Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Mfonobong Nsehe Shuts Down Africa's Best Stories – and the Molara Wood Hate Blog

Mfonobong NseheAlert! In what we hope will be the final installment of the Africa’s Best Stories saga, StoryAfrica’s Mfonobong Nsehe has written to BOOK SA directly, confirming that he’s shut down both the fraudulent short story publishing project and the Molara Wood hate blog that have animated our readers so much of late.

In the spirit of right-of-reply, we present Mfonobong’s correspondence in full. On Africa’s Best Stories:

Africa's Best StoriesHi Ben,

In light of the circumstances, I feel it is only right that I write you personally. I am Mfonobong- the man in the storm. I would like to clear a few things up. Some of the things I’m going to tell you, I’ve already told Molara. I have been in contact with her and I believe she is beginning to understand everything that happened.

Before anything else, let me confirm to you that the book has been stopped. It is not possible for anyone to buy the book again. We have asked Createspace to call back all the books that have been sold. The book is still being listed on Amazon.com, but it is not for sale. We have asked Amazon.com to remove the book from their website and we are still awaiting a response from them.

Also, I assure you that I NEVER asked Evans Macharia or any of my friends to create that hateful and malicious blog against Molara. It is way beneath me. All I did was write to my friend, Evans Macharia , telling him about all that had transpired. He’s a good friend of mine, and he thought that the best way to put up a defense for me was by mobilizing school mates to create a hateful blog against Ms. Wood. I sincerely apologize for his (their) immaturity. I have asked them to take the blog down. I am not in Kenya and so the best I can do now is to write them emails, persuading them to remove the blog. I am still asking them to remove the blog. I have no hand in that blog whatsoever, and I did not even know it existed until Molara told me about it.

Meanwhile, Ben, I would like to clear up some things about StoryAfrica. When we started this project at school, we mobilized people and asked students to submit their favorite short stories, poetry and art. We made a final selection of 18 works (all of which were included in the book). When it came to the issue of permissions and copyrights, a lady in the school called [name withheld], convinced myself and the rest of my team that she had contacts with most of the writers in the collection. It was easy to believe her because we all knew she had interned in one of Kenya’s leading publishing houses in the past. We paid her some money, about Ksh 100,000 to collect permissions and sign coyright contracts. We did that sometime in December 2009. By March this year, she returned with copies of signed copyright permission contracts. She explained to us that she emailed, faxed and phoned these writers to get these permissions. Looking back, we now now she was a scammer. The documents she gave us looked so genuine and real and had signatures and all of the supposed writers. We did not know they were fakes until you first wrote this story three weeks ago, and we received complaints from authors. Also, when E.C Osonu wrote to me through my facebook page confronting me for using his story, I began to suspect something was amiss.

Now we know she scammed us. But of course, no one wants to hear that part of the story and blames it all on me.

As for the Oprah issue, it was a gimmick (which regretfully, I endorsed). 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. He drew up a Press release and sent it out to news sites and all. I didn’t think it would be much of an issue, but it raised an ethical storm. I’m sorry, and I take responsibility for that.

But please know that I did not lead the publishing of that book with the knowledge that we did not have original permissions. If I had known, I wouldn’t have published the book in the first place.

I am not the intellectual thief or evil person you have portrayed me to be.

I hope you see through all this. I’ve been trying to move away from this, but it keeps coming back.

Mfon.

On the Molara Wood hate blog, meanwhile, Nsehe writes, “I spoke with Evans this morning. The hate blog has been deleted.” Indeed, a visit to http://molarawoodisdumb.blogspot.com/ returns a “not found” notice.

Interestingly, tacked to the bottom of Nsehe’s correspondence are a few emails from the writer Oscar Mubila, who’s based in Zambia, and who took action against Africa’s Best Stories recently by submitting a copyright complaint to the book’s producer, CreateSpace/Amazon, on June 7th. The reply from CreateSpace/Amazon includes the following: “Please be advised that we do not involve ourselves in third party disputes. As you retired this title on June 3, 2010 we have placed a hold on the title to ensure it cannot be made available again until this matter is resolved.”

