Houston, Texas, December 28, 2014: The international multimedia networks and public policy organization, USAfrica, has named Okey Ndibe, prolific commentator, professor of English/African Literature and author of the highly-acclaimed 2014 novel, Foreign Gods, Inc., as the African Writer of the Year 2014.
A statement issued from Houston, Texas, by the Founder & Publisher of USAfrica and the first African-owned, U.S.-based professional newspaper published on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, Dr. Chido Nwangwu, notes that “the trinity of Okey Ndibe’s contributions as a critical commentator, a first-rate scholar and a novelist validates USAfrica editors’ decision to recognize his outstanding skills. The riveting testimonial to his creative capacities is fresh and evident in Foreign Gods, Inc., which I had the privilege of reading in its advance/pre-publication galley in 2013.”
The novel tells the engaging story of Ike, a New York-based Nigerian, college-educated cab driver who undertakes a trip to his natal hometown in order to steal the statue of an ancient war deity and sell it to an arts gallery in New York City.
According to USAfrica founder, Dr. Nwangwu, “Foreign Gods, Inc. continues to draw warm reviews for the author who holds the inept or corrupt Nigerian political class in contempt. Prof. Ndibe began his journalism career in Nigeria, but relocated to the US in 1988 to serve as the founding editor of the defunct African Commentary magazine (co-owned by the great writer Prof. Chinua Achebe). Ndibe has written commentaries on diverse topics, including corruption, failure of public/governmental agencies, Biafra, youth unemployment, religious hypocrisy and exploitation, and the abuse of female students by male lecturers in Nigerian colleges and universities. He has served since 1995 as a contributing editor of USAfrica (print) and USAfricaonline.com. He also writes for the Daily Sun newspaper (Lagos) and, from 2006, for saharareporters.com.”
Ndibe, who earned MFA and PhD degrees from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, is the author of another novel, Arrows of Rain, and co-editor (with Zimbabwean writer Chenjerai Hove) of Writers, Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa.Arrows of Rain was first published in 2000 in Heinemann’s African Writers Series. Soho Press (New York) will release an North American edition of the novel on January 6, 2015. Ndibe, who has taught at Brown University, Connecticut College (New London), Trinity College in Hartford, Simon’s Rock College (in Great Barrington, Massachussetts), and the University of Lagos (as a Fulbright lecturer), is currently working on a series of memoir vignettes titled Going Dutch and other American Mis/Adventures.
USAfrica — with almost 23 years of professional journalism and multimedia publishing business from its headquarters in Houston, Texas — has been acclaimed by the CNN, The New York Times, international scholars and public policy leaders as the largest and arguably the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks.
and friendship hold lessons for humanity and Africans, USAfrica Founder Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and consequence to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”
He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being close to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.“I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that historic Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief executive of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when President Bill Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and came to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the internet, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/
By Chido Nwangwu
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