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Media Watch: Molara Wood Under Shameful Attack from Africa's Best Stories Supporters

Alert! Nigerian writer Molara Wood, who was included in the fraudulent Africa’s Best Stories collection published by Mfonobong Nsehe’s StoryAfrica outfit, has come under vicious attack by one of Nsehe’s supporters, a certain “Evans Macharia” (Facebook profile picture given here*), who has started a slanderous online campaign against Wood for complaining about having her work appropriated without her consent.

Evans MachariaMacharia’s actions are firmly of the type that beggar belief. What’s more, rather than being repudiated by Nsehe, who had seemed solicitous in the wake of the revelations about his botched project, it appears that the latter is abetting Macharia’s outrageous activities by forwarding private correspondence from Wood. (Update: Nsehe has in fact asked the blog to be shut down. See first comment below.)

On Sunday, Macharia created a Blogspot blog called “Molara Wood is Dumb“, whose purpose is to smear, threaten and otherwise intimidate the writer. Here’s Macharia’s first post in full:

Africa's Best StoriesHey,

Guess what! There is a dumb excuse for a writer called Molara Wood. She is from Nigeria, and I’ve never heard of her in my whole freaking life!

Apparently, this dumb ugly woman and her pathetic followers insulted one of our own, Mfon Nsehe on her blog, calling him all sorts of unprintable names.

Check out the blog, www.wordsbody.blogspot.com and read all about what happened. It’s all about StoryAfrica, the project he initiated where several Daystarians submitted stories, poems and write-ups for publication in ‘Africa’s Best Stories.’ Her story was included among the collection, against her wish (which was not Mfon’s fault). Mfon apologized and all- but she went on to call him all sorts of terrible names. The way she’s bastardized his image on her blog, it is unforgivable. Other nicer, MORE TALENTED writers who were invloved have let it go. But this stupid woman refused to let it go. She thinks she’s the best writer in Africa. This blog will be updated constantly until she removes that crap from her site. She thinks she knows how to use the web? We’ll show her that we eat the web over here.

Since we have I.T skills, we will let the web work for us in bringing this lady down. Anyone who has info about this lady should email it to us so we put it up on this site. It is called molarawoodisdumb@gmail.com

Computer science guys, we need your help with search engine optimization, so that this blog reaches thousands as soon as possible! Let’s get working! Meanwhile, I’ve put up pictures of her ugly face to annoy you.

Checking the blog again this morning, one finds a second post, this time containing what is clearly private correspondence between Wood and Nsehe:

Udo just sent me this mail from this sad Molara woman. It’s funny:

Date: Sun, June 06, 2010 6:16 am

Mfonobong Nsehe

Over 25 emails have come into my inbox in the last 15 minutes alone attacking me for having the nerve to stand up to your activities concerning Africa’s Best Books. Terrible abuse has been heaped upon me and there’s at least 1 death threat.

A certain ‘Steve Njeru’ informs that he has created a blog: molarawoodisdumb.blogspot.com.

Njeru and all others are acting in your behalf as ‘Daystarians’. I ask you to ensure your people take down the blog just created.

If the blog is not taken down, I inted to write the the authorities in Daystar University detailing these atrocities, which does not shine their institution in a good light. I understand you graduate in 2 weeks’ time.

Best

Molara Wood

Okay, seriously, how dumb is this woman really? She thinks we’ll actually come all the way from Nairobi to Naija to look for her to kill her? This woman just keeps getting more dumb. It’s exciting.

She has refused to tell her followers what really happened, how Udo was scammed by Agnes Kariuki and all. She’s refused to tell them how it is not Udo’s fault, and she’s refused to forgive.

The war continues!

Clearly neither Macharia nor Nsehe put much stock in their reputations: one can’t see any outcome from this other than their permanent sullying.

Macharia’s actions appear to be part of a wider attack campaign by students of Daystar University, which Nsehe apparently attends. Wood mentions a certain “Steve Njeru” in her email above – and meanwhile has forwarded BOOK SA an email from a “Richard James” that encourages others to get involved:

You guys need to check out this blog, www.wordsbody.blogspot.com. Evans Macharia from the Communications Department just sent this to me. Draft an email and send to the Daystar intranet network and ask them to read this blog and register their disappointment. Can you believe what the writer of this blog has been saying about Mfon Udo Nsehe? It is terrible! Udo does not deserve that. I remember the whole frenzy when StoryAfrica was about to launch. Someone screwed up and now everyone on the web is calling Nsehe all sorts of terrible names. Also check out this website http://bookslive.co.za/bookchat/topic/media-watch-meet-a-literary-419-scam-africas-best-stories-involved-in-oprah-book-club-hoax

No one should be allowed to attack Nsehe like that. He was one of the shining stars in Communications- brought us so much pride with his write-ups in Business Daily, e.t.c and he is graduating in two weeks time. We cannot allow this attack on his person. We need to launch a counter-attack on these two sites.

Draft a mail and send it to immediately. What is Nsehe’s phone number?

Then again, perhaps Macharia, Njeru, James et al are simply Nsehe’s sockpuppets. The various prose styles on display aren’t dissimilar, and a quick Google search shows that “Evans Macharia” might be a pseudonym for “Mwaniki wa Njeri” – which, in turn is rather close to the “Njeru” whom Woods refers to in her email.

At any rate, there’s one question that BOOK SA and Wood’s antagonists have in common: What, indeed, is Nsehe’s phone number? Someone needs to call him urgently and tell him to publicly repudiate these shameful attacks or risk being associated with them permanently. The community of African writers online will find it difficult, one imagines, to forgive such cowardly, craven, hate-filled acts.

