HEART of the Brave, a 218-paged functional masterpiece, has arrived the literary world, with an objective of averring that Africa had a well organised system of living and working patterns of problem solving before the coming of the Europeans, as against a popular claim and assumption by the colonialists, that their arrival brought almost everything to Africa.
The author of the book, Mr. Anthony Ughenu, disclosed this during a visit to the MD/CEO, Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC), Sir Chuka Nnabuife, during which he also informed him of the arrival of the new book.
According to him, the novel, whose protagonist is Nnabuenyi’s son and great warrior, Obidike (which is the Igbo literal translation of the title of the book), was set in the pre-colonial town of Dike, and tells a story of heroics, uncommon sacrifices, altruism, in tandem with the age-long Igbo concept of igwebụike, nwaọra, etc, which they were long known for, even before the arrival of the Europeans.
Giving a tip of the narrative, Ughenu further revealed that the story — which also prides the superiority of the real Africa’s culture over that of the White, as was manifested in Dike town’s successful resistance of the White’s invasion and incursion on their land and culture, through one man’s bravery, costly and altruistic sacrifice —is a must read everyone, as its audience is generic.
Speaking on his literary journey so far as a writer, he said “I actually started reading and writing quite early in my life. …You see, when we were in secondary school, we were veraciously reading people’s books. It was one day that one of our seniors then told me ‘See you have read a lot of people’s works, you should also write your own for others to read.’
“…Actually, the first time I started writing a novel was in 1988. And in that 1988, I was doing more of poetry. But later, one of my friends called Val, who I always acknowledge in every novel I write today, came to me and showed me a novel he wrote, and also advised me to start my own. …After celebrating him and reading his novel, I got motivated and started making sketches of a novel I wanted to write mine.”
Continuing, he said, “It may interest you to know that even though this ‘Heart of the Brave’ is my second published novel, it ought to be my first novel, because I finished work on the manuscript around 1995/1996, after which I started ‘On the Verge’ which eventually came to be my first published novel, because my father took the manuscript and handed it over to Felix Ogbalu to look into it, thereby making ‘On the Verge’ get published before it.
On what next to expect, after the ‘Heart of the Brave’, Mr. Ughenu revealed that he had written up to seven chapters in uhis third novel ‘The Last Pagan’ and assured that he would continue writing, even after that.
He also decried the fast dying reading culture in the society today, which he attributed to many factors, and called for collective efforts towards ameliorating that, even as he suggested ‘Book Challenge’ (Read a Book a Day Challenge) or ‘Page Challenge’ (Read a Page a Day Challenge) as some possible efficacious solutions.
He disclosed that the public presentation of the new book ‘Heart of the Brave’ would hold on May 28, at Best Western Meloch Hotel, Awka, Anambra State, starting at 11 AM, with the Clerk of Anambra State House of Assembly, Mr. Pius Udoh as the Book Reviewer, and many guests/dignitaries and book enthusiasts in attendance.
A native of Nkpor in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Mr Anthony Emeka Ughenu, who is a civil servant, holds Bsc. in Psychology/Anthropology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; and two Masters Degrees in Business Administration, and Industrial Relations respectively, both from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.