Nsehe truly has shut the thing down, then – an outcome that will doubtless satisfy many who’ve followed the story.

Book details

Image courtesy Zimeye.org

 

Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 9th, 2010 @00:27 #
     
    Top

    UPDATE: Just when I thought we might have closed the story on this one, BOOK SA receives a note from the Executive Editor of the gargantuan Blogcritics.org, Lisa McKay:

    "I came across your website a week or so ago as I was doing some investigation into the matter of Mfonobong Nsehe and Africa's Best Stories and read the story about it with a great deal of interest. As you can read here [see link below], we've had our own very recent run-in with Mr. Nsehe (or one of his associates). I was very happy to read on your site today that he's ceased publication of the book. He practices the usual con-man's trick of blaming his problems on the incompetency or dishonesty of others -- I believe him to be both a liar and a fraud. In any case, I thought you might be interested in our experiences with him."

    The upshot of Blogcritics' sleuthing is that Nsehe, or one of his crowd, submitted, under the name Richard James, a fake interview with Donald Trump, to generate publicity for another of Nsehe's books, Crazy Billionaires Speak (which, like Africa's Best Stories, comprises material lifted legally or otherwise from the internet).

    Read Blogcritics' "We've Been Had: A Detective Story and An Apology", which details this further example of calculated deceitfulness:

    http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/weve-been-had-a-detective-story/

    To summarise the methods at work here:

    * Compile a book out of material from the internet
    * Sell it for a profit on Amazon.com
    * Promote it with fake ties to celebrities like Oprah and Donald Trump
    * When caught, avoid taking any blame and point wildly at scapegoats

    The word for all this is: pathetic. I'm almost sorry we published Nsehe's letter in the post above.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    June 9th, 2010 @08:31 #
     
    Top

    This story just gets worse and worse. How do we know he actually did recall all the copies?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://liesljobson.bookslive.co.za" rel="nofollow">Liesl</a>
    Liesl
    June 9th, 2010 @10:05 #
     
    Top

    This one didn't look like it was going to curl up its toes and die a quick death, now did it?

    Hope Oprah pulls out the big guns.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    June 9th, 2010 @10:13 #
     
    Top

    Gotta give them credit for taking crime to a whole new level.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://wordsbody.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow">MW</a>
    MW
    June 9th, 2010 @11:01 #
     
    Top

    Richard James is the one who, on 6 June, issued a call to arms to Daystarians to attack me.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 9th, 2010 @11:18 #
     
    Top

    Africa's Best Stories = Africa's Worst Story :-(

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 9th, 2010 @11:59 #
     
    Top

    Here's an article from 2008, by one called Mfonobong Nsehe, fulminating against greed and corruption among Africa's politicians:

    http://www.articlesbase.com/non-fiction-articles/africas-leaders-need-a-paradigm-shift-in-their-thinking-499019.html

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 9th, 2010 @12:03 #
     
    Top

    Could this be the very same Mfonobong Nsehe?

    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/151787

    Here's one where a certain Mfonobong Nsehe is described in a byline as: "Mfonobong Nsehe is an Africanist and founder of Echo Africa- a start-up think tank that addresses African issues (ZimEye, Zimbabwe) ( February 10th, 2009 )"

    http://newzimsituation.com/1844yz/opinions---mandebvhu-talks--zimbabwe----.htm

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 9th, 2010 @12:34 #
     
    Top

    Molara, I thought that name was familiar. So looks like Richard James is a separate person, though still very much caught up in all this mess.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 9th, 2010 @12:44 #
     
    Top

    You know what's REALLY interesting?

    This section, taken from an earlier version of his Wikipedia page, written by "Hodderway" (the name of his other publishing company.)

    He is also an Advertising Copywriter and has written winning adverts for Toyota, Virgin Atlantic, Range Rover, Benson & Hedges and other companies. Some campaigns created by him include for Toyota- 'Deep down, every car just wants to be a Toyota', MTN- 'It's going to be a Yellow day', Toyota Rav 4- 'It takes money to buy a car, but you need class to buy a Rav 4', Benson & Hedges- 'Be bold, be gold', and Rothamans- 'What do you smoke?' among others.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 9th, 2010 @12:51 #
     
    Top

    And guess what? When you google those slogans, you get just one page.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TalkNigeria/message/95998

    Googlewack!