BOOK SA calls on its readers to post messages of support for Wood both in the comments section below and on her latest StoryAfrica post, which includes the following from Chika Unigwe:

I was alerted to this book by a writer-friend whose story appears in it too. We were not informed of this anthology (before it was published), and we certainly did not give our permission for our stories to be in it. I have since spoken to some of the other writers whose works appear (or are purpoted to appear in the anthology) and they, like us, were not approached for permission for their works to be so used. The publisher has shown disdain for our profession by simply stealing our stories and publishing them.

Viva, Molara Wood, viva!

Book details

* Please contact BOOK SA if this is not the Evans Macharia concerned.

 

Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 7th, 2010 @10:25 #
     
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    Just got the following in from Wood, who sends through a note from Nsehe that redeems him somewhat, and one from Macharia that just makes the hole he's dug deeper:

    ****

    from Nsehe

    I just received a mail from Molara (check mail below). She says you guys sent her lots of emails, death threats, e.t.c regarding the StoryAfrica issue . And you created a hate blog. Please, let's not drag this matter as it is. I don't remember Steve Njeru in Comp Science, but apparently he created that blog. Please tell him to remove it. Let's just let sleeping dogs lie.

    Call me as soon as you get this.

    reply from Macharia

    Dude, you are too easy. Have u seen how that woman and her followers have blasted u on their blog? U may be willin' to let it go like that, but not us.

    [...]

    o show how fake she is, many Daystarians put up insulting comments on her blog and she did not post them. But she posted all the negative things 'bout u. She knows the real story, she knows it's not your fault. But she won't tell her followers anyway. She's gotta pay.

    She has to remove those posts from her blog. All of them, and tell her readers everything-from bitchy Agnes' scam to all. That's our condition. Otherwise, we are already working on how to optimise that blog so that when anyone searches for her name, the first thing they see is her blog. I wish this chic messed with me the way she did to you. I'll be so excited.

    ****

    I would appear that Macharia is bent upon the ultimate destruction of Nsehe, once and for all.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    June 7th, 2010 @10:35 #
     
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    dumbfounding

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  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 7th, 2010 @10:43 #
     
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    Molara,

    I'm so sorry that you're being targeted by an ill thought-out campaign, particularly by the grossly misogynistic and ad-hominem attack outlined above.

    It shouldn't surprise me that Mfonobong is willing to stoop even lower than he already has by organising this, but it's not a great way to repair his already shredded reputation.

    And I find the newest claims that an evil woman scammer on the original publishing team faked professional-looking contracts with fake author signatures blatantly absurd.

    Please know that you have my full support and your outrage is fully justified.

    - Lauren Beukes

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  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 7th, 2010 @10:45 #
     
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    Just saw Ben's update above. Apologies to Nsehe for implying that he organised the campaign and credit for telling them to cut it out.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    June 7th, 2010 @10:49 #
     
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    I'm inclined to say that any further coverage of this controversy will only benefit the sale of the book. I advise the authors to take legal action and ensure that online booksellers remove the anthology from their sites.

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 7th, 2010 @10:56 #
     
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    One of the reasons we ran the story, Richard, was so that BOOK SA's heavyweight search and social scoring could be put in service of outdoing anything the hate-speech guys post (which otherwise might creep to the top of the rankings, etc). The extra exposure might help the book's sales, but hopefully anyone searching for the book will see BOOK SA's posts first.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    June 7th, 2010 @11:02 #
     
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    Crystal clear. I hadn't considered that angle. Wishing Molara and the other authors wisdom and strength in this sadly intriguing shit storm.

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  • <a href="http://liesljobson.bookslive.co.za" rel="nofollow">Liesl</a>
    Liesl
    June 7th, 2010 @11:02 #
     
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    I'm deeply disturbed, Molara, and wishing you serenity and humour through this awful ordeal.

    Best,
    Liesl Jobson

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  • Maire
    Maire
    June 7th, 2010 @13:49 #
     
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    This is appalling. Especially when one considers how hard various people I know of have worked to put together excellent anthologies. Terrible too to have a process whereby established and aspiring writers are highlighted sullied in this way. Good to get the news about it out too - it seems from comments that some writers were not even aware that their work had been used. Brava Molara for speaking out strongly.

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  • <a href="http://wordsbody.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow">MW</a>
    MW
    June 7th, 2010 @14:36 #
     
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    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 Book.co.za in general for not leaving me to face this alone.
    MW

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  • Maire
    Maire
    June 7th, 2010 @14:40 #
     
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    I've just tried to post on Molara's blog, but blogger is down.

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    June 7th, 2010 @14:54 #
     
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    Molara, the truth will out. Hang in there.
    Does anyone know if Amazon is aware of the illegality of the anthology?

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  • <a href="http://tiahbeautement.typepad.com/quotidian/" rel="nofollow">tiah</a>
    tiah
    June 7th, 2010 @18:54 #
     
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    Haven't been able to post this week...see if this works...
    Molara, I hope this gets resolved quickly. This needs to be stopped for all writers' sake.

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  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 8th, 2010 @09:41 #
     
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    Interesting, Daystar University is a Christian Missionary university:

    http://www.daystar.ac.ke/modules/daystar/?record=1

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  • <a href="http://www.single-unsingle.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow">Duchess.LK.herself</a>
    Duchess.LK.herself
    June 12th, 2010 @11:12 #
     
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    Why do i even bother?

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  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 12th, 2010 @18:57 #
     
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    Like I've said before, riveting stuff -

    http://www.oprah.com/community/thread/137174

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