#CreatepreneurAfrica- Nigeria’s Lieutenenant Alexander Emmanuel Ochogwu

 

Welcome to the world of an academic, teacher, lover of arts and author, Alexander Emmanuel Ochogwu, ready to embrace a world of peace!

 

 

Air Force Flight Lieutenant
Strategist
Poet and Writer
Expert in Peace, Security and Conflict Studies

 

His debut  “Diary of a Boy Soldier”, a historical fiction, is a first-hand literary revelation that chronicles everyday realms in the dynamic life and times of being a student at the Nigerian Military school

The unique storytelling journeys through adventures, thrills, and suffering encapsulated in the diaspora of life experiences at a military school in West Africa.

 

 

 “Omo” made the list of Daily Trust Newspaper ‘Most Anticipated Book of 2018’, amongst other pre-published recognitions. 

I like music, musing, surfing, traveling, solitude and locked up in God’s Presence.I am focused, with an eye for excellence. I believe in me.I can CHANGE the WORLD  : Alexander Emmanual Ochogwu

Meet #CreatepreneurAfrica,Alexander Emmanual Ochogwu Air Force Flight Lieutenant

Tell us what drives you?

The realisation that life is ephemeral and the value we add along our journey through this path is what matters.

What is your true passion in life?

To invest my personality by way of mentorship and artistic expressions, on others as much as I can so as to make the world around me better than I met it.

How did you find you passion and how old were you?

Finding my passion was accidental. I was barely twelve when I realised I had elements of creative writing skill. My classmates back at Nigerian Military School Zaria (A military secondary school in Nigeria) had rewarded me with gifts whenever I wrote love letters or constructed persuasive letters on their behalf, to their parents.

Knowing I was sought after gave me the validation that I had this skill inside me. Subsequently, I became intentional about it  – did more studies about the art and began building my vocabulary library, as we used to call it back then.

What about your passion appeals to you the most? 

The understanding that through writing and mentorship I can impart lives.

What drove you to make money from your passion?

Money is good, yeah. However, for me, money comes second place after my passion, which is to add value to my world. With my understanding that when one meets a need, reward follows, meeting a need is my drive. Money naturally comes as the reward.

When was the first time you were paid for your passion?

As an amateur writer in secondary school, I had received gifts and cash tokens as appreciation for the work I did.

But since I took up writing professionally, I started getting paid for my work in 2005 when I wrote my debut novella, The Diary of a Boy Soldier.

What kept you going when you were about giving up?

The biggest challenge I had was that of external validation until I discovered that I had my own unique voice and had to stick with it. So I resolved within myself that I have a special skill that requires no further validation for me to operate within the space of my belief. This decision got me over the waves of discouragement and discontentment.

What motivates you every day to be even more successful?

The realization that knowledge is inexhaustible and as such, the need to continually improve myself through learning from others so that I can give back to my downlines.

What do you have to say to all those who doubted you?

For all those who doubted me, I am grateful to them for making me excel above their doubts. They made me work harder and redefined myself to what I have become today, the very thing they had wanted to prevent me from becoming. They were a catalyst to this success story.

What advice do you give to aspiring creatives who look up to you?

As a creative, you must be ruthless with your passion. You must be open to learning and abreast of trends in your area of interest. The world is not friendly enough to accept you with ease. So you must be up-to-date, proficient and competitive in the marketplace.

Strive to break through, create your own unique voice, and shout until you are heard. Additionally, you must identify what your true motivation is, and when you find it, nothing can deter you from achieving it.

Your true motivation should not be money. Otherwise, you may give up when money fails to show up as planned.

Do not doubt: Women narrate the future! “Shining the light of literature in Africa”

Africa, the heartbeat of rhythmic narrative voices, the home of authentic root information, is on a mission to reshape its distorted, desecrated image. Words spark off like distant echoes healing scars inflicted by the wraths of colonialism.

From rhythmic poetry to reciting kings, the pulsating echo from the motherland of Africa in streams of African literature is rooted in oral tradition, moral values, cultural systems and laws that were passed on from wood fires in the villages spreading voices to be heard, passing through the rivers and mountains.


The Diverse Literature of Africa

Writers from the continent in the contemporary era bring a diverse perspective of the multifaceted and complex continent of Africa.

