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Another interesting review of my novel: My Mind Is No Longer Here….

Not your normal lady

Book: MY MIND IS NO LONGER HERE
Author: Ifedigbo Nze Sylva
Number of Pages: 312
Publisher: Parresia Publishers

“Have you not heard the saying that the happiest place to be in this country is at the departure lounge of the International Airport?

The above statement, made by Osahon in the book, shows how desperate the average Nigerian youth is to leave the country.

The book is centred on the lives of five young men; Chidi, Haruna, Donatus, Osahon and Yinka, who is the herd of the pack.

Chidi, an undergraduate, meets an old classmate of his who is now wealthy and asks him to show him the way.

Haruna, a doctor in the non-functional health system in Nigeria, gets his hatred for the country triggered by the death of his mother which could have been avoided if things were working as it should.

Donatus, a human anatomy graduate, who is…

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Checkout this new review of my novel by thezyzah…

"The Zyzah"

MY MIND IS NO LONGER HERE

Title: My Mind Is No Longer Here

Author: Ifedigbo Nze Sylva

Publisher: Paressia Publishers Ltd

ISBN: 978-978-55583-2-6

Year: 2018

Genre: Fiction (Crime)

Format : Paperbook

BLURB

4 different young men have their chance to leave Nigeria for a greener pasture (Germany) tied to a man- Yinka. A corrupt, sexist and vain man who wanted to be richer and more powerful at all cost, including using desperate young men for his dirty works.

The four guys. Donatus- a human anatomy graduate working as a photojournalist had just tendered his resignation letter to the company he worked after being owed many months salary.

Haruna- a medical doctor frustrated by the medical practices problems in Nigeria-incessant strike, inadequate facilities and the blind eye of the Government to it all.

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Chidi- A final year student in a Nigeria University dreaming of a greener pasture.

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Osahon-Wanted for alleged murder in Benin, fled to…

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Here, I just came across this review of ‘My Mind Is No Longer Here’.
Left me beaming….

Go get your copy. 😀

The African Book Review

51yakqehhul-_sr6002c315_piwhitestrip2cbottomleft2c02c35_pistarratingfive2cbottomleft2c3602c-6_sr6002c315_sclzzzzzzz_1«  Each time he tried, he fell asleep after a few pages. He stared at it nowand what he saw was the small bookshelf in his childhood home in Enugu whichoverflowed with his father’s books. (…) Filled with this sudden flash of nostalgia, Donatus stretched his arm out and grabbed the book. In his younger years, he would have holed himself up in his room, missing meals and his favourite shows on television until he was done reading it. Tonight, he just wanted something to fill up the time until it was morning. »

In today’s Lagos, four characters are ready to take off to a better place. Donatus, Osahom, Haruna and Chidi prepare to embark for Europe where they will lead the life they daydream about, the life that the rich and influential Yinka promised and arranged for them.

In this four-voiced novel in which the same moment…

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So I have some good news…My debut novel, My Mind Is No Longer Here is about to be released in print by Paressia Books.

FINALLY!!!

So that you, esteemed followers of my blog are among the first to cop this beauty, quickly Pre-order at the pre-release price until 7 September 2018.

They will deliver to just about everywhere…pre-order

Here is the link  http://www.parresia.com.ng/pre-order-my-mind-is-no-longer-here/

And when you are done reading, be kind to let me know what you think. Send me a private message, write a review, post a short comment on your platform, suggest it to your book club, make noise about it and buy more copies for friends and family 🙂

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Compliments of the season people!

So i am guest on the Africana literati show on Dstv ch 154 (Gotv ch 2) by 2pm today 30 December 2017. The last episode for 2017 😆😆😆

I will be discussing literature, African writing and story telling.

Tune in.

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be a manI can say with a great deal of certainty, that as an adult man in these parts, you would have at one time in your life heard these words “be a man” or “man up” said to you, be it over shedding tears at physical pain, failing at some task, or even while enduring an emotional heartbreak. Indeed we begin to hear it early in the formative years when you are not supposed to cry in a verbal fight with your female siblings or when you are compelled to internalize the biting pain of cane strokes because it is unmanly to show such emotions. It is like a given, something we’ve all come to accept as normal. What you might not have realized is that, these words and the experiences have affected you in some way.

On their own, these words are not bad. Life presents challenges which everyone, male and female must face with a degree of resolve and determination, and this often requires toughening up our emotions and growing a will of still. However, when they are applied as some kind of status we must live up to, especially the way they are used for men, they have the tendency of becoming very problematic, distorting our understanding of masculinity and turning the concept of manhood on its head.

Over time we have created a stereotypical image for men which we all struggle to fit into. The instruction to “man up” becomes essentially a call to fall in line and conform. This builds insecurities, forces us to repress our emotions, hide weaknesses and effectively disconnect from who we really are. When the phrase is used in relation to the lurking, serious shadow of depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, the results can be harmful. It is a medically researched fact that men dealing with mental disorders are less likely to seek help than women. Suicide is higher in men than in women. Abuse of alcohol, drugs, sex and gambling can be seen at a much higher percentage in men than women; possibly because the manly psyche built over years of being told to “man up” has to resort to seeking an escape route to truly express himself.

