Maverick author, producer, and filmmaker, Onyeka Nwelue and prolific poet and writer, Ikenna Chinedu Okeh, teamed up to write the children’s book titled ‘Saving Mungo Park’.
The book which subverts the colonial idea that Mungo Park discovered River Niger, stirs up questions in the minds of the young by teasing possibilities that it was Africans who retrieved Mungo Park from a river that displaced him. The children’s book is published by Hattus Books, an imprint of Blues and Hills Pictures LTD in collaboration with Baron’s Cafe (Aramide and Baron’s Cafe are imprints of Fairchild Media) in March 2021.
Ikenna Chinedu Okeh, the co-author of Saving Mungo Park wrote in the introductory note of the book noted that ‘In writing ‘Saving Mungo Park’, we intend to tell the story of Mungo Park’s encounter with the famous River Niger, and his relationship with the native communities around the famous river. ‘In this book, we approached this historical subject with a fresh perspective that’s rather traditionally ignored, perhaps as a matter of convenience.’
Femi Morgan, founder, and advisor at Fairchild Media noted that the book brings to the fore playful reverse aggression to the colonial Mungo Park narrative. The book reflects Mungo Park’s weakness while engaging the civilization and prowess of Africans who live and make social and cultural meaning along the River Niger. It stretches the imagination of the child whose inquisitiveness is stirred by the myriad possibilities of storytelling. These two authors attempt to spark the mind of the African child to the politics of colonial history which have been crammed into textbooks.
Ikenna Chinedu Okeh and Onyeka Nwelue were born in Ezeoke Nsu in Imo State, Nigeria and both went to Mount Olives Seminary in Umuuezeala Nsu.
Ikenna Chinedu Okeh is the author of six collections of poetry and a crime novel–The Operative. His narrative poems, ‘a Tale of Twist’, and ‘An Eye of an Isle’ have caught the critical eyes of lovers of The Illiad.
Ikenna is also the author of children’s books, ‘When Everyone Sings’ and ‘The Man who Thought Little of Himself’. He also writes music reviews for UbuntuFM, a platform he co-founded to promote and engage music across the globe. Okeh is also the co-founder of Educate One Child Foundation, an organisation dedicated to making books available to children in African communities. www.educateonechild.org. He lives in Turkey.
Onyeka Nwelue is the author of three novels, The Abyssinian Boy, The Beginning of Everything Colorful, and The Strangers of Braamfontein. He is also the author of The Lagos Cuban Club, a collection of poetry. Onyeka has also come full circle as an artist as he has also produced non-fiction work, essays, articles, poetry, documentaries, films, a musical play, broad and encapsulating interviews, music projects while involving himself in social and cultural commentaries on a national and global scale. He backpacks delicately around the world.