Poetic Lawyer, Chinelo Iwenofu, out with ‘Like Father like daughter,’ book presented in Abuja - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Poetic Lawyer, Chinelo Iwenofu, out with ‘Like Father like daughter,’ book presented in Abuja

Lawyer, publisher and poet, Chinelo Iwenofu few days ago, made a public presentation of her new book ‘Like Father like daughter.’ It turned out to be an impressive outing for her, as copies of the book rolled out into the hands of people who hold such creative work dear to their heart.

According to Chinelo, ‘Creative written word of art is how i like to describe my poems. I have been writing poems since I was 11 years old. In 1971, I won a national poetry competition in England and Wales for primary school pupils with my contemporary pieces ‘the sea’ which is included in this book and after that, there has been no looking back for me.”

Today, Chinelo Iwenofu has written several articles for magazines and journals in the UK. She founded Africagenda Publications and she is presently the Head of Communications Affairs of The AFRICA 63 MAGAZINE for the African Union GENDA 2063.

The book was reviewed by Dr. Eleanor Ann Nwadinobi, the first Nigerian to be elected President, Medical Women International Association. She said of the book:

Every crisis is an opportunity for creativity. When some say there’s a casting down, God will say there is a lifting up as the word of God says in Job 22:29. If there’s a silver lining out of the COVID-19 lockdown, it's the fact that my teen hood friend decided to produce her own book after being the one to produce several other publications for other authors under her publishing company, Africagenda.

The book 'like father like daughter' derives its unique title from Chinny’s dad Dr. Emmanuel Oluchukwu Iwenofu of blessed memory who himself was a poet and inspired his daughter Chinny to be a writer. 'Father and daughter' is like the lyrics of a harmonious duet through the poems from Dr. Iwenofu in the book. This 138 page book of poetry has been produced as a hardback coffee table creative piece.

The picture on the front is an abstract in earth colours with a father carrying his daughter firmly on his shoulders. The daughter sits proudly, confidently on her dad’s shoulders which actually is emblematic of the book.

The forward has been written by a celebrated Nigerian music producer and poet Audu Maikori founder of GAP and the Chocolate City Group who says that "‘like father like daughter' is definitely not your run-of -the-mill collection of poetry”. I couldn’t agree with him more.

Chinny has presented her collection of poems over five decades, representing different genres in highly coded poetry language. The images that the poems conjure in one’s head are  themselves like unique pieces of art each displayed on a  special pedestal  as one weaves their way through the gallery stopping at each special piece to soak up its beauty. Each poem is accompanied by a related picture, painting or photograph that makes the book a true art gallery. 

The poems are either in white on a black background, sometimes the words are in the traditional black on white and in other cases come in red.
The words themselves are arranged in some cases as verses, and in other places as a continuous wave of words in an undulating arrangement.

True to poetry, some of the poems take the reader on a journey of discovery, others reveal new meaning with each read and others are laden with emotion. Tears and laughter are allowed. 

The back of the book has a father holding his daughter's hand as they walk and he is having to bend one shoulder to reach down to hold his daughters hand. 

Some of the poems represent happenings in Chinny’s personal and professional life including milestones, celebrations, passage into eternity, and politics. The current climate in our universe with the pandemic is also featured in this incredible work of head, heart and mind. This is not a book for the hour but a book of all time.

I feel personally honored that two of the closest people in my life, my mother late Violet Ezebuiro and my husband, Okey, are featured in this creative compilation, in the poems “Goodbye Violet” and  “HOMBF”.  You will need to get a copy of the book to know what the acronym HOMBF means.

Not to give too much away, as what we need to do is to purchase a copy of the book for our library, for the library of our children and our grandchildren. A valuable resource for libraries of institutions we are associated with including the library of our Alma Mater.
In times where there are issues with the reduced reading culture and reading habits, this is one book that has a place in dispelling the current narrative that if you want to hide something from Nigerian’s put it in a book.

I encourage all those reading this to purchase copies of the book, spread the word to their friends, family and work colleagues, education and other institutions to purchase copies.

I will conclude with reading one of the poems titled, “Just Before You Were Born”:

My baby boy number one 
My strength who kept me warm 
Those cold winter nights 
Just before you were born 
From Putney Bridge Road 
To Roehampton Hospital 
And back again My gift from God My legacy My life.

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