Friday, 6 September 2013

War and Female Power!

The year was 1969 and it was time to hunt for and abduct girls and young women found in the enclave; and forcibly convert them to bed mates. That was no news. All the same, families sought nearby hiding places for their ‘eligible’ females but these hide-outs were soon discovered through intimidation from the power of the gun.
Now the news! Two women decided that their daughters were not going to be made victims. What did they do? They found a ‘safe haven’ for their daughters - the dreaded Evil Forest, where the roars of wild animals were continually heard. But that was nothing compared to the brutal termination of lives and wanton destruction of properties through air, land and marine attacks; including starvation that was the order of the day, and which placed the final death mark on the people.
Four in number, the forest dames saw “hell” but survived the war. One of them decides to tell the unfortunate story of the elasticity of human suffering. Three of the dames are still alive and can be reached for further interactions. One of the brave mothers is also still living.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Another war survivor pours out his heart!!

 Leonard Ikpe wrote:

I have gone through the 207 pages of your book. After reading the book, let me tell you how I see it.
Firstly, the men have told their own story of the war – Obasanjo, Madiebo etc. Yours is a woman’s pathetic story of what happened during the unfortunate Nigeria – Biafra Civil War when rampaging Federal soldiers saw the rebel women and girls as part of the spoils of war. It narrates the travails of the rebel girls and mothers who make the forests their abode just to avoid being captured (kwaptured) by soldiers. That is the struggle of an African woman during a war.
Secondly, the speed of the story is dramatic in a sense. It has the speed comparable to the now legendary 
 “Things Fall Apart” . One chapter weaves into the other without the reader losing track of the previous chapters. Our own Chinua Achebe has that speed too.
Thirdly, the handling of a complex matter like war was delivered as a simple story yet bringing out the sad effects of war which include hunger, malnutrition, disease, deaths at the battle field and the refugees.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A fellow survivor pours out his heart

Victor Emeana writes:
Ada, this is not a review in the literary sense. As I said  earlier, it is just my impression of your book-Forest Dames.
Firstly I found the title in sync with the story. It matched like hand in glove. Just the way" Things Fall Apart" for instance is so apt a title for its story.
Secondly,the book is so readable that an average literate person shouldn't have problems with understanding the
diction because they are so lucid. My experience is that most great authors write in that style including our own Achebe.
Thirdly the print and editing were top class. One of the readers, Dr Megwa who is quite fastidious in such matters was full of praises.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Immediate end of war situation

Immediate end of war situation - "The Forest Dames

“Doesn’t it amaze you that without a dime, we find free food to eat? Ochongalofu springs up on trees for us to uproot and eat, snails roam the bush at night for us to pick and prepare meals with. Okazi vegetable grows wildly in the big bushes for us to harvest and make our leafy soups with, palm nuts are picked up for palm oil, palm kernel and palm kernel oil; and many others. Is it not amazing?” Ijeoma was grateful to God.
“The hunters hardly come back empty handed these days.” Oyoyo informed, equally grateful to God.
“Don’t forget the Otamiri river fish. They seem to have grown bigger. Orjay caught a big one yesterday.”
“We are like cows whose tails have been chopped off by war action, so God Himself is the One keeping the flies in check for us.” Oyoyo philosophized. “Cow wey no get tail, na God dey drive am fly. Is that not how they say it in Pidgin?” Oyoyo was dancing.Culled from "The Forest Dames" available at, barnes and nobles, authorhouse, etc

Friday, 7 June 2013


See what the Survivor wrote in her book, "The Forest Dames." In spite of all that, she survived. 
 “The day bullets rained from the sky was the climax. Everyone took off in a race to nowhere. Men and women screamed as they ran; children cried out; dogs galloped, barking; chickens ran a bit, flew a bit and scurried back. Wrappas fell off women’s waists and slippers flung off their feet. People indoors ran out in bewilderment while those outside dashed into their houses for protection. It took everyone by surprise and shook everybody in a hard way. Then it ceased. It was a short period of chaos but it looked like forever. People packed small bags and were ready to move in groups. The offensive resumed shortly after. This time, mortar bombs began to fly in too. Enyia I do not know how to describe the pandemonium that followed.” Culled from "The Forest Dames". Available @amazon, barnes, authorhouseWar survivor shares her experience

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Don't let this happen again please!

Deze stood, arms folded across her chest, watching a group of children trying to kick about, a round object made of folded rags. Her mother was sitting by her side, on an overturned tin container.

“Oh my God, mama, see how lean this one is. He can’t even run.”
“My daughter, I don’t know which one is easier, the lean type or the bloated type of this disease. It must also be difficult to lift those bloated feet. Haa! God have mercy.”
“Poor children; robbed of fun! How can any child possibly play with such protruded stomach? Sometimes I wonder what is in that belly, liquid or solid. Mama, look at this other one’s cheeks, looking like they are filled with puss that needs to be pressed out. His head has become too big for his neck. His neck looks like a string. Ha mama, I am tired.”
“Courage daughter, I understand how you feel. We know how healthy these children were before now. Hmm, at least they are happy to be alive, when several of their playmates have died; emaciated or bloated. Oh! This new disease, hmm!” They were both shaking their heads. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Remembering those who did not survive

“Yes especially with what I saw on the way. We saw dismembered body parts lying here and there as if forgotten by their owners. One young man with two legs cut off by mortar bomb pleaded with us to help him but we could not. He was bleeding profusely but we needed help ourselves and did not even know which direction we should be heading. We were already so wearied that we had difficulty carrying even the small bags we had, let alone an amputated human. I cried for him but there was nothing I could do. It still pains me.” Culled from "The Forest Dames" - available at, barnes&nobles/theforestdames, authorhouse/theforestdames, some Nigerian bookstores.