It all started with a cat…
Funny how the things that mean the most to us can start from very fortuitous or unexpected circumstances. I have always had a very vivid imagination, a tool which I think is very important for anyone in the creative business; however, considering that patience is not one of my chief virtues, I never really went beyond a few chapters and would start something new once I´d get tired.
But then a huge teddy like British Shorthair cat came into my life and things changed. I´ve always liked cats, we had them when we were much younger living in Nigeria but then; cat care was really different and pets were kept more for their services than as companions. So when I adopted him, I was determined to give Merlin Mojito proper care and I delved with enthusiasm into the world of cat care with the hope that he would live for many, many years.
This of course led me to a very important factor for Merlin; food. This is something he does not play with; he knows when he needs to be fed and makes sure he guides you in the right direction towards his food bowl. He also knows exactly what he wants to eat which normally is not the healthiest food brand, so I found myself with 90 something tins of wet cat food that my cat had made clear I could do what I wanted with as he had no intention of going in the vicinity of the kitchen area… should I have dared served them to him.
So as Google is my friend, I started looking for shelters to donate the food to and I came across an all cat one that we decided to visit. I had never been to animal shelter and I was incredibly saddened by the stories of abuse and neglect that most of the inhabitants at the shelter had endured in the hands of their humans.
It is difficult to raise money for animals as there are already so many causes that need help so with the encouragement of a very special person, I produced a book of cat stories to raise funds for the shelter and that is how I found myself following my true passion. So it really all began with a cat…
My mum is a member of Nigerwives (Warri branch); an association of foreign women married to Nigerian men. I have very fond memories as a child participating in all the activities they organized and they have been incredibly helpful to women that come to Nigeria to settle down. This particular branch decided to embark on the construction of a school for kids with special needs as there was none in that area. We had no idea how ambitious a project it was but family and friends decided to pitch in to try and make this dream a reality and help out the community the Nigerwives live in. We hold fundraising events every year, first to build the school and now that it has been done; to maintain it. I am a firm believer in trying to change a little piece of the world and helping to make someone´s life easier, if we come together and dream; we can do so much more.
We keep looking for new ideas to help out, particularly because now that it is a functional institution with over twenty kids whose parents are overjoyed at their progress, it would be a shame to have to close down. So last year, putting my talent to good use, I decided to donate the royalties from the first year of the fiction novel “…to the moon and back” to this project. I encourage you all to visit the website and see just how far a group of twenty something women have come(http://www.specialneedskidswarri.com/), it is wonderful to see how much time and effort has gone into it and it is worth it. Just seeing a little progress in a child and knowing that the school is making a difference encourages us to help out every year.
My genre is mystery and this book is different because the plot develops in Benin City; where I grew up. It brought back many memories and I really enjoyed writing it, creating the characters and bringing them to life. I hope you all enjoy reading it too. As this is the last month in which the sales of the book will be going to the project, I thought it would be a good idea to do a write-up and encourage those still looking for an entertaining summer read.