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.