    But the content of that page seems very interesting...

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 9th, 2010 @12:56 #
     
    Top

    Nice work, Mr Wombat.

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 9th, 2010 @12:57 #
     
    Top

    So, if I'm reading that thread correctly, he previously faked a report on the nigerian president's death for publicity for a whole other book - ? Holy crap.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 9th, 2010 @13:09 #
     
    Top

    Every time I start to feel sorry for him, new info comes to light that shows him up as clearly-very-dodgy-on-purpose. Nice sleuthing Rustum & Sam.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    June 9th, 2010 @13:35 #
     
    Top

    It makes you wonder how many other of his publications and false claims are lurking out there.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 9th, 2010 @13:47 #
     
    Top

    I'm not sure if it was to publicise "Crazy Billionaires Speak".

    However, the false story referenced in the thread did apparently come from The American Chronicle, which Nsehe was writing for at the time.

    If the article was ever actually in The American Chronicle, it seems to have disappeared since then.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 9th, 2010 @14:04 #
     
    Top

    Ben and Book.co.za

    This is Nsehe. I decided to join book.co.za, finally. I've been following your site steadily and now I'm reading a posting from Ben claiming that I faked the president's death to promote a book. That is a very grave and unwise accusation to make. What book was I trying to promote?

    I expect you to reason logically. I emailed you, (Ben) and Blogcritics this morning that I have not had any affiliations with Hodderway Books since October last year. I told you that I sold my stake in Hodderway Books to Richard. So anything that happened with Hodderway Books after October 2009, I had no interest in. If I'm reading correctly, that story broke out in November. Why do you keep finding new ways to put my name up here?

    For the sake of full disclosure, Ben, why don't you put up every correpondence we've made and stop feeding your people half-truths.'

    I'm putting this StoryAfrica issue behind me. The book has been cancelled and its not longer being sold. We are recalling copies and I've tendered numerous apologies to the writers involved. We've identified our mistakes and have made restitution.

    You better find other stuff to talk about on book.co.za at this juncture.

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 9th, 2010 @14:06 #
     
    Top

    Nsehe has written to say that I have, in fact, mis-read the Googlewhack thread, noted above, that was unearthed by Sam. He says he left Hodderway Books - started by himself and Richard James - last October, and thus has nothing to do with any Hodderway-related deals or scandals that have unfolded since. So take the faked-the-president's-death thread as you will, he might not have been involved.

    Nsehe says he's also written to Blogcritics with the same information.

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 9th, 2010 @14:09 #
     
    Top

    Ah, looks like Nsehe and I posted at the same time. See his note above mine, which is essentially his emails to me. Doing our best down here, Nsehe!

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://wordsbody.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow">MW</a>
    MW
    June 9th, 2010 @14:33 #
     
    Top

    Just got this from evans.macharia@gmail.com

    "Following popular demand, your blog is back."

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 9th, 2010 @14:40 #
     
    Top

    Yep, the Molara Wood hate blog is back. Got anything to say about that, Nsehe?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 9th, 2010 @15:15 #
     
    Top

    Hi Mfon,

    One major problem is that "Richard James" really doesn't seem to exist.

    If you google "Richard James" and "Hodderway" together, you get the Blogcritics post, and three references to Hodder Way Road. That's it.

