“We Won’t Be Illegal Forever” by Nneoma Ike-Njoku, age 18
Mararaba, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
Graduate of Loyola Jesuit College
I was born in Festactown, Lagos, and am the second child of six. Literature came very early to me. At three, I was copying random words and phrases from religious posters and pictures around our house onto scraps of paper. By the time I turned seven, my brother, Dee Dirichi, and I had unearthed and devoured a few books from my father’s special, “not to be soiled by wandering children” collection – we were spared punishment only because of the bewilderment this feat generated.
I’ve always been inexplicably fascinated by writing; by the familiar, almost sacred feel of my fingers against the narrow coolness of the pen, by the excitement of the moment an idea becomes a daughter cell, actively dividing into legion. The intimacy of creation involved in the telling of a story offers the chance to discover, where the discovery is your own self and your own mind. You discover yourself as the creator in the characters you create.
Besides writing and reading, I enjoy drawing, sculpting and attempting to cook. I am presently working on a short story collection and will be studying liberal arts at St. John’s College, New Mexico, this fall.
2014 Progress Report~
Since ‘’We Won’t Be Illegal Forever’’ won second place in the 2013 Young Writers Contest, I’ve been, well, writing. I’ve written a couple of poems for e-magazines and started a personal blog, StreetWomanistWriter (http://nneomathelma.tumblr.com/) where I post some of my short stories, ideas and poems, and share others that interest me. In July last year, I was shortlisted for the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop organized by internationally renowned Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie. In August I made the longlist of the Golden Baobab Picturebook Prize for my children’s short story, Elelenma. I’m presently working on my first young adult novel which I hope to publish sometime next year.
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