Mr Yishau, being an avid reader has experienced regular dog-eared pages, the yellow and black-blue cover creates an atmosphere of a sensational yet serious read for the eager reader. 

The book begins with a glimpse into the life of a female inmate dying of leukaemia as she reminisces about a fellow inmate who died after a long journey through life that unfortunately ended behind bars. From there, we are presented with Emmanuel’s special gift of being in the right place at the wrong time, gathering secrets all the time. Funny gift, eh? To have this superpower under control would be awesome, wouldn’t it?

In the following chapter, Williams draws us into his diary to read about a secret he is the only living person alive that knows about- he’s the product of an incestuous relationship between his grandfather and his mother. So he’s the only person alive that knows that his mother’s father is his father. Confusing, right?

The following story is an epistolary between a former governor serving a prison sentence for treason against the country and his wife, a former first lady, who is attempting to pick up the pieces of the family's shattered life. With no break in between, we learn about the faulty Nigerian justice and legal system. Like Nelson in the previous chapter, Jacinta is serving a term for an innocent offence. Luckily, keeping an incestuous secret would provide her with a lawyer in no time. And she learns that her long-lost father, long thought to be dead, is still alive. Who can understand this thing called love?

A lawyer about to be called to the bar is once again caught up in cultism. Only that, this time, it’s at a national level with the movers and shakers of the country. This chapter only proves that some humans are indeed better than the devil at his craft. Otapiapia, the next chapter, is a sorry tale of lovers who can not bear the shame of their infidelity. An anonymous woman in the following chapter will never know the truth behind her late husband’s sudden reappearance with a new identity. She, however, can confirm that reincarnation and the Yoruba concept of Akudaaya are real.

Perhaps the most cringe-inducing and emotional story in the book is in Lydia’s world. I must say, the chapter left me with a few tears and like the author rightly added, I carried about the story in my head for some time after reading. How can fate just put one at the mercy of a God-forsaken hospital ironically named Chapel?

The final chapter is told from the perspective of the conscience, the open wound that only the truth can heal. Yet another account of a woman's choices and how she lives with a prodding conscience.

I consider "Vaults of Secrets" an awesome work of art. In all, we learn that while man is free to flirt with freedom and make his choices, they can ultimately hold him in bondage in a vault of secrets only to keep them till their death. I would rate the book a 9/10.

Olukorede skillfully and creatively combines social ills such as corruption, incest, marital infidelity and greater values such as social activism, love, loyalty in the ten-chapter book and immerses the reader in a fast-paced world of action and reflection. How about you read to find out some secrets of your own?

Mr. Olukorede Yishau


  1. Sounds like an interesting book. I'll look for it

  2. Wow this is a nice review. Please how can i get a copy?

    1. A copy is available at the department of Mass Communication, Unilag


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