    So if Richard James really is in charge of Hodderway, then Richard James is either a psudonym or he hasn't been very involved in the publicity for his company in the last 8 months.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 9th, 2010 @15:22 #
     
    Top

    And if he really is a friend of yours, I'd be worried, because he seems hell-bent on destroying your reputation.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    June 9th, 2010 @15:30 #
     
    Top

    "Iago is one of Shakespeare's most sinister villains, often considered such because of the unique trust that Othello places in him, which he betrays while maintaining his reputation of honesty and dedication." -Wikipedia

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 9th, 2010 @15:38 #
     
    Top

    Molara, I'm sorry to hear about the blog. Evans can be a difficult nut to crack at times. He's my friend, so I know. Sally, I don't know how Lago comes into the picture. Meanwhile, Wombatwilson, /partnership we are business partners. We met in Kenya and struck a friendship/partnership. I don't see how he's destroying my reputation. Blogcritics, in the name of investigative journalism sucked on their job, and now they are pointing to me. Richard James has been smart enough to market his concerns with 'Hodderway Books' and not with his name, like I've done in the past. It's surprising how this saga never wants to end.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 9th, 2010 @15:41 #
     
    Top

    I'll be here as from henceforth to take all your questions. My email is mfonobong (at) storyafrica.com.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 9th, 2010 @15:48 #
     
    Top

    Sure, but Richard James also faked an interview with Donald Trump for the benefit of Hodderway books, and the only name attached to Hodderway is you, as its founder.

    So everything fraudulent Richard James does comes back to haunt you.

    Oh, and it was Richard James who called on the Daystar students to attack Molara.

    Not good for your reputation.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 9th, 2010 @16:09 #
     
    Top

    I see where you are coming from.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://wordsbody.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow">MW</a>
    MW
    June 9th, 2010 @16:34 #
     
    Top

    "Molara, I'm sorry to hear about the blog. Evans can be a difficult nut to crack at times. He's my friend, so I know."

    Mfon, what does this mean, exactly? That this creature from your Id is now free of your influence and he can carry on in his maniacal ways? You give up and he can rave on?

    And it's disturbing how you continue to claim him as a "friend", reprehensible though his conduct.

    I have also wondered whether indeed Richard James exists. I'm not convinced.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 9th, 2010 @16:56 #
     
    Top

    Molara, I've tried. The first time I asked him to remove the blog, he removed it. I don't know why he brought it back. I don't know if you wrote to him recently or anything that might have provoked him to bring it back. I'm not in Kenya now so it's easy for him to ignore me. B

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 9th, 2010 @17:07 #
     
    Top

    Molara, when he is tired, he will bring it down. He can't keep up with it for long. You once told me that you can live with a hate blog. Also, about Richard James, I've asked him to join this site so that we continue this conversation.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 9th, 2010 @17:08 #
     
    Top

    Mfon,

    Excuse me? What Molara might have done to "provoke him"? How about absolutely nothing?

    This vicious, petty and personal attack on her is completely unjustified AND unprovoked.

    If he's genuinely a friend of yours, you need to make it clear to him that his little crusade is hurting your reputation and Daystar university's.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://wordsbody.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow">MW</a>
    MW
    June 9th, 2010 @17:08 #
     
    Top

    Mfon, I have never written Evans Macharia, whoever he is, nor have I replied any of his correspondence. So how I could have "provoked" him, I don't know.

    I should add that that blog was never really "removed", just hidden or something, for it's resurrected complete with the supposedly deleted material. Another half-truth?

    For someone who stands to lose the most from what Macharia is doing, you seem surprisingly accepting of the uncontrollable persona you admittedly unleashed to deal with your 'Molara problem'.

    So, where are you, since you say you're not in Kenya? Please know there is no escape from this mess you've birthed. The stink will follow...

    By the way, is this your (Kenyan) phone number: +254721679912 ?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 9th, 2010 @17:10 #
     
    Top

    Oh and here's the "contact us" form for Daystar University. Should anyone wish to complain about Evans Macharia's despicable behaviour in starting this hate blog.

    http://www.daystar.ac.ke/modules/contactus/

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://wordsbody.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow">MW</a>
    MW
    June 9th, 2010 @17:11 #
     
    Top

    Mfon, I told you I can SURVIVE a hate blog. I also asked you a question: can you survive all of this damage to your reputation? Can you?

