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Omeike tasks writers on repositioning their works to earn money

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Julie Agnes Omeike


Julie Agnes Omeike, author of Iye, recently stated that her NGO, Talent Empowerment Programme (TEP), is working out ways to make writers earn good money from their works. She noted that online platforms such as Okada Books and Amazon are ways that authors and publishers could make their books accessible to both local and international readers.

She handed out this piece of advice while hosting friends, family and fans to a book signing in Lagos. She advised writers to work out ways to fit their books into the Nigerian school curriculum through the Nigeria Educational Development Research Council (NEDRC), adding that NEDRC would not only approve the books, but would recommend them to WASC for adoption. However, for those who see writing as a means for quick success, the author said: “Writing is not what people should go into to make quick money, but one must first have the passion for writing and with hard work, and writing interesting stories, the money will come.”

Iye, which means mother in Edo language, is an emotional story with lots of morals and cultural reform. It tells the story of the family of Ebenezer Osahor, who is hard working, incorruptible and contented with whatever it has. The family is blessed with a daughter, Ivie, after eight years of marriage. Despite being their only child, her parents nurture her to the benefits of hard work in the midst of affluence.

With the passing away of her father, Ovie arrives Lagos, where she has to work and make a name for herself. In Lagos, she finds love and gets married.Omeike said the book, published in 2011, has passed the curriculum board procedures and has been approved by the Ministry of Education. She, however, hopes that WASC would do the same so it could get wider readership.

Guest speaker at the event, Mr. Fred Agbeyegbe, said Nigerians don’t care much about books, adding that there is not enough encouragement, especially if one wants to take to writing as a profession. He stated that he has stuck to being a writer as a matter of choice, adding that proceeds from writing do not pay his bills.

“I have my profession as a lawyer and that is how I have been able to cope,” he said. “If not, one would have found it difficult feeding oneself.”On how to improve the situation, the lawyer-playwright said government cannot do everything, stressing that the situation is the way it is because Nigerians relied too much on government for a lot of things.

According to him, “People should be able to sit down, plan and do things for themselves and let government just manage the society. Never mind what all these politicians tell you, promising they can do this and that. Remember, at the last election, everybody wanted change. What was the change going to be? Immediately Buhari gets there, Boko Haram will no more be there; we will have quality electricity supply and others. But those things have not happened and we are not sure they will happen. We should think less of government and begin to think of how we can help ourselves in a legislative way.”


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Julie Agnes Omeike

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