Wole Soyinka from Nigeria spread the wings of Africa literature awareness and development after claiming the Nobel prize in 1986. Magical extraordinaire from Africa followed with Ben Okri and ‘The Famished Road’. The enchanting tale from Africa in a magical tone of realism and claimed the poetic prose Booker prize in 1991.

Somalian novelist, Nuruddin Farah received the 1998 Neustadt Prize prize. Nigerian author emerged with ‘Measuring time’ and Mozambican Mia Couto’s lyrically delicious read  “The Last Flight of the Flamingo” took off in a magic realism masterpiece of note.

Sembene, Achebe, Hampâté Bâ, Kourouma, Marechera and Armah dominated the literary scene,  then came the flowing voices of women in Africa with Mariama Ba and Bessie Head who pioneered African feminism.

 The Literary Voice of Women from Africa

The last two and a half decades women writers came to the fore. From the classic ‘Nervous conditions” by Zimbabwean Tsitsi Dangaremba to  Cameroon’s Calixthe Beyal, showcased women from Africa that excel in literature.

Nervous Conditions -Tsitsi Dangaremba
Calixthe Beyala : La Plantation

 

Female writers came to the forefront like Fatou Diome, the acclaimed ‘The Belly of the Atlantic’ author.

The autobiographic ‘The Devil that Danced on the Water’ announced Aminatta Forna another great writer from the land of  Sierra Leone, home of Syl Cheney-Coker, an acclaimed poet.

A young girl from Nigeria, ‘Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’ made her debut on the literary scene taking the world by storm with ‘Purple Hibiscus’.  ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ followed, an epic of the Nigerian civil war.

Amma Darko, a tax collector expanded her creativity in Africa’s expression in the linguistic field. She published (Der VerkaufteTraum) Beyond The Horizon

Amma Darko – Beyond the horizon

Monica Arac de Nyeako from Uganda claimed the 2007 Caine Prize.

The past ten years have seen the emergence of publishing houses and broadened our understanding of the savannah. The diverse narrative from Africa continues globe trotting.

The internet has widened pathways for authors to circumnavigate the traditional publishing house methods, earn revenue and create online fans. EC Osunde proved this after winning the 2009 Caine Prize for initially published on Guernicamag.com.

The Caine Prize has provided a recognition for African writing in an annual platform to ensure the development of writing on the continent.

Binyavanga Wainaina, after winning the  Caine Prize in 2002  initialises, Kwani,  a  literary review in Africa. The infrastructure of African writing continues to develop with new publishing houses and the information exchange online of databases and African studies as well as social networks like twitter transcend all publishing barriers giving a Voice to Africa.

The Colonial Linguistic barriers  dividing  Africa – reinforced

The question of language was always debated regarding the logic of English in literature writing in indigenous languages grew

Ngugi Wa Thiong’   wrote his novels ‘Devil on the Cross’ and ‘Matigari’ in Kikuyu and abandoned English, the language of colonizers.  ‘Devil on the Cross’ was successful in sales and emerged with 50,000 sold copies.The landmark of indigenous language in African literature.

 

Linguistic barriers perpetuate the divisions rooted in colonialism preventing literature from Africa to become cohesive in a movement of Pan Africanism.The Uk celebrates English writers from Africa, France endorsed authors in Francophone brackets from Mali Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.

Translations do exist, but it is common for intellectuals to get sponsored by ex-colonies. Further investment in translation in the core for Pan Africa readership and appreciation. Established pan African faculties may be the key to resolving the challengeThe challenge of building local markets and readership remains. The selection of a book in the country’s national curriculum can guarantee sales. Sales need buying power and literature is not prioritized as many live in poverty.

The selection of a book in the country’s national curriculum can guarantee sales. Sales need buying power and literature is not prioritized as many live in poverty. Writings contrast the picture of Africa as a continent of darkness and delusion with narrative posing the eclectic and fruitful real Africa.

The call for Africa to rephrase history had arrived in 1986 when Wole Soyinka took center stage as the dramatist in poetic overtones. Exposing corruption and political injustice was no smooth flowing route, -yet the mission to fade away the myth of  Africa being incapable contributes to the need for Africa writing.

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