18-years-old Vincent Anioke from Enugu writes book on kidnapping, cultism.

By KayCee July 9, 2014 16:12

On August 26, Vincent Anioke will be 18 years old. Though he is presently studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, the Awgu in Enugu State-born whiz-kid has done what most of his peers are not presently concerned with: writing about Nigeria’s nagging problems, kidnapping, cultism and family tribulations.When on June 19, Vincent, son of former journalist and ex-Awgu Local Government Chairman, Mr Uche Anioke, launched Whirlwind of Metamorphosis in Abuja, the 547-page book stunned the literary world because of the age of the writer and the content of it.
The young Anioke who has since returned to MIT after the Abuja launch spoke to a select group of journalists in a telephone interview in Enugu on his new book and what inspired him to go into writing.

Hear him: ‘At times when I am just walking around or sitting at home, I really get ideas about people’s lives and things like that and when the idea comes, I will like to write about it. I like watching television. There was one night I was watching the news with my parents and there was a kidnap report on television, someone who has been kidnapped. So, I was with them when they were talking about it. And I just had to imagine what it will be like to be kidnapped.

“And so, from there, I wanted to write a story about someone who has been kidnapped and how it will affect the family. From there I felt the passion to write about Nigeria’s problems and how the problems of our country can affect the family. So, it is there on TV that I just became inspired to write about our problems in the country.”

It appears he is a born author as he has been writing short stories when he was in primary four and about seven years old, and had hit the bookshops at 16 with Whirlwind of Metamorphosis.

Besides, Vincent who has represented Nigeria twice at the International Mathematics Olympiad and was among the top one per cent of the global American Mathematics Contest in 2012, disclosed that he has a lot of books waiting to be published.

“There are some I have begun but have not finished. There are some I am just starting right now. I have a lot on the line,” he said.

Revealing how he combines his academics at MIT and writing, Vincent who discovered his love for mathematics and writing when he was at the Nigerian Turkish International College (NTIC), Abuja, said that he devotes about two hours to writing in a day.

His words: “My writing, I do it about one or two hours every day. I spend the rest of the time, maybe 12 hours or more in a day studying. So, writing is what I do about one hour or two hours a day, but over time it begins to accumulate.”

On his role models in the literary world, he said: “Yes, I have two. One is Stephen King; he is an American writer. The other one is Chimamanda Adichie, the famous Nigerian writer. I read her book, Americana, and I was so blown away by it.”

Vincent who is proficient in mathematics and a blogger at MIT said even if he has an engineering job after graduation from the university, he would always still on the side cherish writing.

He promised to focus most of his stories now on Nigeria, saying “the next book I am going to come up with is different from this one; it is going to talk about poverty.”

Revealing how he developed the interest to write, he gave all to his parents as he said: “I don’t think I will have the interest or urge to write if I didn’t grow up with the kind of books that they gave me that I read. And the more stories I read, the more I wanted to write my own stories. So, they supplied me with the materials that inspired the passion, they always inspired me.

“I know that my father loves to write a lot too. And ever since the book launch, my younger brother has been trying to write his own book, but I think his own purpose is to make money.”

At the book presentation, the Chairman of the occasion and former Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, who did a recorded presentation praised the Aniokes in putting their son on the path of greatness with Whirlwind of Metamorphosis, which he described as a monumental work.

“I cannot tell you how impressed I am about this book. For being a matured writer, this is tremendous. For a young man, it is extraordinary,” Nnaji exclaimed.

Nnaji congratulated Vincent and expressed hope that he would come out with more books.

Also impressed with Whirlwind of Metamorphosis was the book reviewer, Prof Frank Asogwa, dean, Faculty of Law, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT).

Asogwa in his review pointed out that the book was scintillating and captivating, saying that it captured the travails and tribulations of the Nigerian society.

Asogwa said that though the author would be 18 years this August, adults would find the way he captured things in the Nigerian society quite amazing.

“It is amazing in the sense that you pick a copy of the book and you find out that he is somebody who has given a lot of thoughts to Nigerian society. We take for granted that Nigerians read a lot, but the converse is the case, Nigerians don’t read,” he said.

He, however, said that Vincent’s book would have a lot of impacts on Nigerians as “it will influence people to think twice, he addressed parents, he addressed the youths, he addressed Nigerian society and once you read the book, you need to think twice on burning and topical issues he raised in the book.”



By KayCee July 9, 2014 16:12