    Bottom
  • OprahW
    OprahW
    June 9th, 2010 @18:08 #
     
    Top

    Mistah Neshe if you mention your collection in connection with my show again I am going to come right over there to Kenya and open a school on your ass, give a free car to Molara Woods, and personally gift evereh person on this blog a cream of dandelion douche.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 9th, 2010 @18:08 #
     
    Top

    besides still being available at amazon.com, this book is also listed at a dozen or so other retailers at prices up to US$85 plus postage... amazon.fr, amazon.de, amazon.uk, eCampus, deastore.com in Italy etc etc

    http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl&st=sl&qi=Q,FHcjRUt7.kYDDGRIFAual7HpA_8155028074_1:35:245&bq=author%3Dstoryafrica%26title%3Dafrica%27s%2520best

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 9th, 2010 @18:14 #
     
    Top

    hmmm... my long link just gets to bookfinder's home page - just type 'Africa's Best Stories' in the title block and hit search, should find the listings

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 9th, 2010 @18:43 #
     
    Top

    Mfonobong:

    Richard James published an interview between himself and Donald Trump, in which Trump endorsed "Crazy Billionaires Speak" of Hodderway in an off-the-cuff manner. When questioned, Richard James defended the interview.

    If the very same Richard James is also the OWNER of Hodderway, which publishes the book, and at no point in the interview or his defense of it did he mention he was the owner of Hodderway, then it's pretty obviously fraud.

    Furthermore, when his review of "Africa's Best Stories" was questioned, he claimed that he only read it because he follows all the Google alerts about Oprah. Surely he would have noticed that it was published by his former business partner? Your name is right there, at the end of the introduction.

    Since all we've seen of Richard James is this fraud, and his willingness to lie to defend it, and his willingness to lie to defend his review of Africa's Best Stories, and his rallying of the attack on Molara, are you really sure he's the best person to bring in to your defense?

    It's not that he lies, it's just that he was so easy to catch.

    Bottom
  • Lood
    Lood
    June 9th, 2010 @20:21 #
     
    Top

    Dear goodness! Have you guys opened up a can of worms here. I find the actions of these people deplorable!

    I do however have my own 2cents worth to add to this. The dear person Evans Macharia has a some seriously strange things cropping up under his name.

    Firstly there's the Graduates.com profile with some questionable references: http://www.graduates.com/vg.aspx?i=2898320

    According to an online forum he also went by the name of Mwaniki wa Njeri (http://www.mashada.com/forums/old-politics-forum-read-only/11686-evans-k-macharia-aka-mwaniki-wa-njeri.html) and it's hard to discern from the bad English whether either of those names are real.

    Then there's the kicker on AmericanChronicle.com (http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/144226) where Evans Macharia claims that God caused the earthquake in haiti because he is good. He ends it with this sentence: "Donate to me through PayPal to Hodderway@gmail.com"

    Now Hodderway... where did we hear that name before?

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 9th, 2010 @20:27 #
     
    Top

    Molara, I never really answered your question. I can actually survive this one. I survive many things on a daily basis. Mr. Lood, Hodderway is owned by Richard James and he has a partnership with Evans. Together, they are working on building a media content company. Let's see how that goes. Following the circumstances, I have cut off contact with them. Moi, the book has been destroyed. The copies being sold are being peddled by persons who purchased the book earlier and are trying to make a quick profit.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 9th, 2010 @20:59 #
     
    Top

    @mfon: actually the book is listed as new, print on demand, from amazon's pod outfit, CreateSpace.com

    I wonder how you missed their content guidelines, interalia:

    Recopied Media

    Copies, dubs, duplicates, or transfers of music, videos, software, images, etc., are prohibited. Just as you cannot sell a photocopied book without the author's permission, you cannot sell copies or duplicates of videos, music, video games, software, photos, etc. Likewise, you cannot sell transferred media – whether laserdisc to video, CD-ROM to cassette tape, or from the Internet to any digital format--unless explicitly approved by the author.

    and,

    Rights of Publicity

    Celebrity images and/or celebrity names cannot be used for commercial purposes without permission of the celebrity or their management. This includes product endorsements and merchandise as well as unauthorized celebrity image collections.

    and the stuff about Stolen Goods?

