~~~ Night Has Fallen in the Afternoon ~~~

        This little story is so packed with so many obscure proverbs that I was often tempted to give up on it. Yet it held my interest because of the picture it gives of pre-colonial village life. The book was purchased in Nigeria in November, 1983, but I did not tackle the translation until many years later. My first helper was Tina Durunna, and the second was Jennifer Ekeanyanwu, both of whom generously shared their knowledge and their time while working outside their homes and raising their young sons. Needless to say, I owe them a big debt of gratitude.

       In addition, I am indebted to the online class "Uwandiigbo," whose members always responded to my pleas for help. Many of them shared childhood experiences in their own villages--a gold mine for a non-native translator like me. Thanks, fellow students!

        Regarding the proverbs and idioms, if I had any helpful suggestions about them, I put these in brackets. But in some cases even my helpers were stumped as to how to relate the proverbs to the context, so you readers will have to be on your own in puzzling them out. Your ideas will be welcome!

        About the author, Joseph Uchechuku Tagbo Nzeako, I have been able to learn that he comes from Anambra State and was born in 1940, one of ten children. He studied journalism and worked for the Nigerian Television Agency in Enugu. He has many publications to his credit, some of which I have been able to obtain. The ones I have are: Okuku Agbasaa Okpesi, 1964 (Thomas Nelson, Nigeria); Erimma, 1973 (Thomas Nelson, Nigeria); and Juochi, 1981 (Macmillan, Nigeria).

        In July 2002, my friend Dr. Bertram Okolo of the University of Benin sent me the following biodata, apparently prepared by the author himself:

NAME:  Joseph Uchechuku Tagbo Nzeako
DATE OF BIRTH:  14th June, 1940
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:  Attended Central School, Abagana; Okongwu Memorial Grammar School, Nnewi; Anglican Grammar School, Oraukwu and International School of Journalism, Budapest, Hungary (I.O.J.)
PROFESSION:  Journalism
WORKING EXPERIENCE:  Editor (News) N.T.A. [Nigerian Television
Associaton] Channel 8, Enugu; Assistant Controller (News) Anambra
Television, Channel 50, Enugu.
PARENTS:  Late Mr. Joseph C. Nzeako (retired Anglican pastor) and late Mrs. Priscilla M. Nzeako.
POSITION IN THE FAMILY:  The last of the four sons and the eighth of the parents' ten children.
MARITAL STATUS:  Happily married to Dr. Mrs. Constance Uzoamaka Nzeako
CHILDREN:  Blessed with two sons and four daughters.
WRITINGS:  Author of 23 published books in Igbo customs, poetry and literature.
     1.  Okuko Agbasaa Okpesi
     2.  Erimma
     3.  Nkoli
     4.  Aka Ji Aku
     5.  Omenala Ndi Igbo
     6.  Akpa Uche
     7.  Emecheta
     8.  Chi Ewere Ehihie Jie
     9.  Nkata Ekpudo Onye Aghugho
     10. Juochi
     11. Agbusi Gbaa Otule
     12. Ihe A na-afu Apiala
     13. Ukwu Jie Agu,
               etc. etc.
MOTIVATION:  My first publication, "Okuko Agbasaa Okpesi," was written when I was a first year student in secondary school. Incidentally it was the recommended literature for W.A.E.C. [West African Examination Council] examinations when I took my school certificate examinations.
     I wrote "Erimma" in class two secondary school, "Chi Ewere Ehihie
Jie" in class three, and "Omenala Ndi Igbo" in classes four and five.
Since then I have been writing as a hobby.
     I had the inspiration to write after inspecting two pamphlets
written in Igbo, "Nkapi Anya Ukwu" and "Enwe a na-akpo Chandu," thirty and thirty-two page books which were officially recommended for our class.
PRESENT APPOINTMENT:  Personal Assistant to the Secretary to the
Anambra State Government.
HOBBIES:  Writing, travelling and flower gardening.
[This resume was written on Oct. 10, 2000.]


Frances W. Pritchett
Little Rock, Arkansas
Oct. 2007 


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