Kingsley Onye is a Nigerian writer resident in the United Kingdom. He is a lawyer, biographer, publisher, poet and member of the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Onye, in a recent chat with the reporter, noted that his works have been generally accepted in the UK.
The Ihiala, Anambra State, indigene, has written about 15 books that include novels, poetry, children’s books and cartoons as well as educational books for schools and colleges. His books, he noted, are available in several countries and in the popular online bookstore, Amazon. Onye, who is also an educationist and motivational speaker, said his works have won him a number of awards, including the Best Author Awards at Beffas, as well as the Nollywood Entertainment and Leadership Awards 2018, among others.
Some of his books include Career Talks in Verse, Rat Rebellion, Animal Kingdom Poems, Collection of African Children’s Twilight Stories, Cartoon Kidzmag, Sure Success in Oral English, Sure Success in 500 Model Q & A in English and Sure Success in English Grammar and Letter Writing. Others he is presently working on are Alien Invasion in the City of London, The Windmill of Care Homes and Animal Kingdom Poems 2.
As a writer who draws inspiration from humanity and animals, Onye’s works reveal a tapestry of changing values as they concerns children and the youth. To him, the youth should be in charge of their lives and have a more positive and proactive view of their future.
Onye said his mission is to inspire young people and make them relevant in society by turning them away from drugs and other dangerous vices. He asserted that his literary gift could be a medium of change.
He would love to re-channel the lives of Nigerian youth, especially the less privileged. This, he said, necessitated his collaboration with friends and international business partners. Plans have been concluded to set up a non-governmental organisation, with a wide reach, aimed at empowering and teaching life-changing skills.
“Our focus would be on orphans, low-income earners and the less privileged. We also intend to sponsor education and provide jobs. The organisation would have a wide spread to ensure diversity and inclusion,” he said.
Onye maintained that the idea of getting rich quick, which has become the mentality of the average youth in the country, should be discouraged. In his words, a lot of efforts go into being successful. He said he was bent on making the youth in Nigeria know how much better off they could be with a good career.
“My works impact humanity,” he said. “If we could do more to encourage the future generation, we would achieve a lot. We have to consistently let them know that there are other ways of making a living without necessarily delving into crime and other related vices.”
The author lamented that reading culture had deteriorated badly in Nigeria and Africa. He noted that it could be revived, given the right environment and encouragement.
Onye stated that everyone has a story that could inspire many to be better and people should be inspired to write. Part of the solution to the problem, he emphasised, was re-instating reading as a subject in the education system through excellent policies: “In a situation where we encourage them to read more often, they would excel. Reading opens up the mind to broader things and thoughts. It keeps you constantly informed about events and developments around the world.
“My becoming an author and developing the creative ability was the handiwork of my mother. While growing up, she made it a duty to gift me with children storybooks and novels on my birthdays. With that encouragement, I became a voracious reader.”
He said, with an audacious mindset to write better than the authors whose books he had read, he set out to achieve his dream and is now proudly living his dream.
“My point is that we can revive reading culture in the country by ensuring children and the youth have access to books. They should be creatively and intelligently engaged and helped to hone their creative skills,” he said.
On the menace of piracy, the author said the law protecting intellectual property was very strong in the UK, and urged the Nigerian government to work towards doing the same. The author said he believes in taking chances, so he is undeterred by the threat posed by piracy of his works.