Monday, June 7, 2010

Support Molara Wood

At the beginning of June I saw a post on Facebook from my friend Jude Dibia. It was about an anthology of African short stories that was now chosen as a selection for Oprah's Book Club. I was happy that African writers were being acknowledged yet again and that some of my friends had stories in the anthology including Jude, Chika Unigwe and Molara Wood; all of us friends since our time putting together the One World anthology.

No sooner had Jude posted on Facebook then Books SA uncovered the scam. Mfonobong Nsehe, self described "Publishing executive. Media Visionary. Dreamer. Drummer. Global citizen" seemed to have forgotten one very important bit about publishing- getting the writer's permission.

After the house of cards collapsed, Nsehe attempted to right his wrong by sending out letters now, after the fact, asking for permission to use the writers' stories. Already he proved himself to be a liar since the whole Oprah scam was little more than a figment of his fertile imagination. Which writer of sense would want to be associated with such a shady project?

Molara Wood posted his letter and her response on her blog and instead of apologising profusely as he should have, Nsehe and either himself under other names or some of his misguided colleagues have started a hateful campaign against Molara including this blog: Molara Wood is Dumb. More on this campaign can be seen at Book SA. She has been personally attacked including death threats.

I've known Molara Wood for some time. She is a writer of conscience who has dedicated her blog and much of her professional life to the support of African and Nigerian writers and artists of all sorts. She is taking a brave stance on behalf of all of us both on the continent and off. She needs our support.

Please stop by her blog and leave a message to let her know that she is doing the right thing and we will not allow plagiarisers and thieves without conscience to treat her in such a despicable manner.


Wordsbody said...

Lauri, thank you

I just posted the following on

This is Molara. Yesterday was really difficult, but today I've taken a lot of courage from the support of so many writers. As I've told my detractors, I'll survive a hate blog and other juvenile attacks, however vicious; and what works I've done in writing to this point, will stand me in good stead. They, on the other hand, are young, with their reputations still ahead of them; and I cannot imagine a better (or worse) way for otherwise promising young men to ruin their own futures. My immense gratitude to Ben for being there, and to in general for not leaving me to face this alone.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

The whole thing is despicable - having had something slightly similar happen to me last year, in that my work was stolen - and then I was targeted in an attempt to discredit.
I empathise hugely with M here. It's interesting that her thief may be using alter egos to taunt in a most stupid way. Ditto. Grown men, apparently.

Unknown said...

Take heart MW. My agent is also pursuing this legally for me. I've been away and out of touch for a while now (with the internet i.e.)

You are doing the right thing by fighting this... Enough with people exploiting writers.


Lauri said...

I knew there was no way you were alone in this Molara. I would think all of the writers are finding their own way to justice.

Tania Hershman said...

God, this is awful. Molara, I am so sorry to hear this. Lauri, thank you for bringing this to our attention. Sadly, I continue to be amazed at the depths to which some people can stoop.

Lauri said...

An update on SA Books :

Apparently the blog against Molara has been shut down and the book is no longer for sale. Funny Mr. Nsehe seemed to think it was okay to use Oprah's name to sell his book,
"One of my friends came and suggested that we used the power of Oprah to boost sales. At that point, it seemed like a smart idea and so I gave the go-ahead".