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#SoundOff: Why I Am Writing A Book That Could Hurt Many Of My Relatives

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Onyeka Nwelue | The Trent Voice
Onyeka Nwelue | The Trent Voicehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onyeka_Nwelue
Onyeka Nwelue is an author and founding member of The Trent Voices and visiting lecturer of African Studies at The University of Hong Kong and Manipur University, India. He won a Prince Claus Ticket Grant in 2013. He lives in Puebla and Paris.

by Onyeka Nwelue

Onyeka Nwelue's father (right) and an associate in an undated photo (Photo Credit: Onyeka Nwelue/Facebook)
Onyeka Nwelue’s father (right) and an associate in an undated photo (Photo Credit: Onyeka Nwelue/Facebook)

I want to share this picture with you. That is my father there! My father sent it to me with other pictures and documents. I am actually in possession of a lot of my father’s documents that my siblings have no idea. Even my father’s siblings don’t have these documents. I feel blessed to have them. Why?

They are materials for my new book, Nollywood, Stranded: A Travelogue and Other Stories of Rome.

I have gone through my father’s diary. I know the people who have dealt with him and the things he has been through in the hands of people. I will come for those people when I am ready. I have distanced myself from family relatives because of the things I have read from my father’s diary. Not everyone should be allowed in your life, no matter how related you think you are. Blood is not thicker than vanilla ice cream.

When my grandmother died in 1998, everyone read beautiful tributes, even those who hated her when she was alive. I was young. I did not realise that once you’re dead, you become a nice person.

I am writing this book to escape lying if my father dies and I am supposed to speak about him. My father would have read my thoughts about him before he leaves earth.

Will this book hurt anyone?

I don’t care.

A book is a timeless property. Once published, you can’t take back your words. I am ready for anything. If you have ever encountered me in life, good or bad, be rest assured you will be traced in my book, with your full name.

For those who have treated my parents badly, you will read what I heard. You can tell your side of the story in your own book. I am not going to be apologetic.

My book is out in September by Omji Publishing House

Onyeka Nwelue is an Assistant Professor of African Literature and Studies at the University of Manipur, Imphal and Visiting Lecturer of African Studies at the University of Hong Kong. He is currently on the Jury of the Woodpecker International Film Festival in India and his latest book is Hip-Hop is Only for Children.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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