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A. N. Okonoboh is best known worldwide for drawing many courageous fictional characters: Ekoyata, Siva Okojie, Emelisa and Harrison. From his first novel on, Okonoboh's writing career has a clear goal: to picture to the whole world that Africa's problem has gone beyond the story of "Mr. Tortoise and his wife," or "The Ice-cream Thief," present so abundantly in many writings about Africa. His writings draw a continent split between the Super rich Bigman ruling class and the Poor Woodeater subject. The mystery of blacks is amply justified by Africa's culture of misguided respect which amounts to worship pledged on oppressive and corrupt people because they embody statehood. They draw images of thieves in the government. The works also try to prove the lack of creativity and the incompetence of leaders, the shortness of black systems towards the challenge of personnel example and the complete failure in matters of international best practice.
Born on July 17, 1973 in Ubiaja, Bendel State, (Now Edo, State) to a peasant farmer, Aihebholo-oria Nathaniel Okonoboh as a brilliant child dreamed of being a surgeon. But after completing his first six years of primary school education in 1985, he had a five years break from any formal education because fees for secondary school wasn't affordable for his family in those years of military rule.
That might have put an end to Okonoboh's dream. However, he had already been listed for scholarship in 1989 when he repeated primary six class. While waiting for the scholarship, that hope would quickly see him to the secondary school. When the award was later sold to Bigmen children whose parents had connections, Okonoboh's father was already enduring the high school fees. All of this meant something to Okonoboh as a child, storing away in his memory, to be valuable materials for his future writing career.
Realising that his family didn't have the right financial spine to support him, Okonoboh shifted gears and followed the trade of his father in farming. And he started writing his first work, The Homecoming, in 1995, his last year in the secondary school.
After leaving the secondary school in 1995, he farmed for five more years before moving to Benin City in year 2000 with his completed manuscript. Okonoboh rode Okada (Commercial transportation done with motorcycle) for six years in Benin. Meanwhile, his manuscript was rejected by all the publishers he approached, who claimed to be publishing only educational books.
This experience might have put an end to Okonoboh's interest in writing. However, he already had a picture of the society in which he was raised to draw to everyone, from children to adults: what he had seen, what he had heard, what he had read, and what he had experienced.
When he moved to Lagos in 2006 and had similar experience, he realised that this part of the country offered other opportunities. Okonoboh could combine his writing with business in Lagos. It was easy for him to raise money for his small publishing firm which published a modest 1000 copies of his first book that sold out within one month.
Since then, Okonoboh has been a hot possession of the universities.
A. N. Okonoboh is author of over fifteen books including: The Homecoming, Daggers in a Teacup, 1960 Onward, Guests of the Cemetery, State of Fear, The Murder, Caught, Confession, The Trial, The Judgment, Woman in Chains, Murder in Agadez Dormitory, Words of Wisdom: A Collection of African Proverbs, Stuttering: The Nature and a Practical Approach to the Treatment.
Daggers in a Teacup is a featured book for creative writing at the Lagos State University. Okonoboh lives in Lagos with his family.