|Chinedu Enechi, Author|
Chinedu Enechi writes the story of IFECHIDERE to tell us about child abuse and the unfair treatment of women and the underprivileged. It is a story based on the real life of his mother.
Enechi says he has more stories to tell and plans to continue writing. When he is not writing, he enjoys watching movies, cooking, and reading.
Don't miss the excerpt at the end of his interview.
Q: In what genre would you place your novella, IFECHIDERE? Would it be in contemporary women’s fiction? Why?
Chinedu Enechi: Yes it is; it has a lot to do what is happening now in our society in terms of child abuse and traditional violation in terms of the Osu/Ohu nightmare that hurts a lot of marriages. Everyone should be treated with fairness and the same. The same women that give birth to so called Osu/Ohu give birth to so called free ones. From time immemorial, women have faced rejection from so many quarters and it needs to stop.
Q: What inspired you, a man, to write a woman’s story?
Chinedu Enechi: I have a lot of faith in women. I hate it when women are marginalized or disrespected.
Q: How does your setting influence your story? Would Ifechidere have had a similar life wherever she was living?
Chinedu Enechi: No, not really. I think the part of the problems Ifechidere faced came from the culture and tradition in which she found herself. A culture and tradition that neglects and takes the less privileged for granted and creates an illusion of people not being equal. I think if she had to be in environment that respects and cares more for children as well as less privileged, her life wouldn't have been the same.
Q: Why will readers care about Ifechidere? How will they relate?
Chinedu Enechi: “Ifechidere” is actually based on my mother's real life story and it's a really touching one. It's the kind of story that makes people ask questions and re-evaluate how they treat the less privileged, or even how people relate with each other.
Q: Does the concept of hero vs villain apply to your story? Is Ifechidere a heroine? If so, Is there a villain? What makes a compelling villain?
Chinedu Enechi: Yes, Ifechidere is a heroine and there are a number of villains. I think a compelling villain actually adds to the character of the hero.
Q: Did you use humor to tell your story or develop your characters?
Chinedu Enechi: Not really … but there are some places you laugh, because some things in the book are just naturally funny.
Q: How do you drive readers to want to “turn the page?” How important is suspense or romance?
Chinedu Enechi: “Ifechidere” is full of a lot of moments. There's also suspense, such that when you start reading, you won’t want to put it down.
Q: Did you write IFECHIDERE strictly to entertain your readers, or did you embed a message in your story?
Chinedu Enechi: Ifechidere’s story wasn’t actually for entertainment. It’s a story that conveys a message.
Q: What’s next? Will you continue to write fictional stories?
Chinedu Enechi: Absolutely yes, I have more stories to tell.
Q: Tell us about Chinedu Enechi. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Chinedu Enechi: I am a determined person. I also enjoy going out whether or not I am with friends, watching movies, reading and cooking.
About Chinedu Enechi
Chinedu Enechi is a Philosophy graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MA student of Political and Social Philosophy at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
His hobbies include cooking, reading, watching movies and hanging out with friends.
The loss of both her parents, even before she is old enough to speak, appears to pre-determine Ifechidere's life. She is made to toil from dusk to dawn.
Yet, Ifechidere is no modern-day Cinderella, as she finds that faith in the will to survive, which is stronger than any absentee fairy godmother, will propel her to find herself. And it'll lead her to the thing that was always meant to be ...
Ifechi sat pitifully on the damp floor with her two legs crossed. It was sometime after the heavy and hideous pouring of rain. The storm had been riotous and sharp. It was the last rain of the year, in the middle of November, which would inevitably usher in the harmattan.
It was exactly 8pm. An hour earlier, she had been summoned by her clod uncle and wicked aunty. Onukwube, the stubborn, little child of Ifechi’s uncle, refused to sleep, crying himself into a popper. He had kept up the crying since his mother left him and went out with his father. Ifechi did everything humanly possible to stop him from crying; she sang the lullabies, which mothers and nannies often used to lure kids to sleep whenever they were disturbed, all to no avail.
Onukwube was a boy of six years, with a fat face; he was ugly like his mother, heavily built, with small eyes and a big head. When they came back, they saw him crying beside Ifechi, who was standing outside their small three-bedroom mud house. Ogolo, Ifechi’s aunty, upon seeing him, took him and started petting him, claiming that Ifechi was bewitching her son. She scolded, then hit her with a wooden stick. Then she went inside the house with her son, leaving poor Ifechi, to cry on the floor. After they had finished eating the soft and smooth pounded yam with ogbono soup Ifechi prepared for the family, they called Ifechi in and ordered her to clear the empty dishes. She wailed disconsolately like a maniacal dog, with her nose running.
With not even a sympathetic neighbour to console her, Ifechidere sobbed. She lamented painfully and her stomach grumbled. She had not been offered even a morsel of the food she had prepared.
Ifechidere’s mother, Obidiya, died while giving birth to her after many years of childlessness. She named the child 'Ifechidere' – Ifechi, for short – as she gave up the ghost. The name alluded to destiny; it literally meant 'what the gods have written'. Ifechidere was only three years old when her father died in a bicycle accident – caused by his wicked, greedy younger brother, who had his eyes on his brother’s inheritance.
The fact that Ifechidere was alive, was a miracle. Even the daily beating, meted out to her by her uncle and his wife, did not stunt her physical growth. She was nine years old now, with an elegant oval shaped face, pointed nose, small, bright, sharp eyes, long and straight legs and beautiful dark skin. She was the spitting image of her mother. That was the reason that Ogolo and Obande hated her so much; each time they looked at her, they saw her mother.
IFECHIDERE is available in Kindle format in Amazon markets in the
United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia and India.
It is also available as an EPUB on Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Okadabooks and major online stores, as well as in the Apple store as an iBook
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