Girl, 12, manifests incredible passion for writing
By Gabriel Dike
You can call her Chimamanda Adichie in the making or the next kid on the block as regards creative writing in the country. You certainly would be right. At 12, Ijeoma Nwaogu, a JSS 2 pupil of Dominican College, Mafoloku, Lagos, is no doubt one of Nigerians youngest author.
Just recently in Lagos, Ijeoma unveiled her second book, Adventure of Emily and during the launch of the book, authors, teachers, classmates, school administrator, educationists and even her parents showered encomiums on her zeal to write books at her age, hoping they she would do the nation proud like others authors.
Ijeoma, born in Florida, USA but from Aboh- Mbaise in Imo State, was the star attraction at her book launch. She is from a family of authors. Her mum, Dr. MaryJoan Nwaogu, has written over 9 books for primary and secondary school and over 12 manuscripts; while her dad, Dr. Marcellinus Nwaogu, has published one book. Also, her younger brother has two manuscripts, while her elder brother has one manuscript.
Ijeoma’s mum, Dr. (Mrs.) MaryJoan Nwaogu said, with her second published book, she was heading to greater height, and already has five manuscripts waiting for perfection, stating: “She has always been a story teller. When you tell her stories, she will tell you her own version of the same stories.’’
Dr. Nwaogu, a physiologist, disclosed that Ijoema attended SOS Isolo Primary School, Isolo, Lagos, and edited her first book at the age of eight, noting” In her primary school, at age four or five, the pupils are expected to know how to write and read.’’
He insisted Ijeoma took after her mum who has over 11 published books and about 12 manuscripts waiting for publication, and recalled that she liked asking questions before she started school, and that her inspiration could come anytime.
Her dad, Dr. Marcellinus Nwaogu, revealed that what inspired Ijeoma was more of curiosity, stressing,” As a child, she enjoys bedtime stories. She will not go to bed without somebody telling her folk stories. This is not her first book.
“Lost Girls is published before the Chibok girls were kidnapped, and I asked her If she had the premonition on the kidnap of the Chibok girls. The book was published in 2012 when she was in primary three at eight. She started writing at the age of five.
“She must have tapped the inspiration from her mother who is also a writer. Her other two siblings are writers. The youngest, Uchenna, eight years wanted to publish but his computer crashed and he couldn’t retrieve the manuscript. You are right, that is what is beginning to look like. That my family is a family of writers,’’ Dr. Nwaogu disclosed.
The Principal of Thames Valley College, Sagamu, Mrs. Ogechi Epke, who chaired the book launch, said she was happy, because youngster had started writing books, stating: “A 21st Century child is focused on creative things.’’
Reviewer of the book, an author and Chief Executive Officer of Travel Next Door, Mr. Pelu Awofeso, said: ‘’For some at her age to have written a book left a lasting impression. Ijeoma has improved from her first book. There is so much in her mind, she seems to be in a hurry to pass across certain information to the youth.’’
Speaking with The Sun Literary Review, Ijeoma disclosed that it took her about a year to write the book: “I did the bulk of writing at home. My mum helped to edit and publish into book. After doing my assignments and reading, I would start writing the book by typing in the computer. I had sleepless night while writing the book.”