The Song of Our Father

History into Poetry
  • Also available as: E-Book
  • Published: July 2019
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 314
  • Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9781489724298
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The Song of Our Father (cf. The Song of Hiawatha) is the story of a patriarch of the Niger Delta in West Africa, told in poetry like its homophonic cousin, and rhymed in 29 of 30 chapters. The Prologue flashes back to 1834 when the British explorer Richard Lander made his second expedition to the area and was killed while passing through the protagonist’s home town, Angiama. Interestingly, the forebears of John Lander, Richard’s brother and co-explorer – Megan and Emily – made an anniversary trip in 2004 to mark the 200th birthday of Richard Lander’s birth. The Frank-Opigo family made contact with them through the British High Commission in Nigeria to encourage them to come down the River Niger as far as Angiama, the point where Richard died. That “event” is captured in the Epilogue. Between the Prologue and the Epilogue is a microscopic story of Nigeria and the Niger Delta, told through the life of Nicholas Abo Frank-Opigo, 1926 – 2010. Snapshots of Nigeria’s pre-independence, independence, the Biafra civil war and its aftermath, are all retold in a new perspective and with fresh details. The culture of the people of the Niger Delta underline sections of the narrative. Certain previously untold details of the Biafran warlord, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, come to light, as the protagonist was one of his provincial Administrators. Above all, it is the poignant story of a man, told by his son, who grew up in challenging circumstances and rose through sheer gumption from grass to grace – to gasp.

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