Ndifreke Ukpong, a Nigerian author, has stressed the need for fostering independent thoughts in Nigerians as active followers in the polity and using literature to tackle contemporary issues facing Nigerian society, Persecondnews reports.
Speaking during a book review session at the weekend in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Ukpong shared the backstory of his novel, “Every Woman in This Village is a Liar”.
Ukpong stated that the rich culture and folklore of his native land inspired him to write a story that would examine the concepts of morality, deceit, and truth.
He said that he wished to expose the complexity and diversity of women’s characters while challenging the preconceived notions and expectations of his society.
“I wanted to write a story that would make people think and question their assumptions and beliefs. I wanted to show that women are not just passive victims or obedient followers, but active agents and decision-makers in their own lives.
“I also wanted to show that truth is not always black and white, but sometimes grey and ambiguous. The title of the book is not meant to be taken literally but rather as a metaphor for the different perspectives and realities that exist in the world,” he said.
Ukpong also talked about his latest book, “No Limitation To Success”, which is an inspirational book that shares his story of how he achieved his dream of writing 26 books at the age of 26 and how anyone can achieve their own success without limitations.
He said that he hoped to motivate and empower more young people to pursue their passions and talents and to overcome the challenges and obstacles that they may face in life.
“Success is not a destination, but a journey. It is not something that you wait for, but something that you work for. It is not something that is given to you, but something that you earn. Success is not determined by your circumstances, but by your choices.
“Success is not limited by anything, but by your own mindset. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you have been through, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. There is no limitation to success,” he said.
Ukpong also expressed his concern that Nigeria might face a shortage of writers in the near future.
He said that many youths today do not value writing as a profession and prefer to follow the trends and the money rather than their dreams and talents.
He urged the media and educational institutions to support and promote Nigerian literature and encourage more young people to read and write.
He said that this would help to preserve the country’s history, culture, and identity and inspire more people who might have lost interest in literature.
“Writing is not just a hobby; it is a profession that requires passion, dedication, and creativity. It is also a way of preserving our history, culture, and identity. Unfortunately, many youths today do not see writing as a viable or respectable career option.
“They prefer to follow the trends and the money rather than their dreams and talents. This is why I fear that we might lack authors in the near future,” he said.
Comfort Unwana, presiding as chairman during the book review session, underscored the significance of Ndifreke Ukpong’s work as a Nigerian author.
She praised his commitment to challenging stereotypes and promoting independent thinking through his novels.
Unwana encouraged young authors to follow in Ukpong’s footsteps, highlighting the importance of using literature as a tool for social commentary and cultural preservation.
Mohammed Algoni, a participant in the session, echoed Unwana’s sentiments as he actively engaged in discussing the role of literature in shaping societal perceptions and fostering critical thinking.
Algoni commended Ukpong for his dedication to addressing complex themes and urged aspiring authors to emulate his approach to tackling contemporary issues facing Nigerian society.