After the picture, Mrs. Omotayo A. Smith, poet and musician led the way to the JR – that’s short for Jesuit Residence. Wow! Well, we got there and there was this simple man in a tee-shirt and jeans. He asked who we were and after a while, after some waiting in a very lovely courtyard, we were ushered in to lunch. The man, somewhat elderly with an American accent was pleasant and welcomed us pleasantly. We – Maik, Andrew and I with Mr. Yio (I guess) wondered who the impressive regal butler was… 😉 After some introduction, it turned out he was the President of the College, Fr. Ehi Omoragbon. He turned out to be a great host and what’s more, he has a critic background. Okay, so we sat at two big tables in this room. Fr. Omoragbon got us drinks and ensured we had all served ourselves to rice, jara and chicken. sat at one with Mr. Ikwebe, Mr. Togo, Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwaoha and Andrew Bula. They seemed to be having so much fun as they chatted on several things. It was all literature. On the table, it was Mr. Yio, Maik, Mrs. Smith, the Principal (who came in after a while), Fr. Ugo Nweke. Somehow, Fr. Nweke, Mrs. Smith and I got talking on lots of stuff from the workshop to other things. I told him how delightful the students were and he said the initiative for the workshop was basically to get the students to interact with a published author and know that they too could be published. He said one of them, Master Christopher Unobogu had a working manuscript. Others had lots of material. Mrs. Smith said her class were on a fascinating literary project. We discussed other issues mainly Fr. Uwem Akpan’s Say you are one of them. We agreed the book was deeply sad but quite realistic.
Well, in the end, it was time to leave. We got to take pictures again and let the reverend administrators be. We laughed loud at talks of memories and the like with Mr. Wilson Ikwebe (who shares alumnus roots with Maik, Andrew and I) and Mr. Togo, a kinsman through Takuruku. We had some more pictures and I requested that Mr. Ikwebe give me the camera to get the pictures with my system. He was obviously pressed for time and promised to send them via e-mail… Hmm, he sure has a sense of the proverbial time unconsciousness most of us are blessed with…
The journey back continued. As we drove and exchanged notes on several things, my mind composed ideas and got pregnant with future pieces that I only wondered if the pressures of increasing schedules would allow me deliver. Meanwhile, I had a full report to write and send plus a material that I promised the participants. Oh well…
- The Loyola Jesuit Workshop for Writers (i): Pre (sueddie.wordpress.com)
- The Workshop
- A Jesuit high school in Nigeria (blithespirit.wordpress.com)