14 March 2010

Snake of the Niger Delta by Chimdindu Mazi-Njoku

They call me the Snake. You see, I had a difficult childhood, but I’ve almost always demonstrated an uncanny gift of coming out of seemingly hopeless situations. They say I am slippery, maybe I am. This is my story.

I was only ten years old when my father took me and my mother along with him to Abuja to buy the goods he sold. It was the first time either me or my mother had made that journey. I guess my father must have come across a huge windfall and decided to use that opportunity to show us the roads without potholes he had always told us about.



This story has been selected for the StoryTime anthology African Roar 2011, please go to the African Roar site for more info.



Snake of the Niger Delta was written by Chimdindu Mazi-Njoku.

Copyright © Chimdindu Mazi-Njoku 2010.



Born on 14th April 1985 in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Chimdindu Mazi-Njoku hails from Isuikwuato LGA in Abia State, Nigeria.

He had his primary education in Bereton Montessori Nursery & Primary School, Port Harcourt after which he was enrolled into the prestigious Kings College, Lagos, for his secondary education. While in Kings College an insatiable hunger for knowledge, fueled by prodigious curiosity, made him form the habit of reading everything he could lay his hands (and his eyes) on, with a predilection for encyclopedias and novels. On graduating from Kings College he gained admission into Federal University of Technology, Owerri, where he majored in Industrial Microbiology.

Mazi-Njoku describes himself as a realist, pragmatist, an iconoclast, broad-minded, intellectual, egalitarian and a maverick. His favourite past-times include intellectual nourishment, writing, travelling and a bit of chess. He is a self-confessed art lover, aesthete, automobile enthusiast and perfume fiend who finds it excruciatingly difficult to compromise on quality and detail. He currently resides in Port Harcourt where he works and writes.






4 comments:

sueddie said...

Chimdindu, sup?
Hey, I really enjoyed your story! The interconnectivity of everything was so beautiful. You sure had a way to deal with the stereotype of the white guys in the Niger Delta are the demons who never do anything good. It is not as if you didn’t show the bias but in a unique and clever way you showed that there are two sides… truly. You know the story so I am not sure I should tell you any more thing that you know, being the writer. My particular highlight was the beautiful end where you made the end to rhyme with the beginning and make the true occurrence of life- coincidence come into play. The buildup was fantastic but there was a lull towards the end. I think particularly at the point where you…ok, this paragraph:
Tunde looked at me, shocked beyond his wits. I smiled; the kind of mocking smile a defendant’s lawyer will give the prosecuting attorney after he wins an acquittal for his clearly guilty client. Tunde was arrested with damning, unimpeachable evidence. Mr. Robert, who gave me a future against all odds, was the white man Tunde and his father’s aide wanted to dupe.
The last sentence didn’t quite fit in. I believe you should try working on it. If I was the writer, I would say “Mr. Roberts, my guardian, was the white man Tunde wanted to dupe” or something even better. Then, the area where you mention “My dear reader…” Could you just wipe that out? I think it disrupted the flow. It is like the narrator is talking to you, telling you his tale and you are living it through him. When I read “My dear reader…” it brought me out of his world where I had been living since the beginning of the beautiful tale, till then.
Revenge, they say, is best served cold. Mine was served chilled.
The cliché doesn’t do well to the originality and beauty that pervaded your work. I believe that if you remove this, no harm would be done to the narrative.
You must be wondering why I haven’t mentioned my name all through this story. It was intentional. Forget about my name, just reflect on my story. Remember it... tell it. If you must, though, you may call me Agwo, the Snake of the Niger Delta. That is how it all began... my unrelenting battle to right many wrongs done to my people.
Yeah, this is your final paragraph. It is the main lull that I was talking about. I really believe that if you leave the story at the paragraph before it, the tale would be tastier and crunchier. This last paragraph in my opinion, is not just it.
Now, the hold on editorship and final says is that of the writer. I respect that and only present a few of my observations in a hope that this tale, which I tremendously enjoyed by the way, would come out better in the final presentation.
Check me on Facebook if you wish… Takia.
Bless you man. May God help us each day and bring us to higher glory and success. Amen.

Chimdindu Mazi-Njoku said...

Hi Sueddie. Thanks a million for your honest observations and commendations. I must admit that I agree with you on the "My dear reader..." part. It doesn't quite fit in...perhaps it dilutes the intimacy between the character and the erstwhile unaddressed reader. I'll slice that bit off soonest.
As per the last paragraph; I intend to have sequels to the story...like Tunde coming out of jail and being.....I'll stop there for now (bite the suspense!). It's like the anonymous character telling a story to mark the genesis of other more intriguing stories. Do you understand?
I respect your comments thoroughly and your penchant for detail. Thanks once again....I bet you'll enjoy my subsequent stories (not necessarily the Niger Delta theme)immensely.

Su'eddie Vershima Agema said...

Okay...I really hope to see the next one...and yes, I am biting the suspense - thanks. How are you doing in general?
About your not focusing on the Niger Delta in the next write, I think that would be lovely...let's see you somewhere else...
Ha! Wherever the pen leads you bro...may you arrive well...in style, bliss, joy and success. Peace. S'

sueddie said...

Chimdindu, sup?
Hey, I really enjoyed your story! The interconnectivity of everything was so beautiful. You sure had a way to deal with the stereotype of the white guys in the Niger Delta are the demons who never do anything good. It is not as if you didn’t show the bias but in a unique and clever way you showed that there are two sides… truly. You know the story so I am not sure I should tell you any more thing that you know, being the writer. My particular highlight was the beautiful end where you made the end to rhyme with the beginning and make the true occurrence of life- coincidence come into play. The buildup was fantastic but there was a lull towards the end. I think particularly at the point where you…ok, this paragraph:
Tunde looked at me, shocked beyond his wits. I smiled; the kind of mocking smile a defendant’s lawyer will give the prosecuting attorney after he wins an acquittal for his clearly guilty client. Tunde was arrested with damning, unimpeachable evidence. Mr. Robert, who gave me a future against all odds, was the white man Tunde and his father’s aide wanted to dupe.
The last sentence didn’t quite fit in. I believe you should try working on it. If I was the writer, I would say “Mr. Roberts, my guardian, was the white man Tunde wanted to dupe” or something even better. Then, the area where you mention “My dear reader…” Could you just wipe that out? I think it disrupted the flow. It is like the narrator is talking to you, telling you his tale and you are living it through him. When I read “My dear reader…” it brought me out of his world where I had been living since the beginning of the beautiful tale, till then.
Revenge, they say, is best served cold. Mine was served chilled.
The cliché doesn’t do well to the originality and beauty that pervaded your work. I believe that if you remove this, no harm would be done to the narrative.
You must be wondering why I haven’t mentioned my name all through this story. It was intentional. Forget about my name, just reflect on my story. Remember it... tell it. If you must, though, you may call me Agwo, the Snake of the Niger Delta. That is how it all began... my unrelenting battle to right many wrongs done to my people.
Yeah, this is your final paragraph. It is the main lull that I was talking about. I really believe that if you leave the story at the paragraph before it, the tale would be tastier and crunchier. This last paragraph in my opinion, is not just it.
Now, the hold on editorship and final says is that of the writer. I respect that and only present a few of my observations in a hope that this tale, which I tremendously enjoyed by the way, would come out better in the final presentation.
Check me on Facebook if you wish… Takia.
Bless you man. May God help us each day and bring us to higher glory and success. Amen.

 
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