Maverick author, producer and filmmaker, Onyeka Nwelue and prolific poet and writer, Ikenna
Chinedu Okeh, teamed up to write a children’s book.
Entitled “Saving Mungo Park” , the book subverts the axiomatic belief that Mungo Park, a
Colonial-era Scottish explorer of West Africa, discovered River Niger. It stirs up questions in
the minds of the young by teasing possibilities that it was Africans who retrieved Mungo Park
from a river that displaced him. The children’s book is published by Hattus Books, an imprint of
Blues and Hills Pictures LTD in collaboration with Baron’s Cafe (Aramide and Baron’s Cafe are
imprints of Fairchild Media) in March 2021.
Okeh, the co-author, wrote in the introductory note of the book that, “We intend to tell the story
of Mungo Park’s encounter with the famous River Niger, and his relationship with the native
communities around the famous river. ‘In this book, we approached this historical subject with a
fresh perspective that’s rather traditionally ignored, perhaps as a matter of convenience.”
Femi Morgan, founder, and advisor at Fairchild Media noted that the book brings to the fore
playful reverse aggression to the colonial Mungo Park narrative. The book reflects Mungo Park’s
weakness while engaging the civilization and prowess of Africans who live and make social and
cultural meaning along the River Niger. It stretches the imagination of the child whose
inquisitiveness is stirred by the myriad possibilities of storytelling. These two authors attempt to
spark the mind of the African child to the politics of colonial history which have been crammed
Okeh and Nwelue were born in Ezeoke Nsu in Imo State, Nigeria and both went to Mount
Olives Seminary in Umuuezeala Nsu.
Okeh is the author of six collections of poetry and a crime novel. His narrative poems, ‘a Tale of
Twist’, and ‘An Eye of an Isle’ have caught the critical eyes of lovers of The Illiad.
Ikenna is also the author of children’s books, ‘When Everyone Sings’ and ‘The Man who Thought
Little of Himself’. He also writes music reviews for UbuntuFM, a platform he co-founded to
promote and engage music across the globe. Okeh is also the co-founder of Educate One Child
Foundation, an organisation dedicated to making books available to children in African
communities. www.educateonechild.org. He lives in Turkey.
Nwelue is the author of three novels, The Abyssinian Boy, The Beginning of Everything
Colorful, and The Strangers of Braamfontein. He is also the author of The Lagos Cuban Club, a
collection of poetry. Onyeka has also come full circle as an artist as he has also produced non-
fiction work, essays, articles, poetry, documentaries, films, a musical play, broad and
encapsulating interviews, music projects while involving himself in social and cultural
commentaries on a national and global scale. He backpacks delicately around the world.