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.
Macharia’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:
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 email@example.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
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.
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!
- Africa’s Best Stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Wole Soyinka, EC Osondu, Chika Unigwe
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* Please contact BOOK SA if this is not the Evans Macharia concerned.