The compulsion to act manly can also be traced as the root cause of domestic violence with men taking out their fears and frustrations on their wives because they know not any other way of expressing it. It doesn’t help that the male chauvinistic society these men are raised in tells them also that it is a classic show of manliness to beat your wife and not entertain her views on any matter.

It can also be argued that a lot of men have failed to really live their full potential in life because they have had to conform to this stereotype. Because there has long been established types of careers which are fit for men. The world must have lost many a great dancer, musician, chef and artist – all because they were afraid to exhibit any emotional or creative behaviour when they were younger so that they are not taken for weak or unmanly.

My thoughts on this topic flow from my personal experience and a discussion that came up recently during a chat at the filming of an episode of the Onyeka Nwelue Show. I lost my wife and best friend a little over a year ago and have battled all kinds of emotions since. Through it all, I could not help but notice the nudge to ‘die’ the emotions, to come off it, in the comments, framed as condolence messages from friends and family alike. It is essentially a “Man up” call, to swallow it all up and keep a straight face, because that is what men do.

Because people have different ways of processing emotions, there is a tendency for some men to collapse under the weight of these unshed tears, bottled up feelings and unexpressed thoughts. We therefore do our men no good by telling them to “be a man” or “man up”.  Men are men already by virtue of their genetic make-up and do not have to “become men” in order to prove any point. There are certainly many better suiting words in English and the vocabulary of our indigenous languages that will accomplish the same feat if what we really intend to convey is a message of encouragement to a man going through certain challenges.

First published here

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The report of African migrants trying to reach Europe is a daily news item. Many as we know and see frequently in the news meet their deaths in the Mediterranean. According to the International Organization for Migration, many others are being sold by traffickers into slavery in Libya, including for sex, for as little as $200, while others still are killed and their organs harvested for sale in the booming human organ trade.

Many young Africans find that after having paid human traffickers in the hope of finding a better life in Europe, they end up being held hostage by their traffickers who exploit them and their families, turning the dreams of a better life into a nightmare.

The International Organisation for Migration says slave markets and detentions are becoming increasingly common on the illegal migrant routes as criminal gangs cash in on what has become a very sad situation.

According to IOM’s chief of mission in Libya, Othman Belbeisi, selling human beings is becoming a trend among smugglers as the smuggling networks in Libya are becoming stronger. In his words, “Migrants are being sold in markets as a commodity” at a going rate of between $200 and $500” .

While some migrants sold this way managed to escape, many wallowed in captivity for months before being bought free or sold on. Others die and are unaccounted for and many among them are Nigerians fleeing harsh economic situation back at home or simply chasing the myth of greener grass on the other side.

The reality is that for many young people in Nigeria, the ultimate ambition in life is to go abroad. And the exodus has been on forever. There is hardly anyone who does not have a relative or someone who has “checked out.” In the late ‘80s and ‘90s there was a massive brain drain of Academics and professionals following the collapse of our educational institutions, and the persecution of perceived pro-democracy activists by the military dictators who held sway then.

The brain drain continues even today. You see it in the long queues of visa applicants in foreign embassies. I still have vivid memories of the crowd of rowdy, sweaty applicants in a zigzag queue, I saw on my first visit to the UK Visa application centre in Abuja close to a decade ago and how very willing they appeared to endure any kind of manhandling in their quest for a visa.

Such is the value placed on obtaining a visa that it is often a major prayer point in churches and a good course for testimonies. This obsession very easily turns into desperation. Many short-term visa applicants have absolutely no intention of returning. Some on student visas do not honour the terms. They live illegally in the shadows abroad, many getting deported, or jailed. These stories of the fate of their compatriots do not stop those who intend to seek the West’s presumed greener pastures, as the risk is considered one worth taking.

The denial of a visa or deportation does not stop the determined Nigerian immigrant nor does the fear of the dangers associated with migrating illegally. As long as there is a chance of success, no matter how slim, there will be willing people. This has resulted in the growth of what is today an industry of powerful people and their agents, feeding off the gullibility and desperation of young people in the guise of helping them reach their dreams of a better life abroad. These issues form the theme of my new e-book, ‘My Mind Is No Longer Here’ recently published by Bahati Books.

We have read of people who faked travel documents, of folks who braved life inside airtight containers sailing across the sea, of stowaways in the wheel compartment of international flights. We are also quite familiar with the malaise of human trafficking, of young ladies who either by coercion or by choice, are taken to European cities to work as prostitutes and the daredevil journey to Europe through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert and the stormy waves of the Mediterranean.

The UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in 2016 warned that the trafficking of Nigerian women to Italy by boat was reaching “crisis” levels, with traffickers using migrant reception centres as holding pens for women who are then collected and forced into prostitution across Europe. About 3,600 Nigerian women arrived by boat into Italy in the first six months of that year, and more than 80% of these women will be trafficked into prostitution in Italy and across Europe, the IOM said.

We need to stem this tide. Many of those who make this trip do not know any better. The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the Nigerian government’s agency set up in response to the situation can only do as much. While we continue to clamour for a better deal from the government in terms of the state of the economy which is the ultimate solution to the crisis, we must also step up advocacy and public campaigns targeted at young people on the dangers of falling prey to criminal traffickers.

This is one issue where ideas are needed. It concerns us all because, in small instalments, our country’s future is disappearing…never to be recovered again.

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