    https://www.createspace.com/Help/Rights/ContentGuidelines.jsp

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 9th, 2010 @21:11 #
     
    Top

    Moi, the book cannot be bought new! You can contact createspace yourself and find out for yourself. We have cancelled it completely. It is likely that the site you found the book on sale was up and running weeks back, and they have not updated their catalogue. No one can buy the book from Createspace again.
    Also, I hope we realize that by continually talking about this book, people are becoming more eager to buy it, and that's why those who already own copies are asking for higher prices. The more reason we should close the chapter of this book.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 9th, 2010 @21:17 #
     
    Top

    This should be useful for the authors who got stung:

    Intellectual Property Rights
    Notice and Procedure for Making Claims of Copyright Infringement

    If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please provide CreateSpace's copyright agent the written information specified below....

    https://www.createspace.com/Help/Rights/IntellectualProperty.jsp

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 9th, 2010 @22:22 #
     
    Top

    I believe Mfon is right, and the book is now being sold new only through third-party dealers.

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 9th, 2010 @22:32 #
     
    Top

    Yes, what Sam says appears to be correct.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 9th, 2010 @22:51 #
     
    Top

    I dunno, hey... amazon.ca, amazon.de and powells all seem to think they have new copies to sell direct..

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 10th, 2010 @01:56 #
     
    Top

    Mfon,

    So far, you seem to have been surprised at how the people on this site have been responding to you. We may have seemed to have been on the attack, making wild and unjustified accusations about your character.

    Please remember however that our first knowledge of you is as a fraudster. You first came to our attention because of the claim that Oprah Winfrey had selected Africa's Best Stories for her book club.

    I know you have apologised for this. I only bring it up to explain why every single thing you've said since then has been treated with extreme scrutiny.

    Bearing this in mind, there are some questions you could answer if you'd like to clear your name:

    1) If you have no affiliation with Hodderway or Richard James since October last year, then why have all the positive reviews I've seen of "Africa's Best Stories" been written by either Richard James or Hodderway?

    2) In press releases, and on this site, it was claimed that all the proceeds from "Crazy Billionaires Speak" and "Africa's Best Stories" are going to a variety of charities. Could you provide a list of these charities, so we could contact them and verify donations from AfricaStories and Hodderway?

    3) You claim to be representing a group of enthusiastic literature students who compiled the book. Why then is your name the only one (besides the cover artist's) attached to it? I have published literary magazines before, and it's important to thank people. Why didn't you acknowledge their contribution?

    4) You say you paid 100,000 Kenyan Shillings (R9500) to a student called Agnes, who in return gave you fake contracts with the all the authors, and then absconded with the money. If I were to contact Daystar University, would they be able to confirm that this student had disappeared? Surely they would have her contact details, or those of her family?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.lucidlilith.wordpress.com" rel="nofollow">RosieR</a>
    RosieR
    June 10th, 2010 @05:24 #
     
    Top

    I am Rosie R. Two of my stories were taken from websites and added to this collection. The issue is the unauthorized use of my work for profit. Not one individual would take kindly to anyone breaking and entering, stealing, using another's property without permission and more. Yes. I am a pissed. This is my work. I have never written anything for the sake of profit. Why should someone else make money from my work? It is wrong. To think I just found out about this today .... it is what pisses me off the most.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @08:27 #
     
    Top

    Hey Sam, much as I would like to bring this issue to an end, let me answer your questions. If you've been following my correspondencies with Ben, you will realise that Richard was also involved in the StoryAfrica project. It's only logical that he would want to promote the book his own way.

    Secondly, proceeds from Crazy Billionaires Speak ACTUALLY went to charities. You can contact BC Cancer foundation, Canada for donations from Mfonobong Nsehe on behalf of Hodderway, Feed The Children Australia, Save The Children (Kenya) among others. We have not made any donations for StoryAfrica because we are not making any money from this book.

    My name is the one associated with it because I was the lead editor of the project. As a matter of fact, there are writers from Daystar included in the anthology.

    You can verify on Agnes. She was a contract staff who was very close to us.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @08:28 #
     
    Top

    Rosie R, this book has been cancelled. We've made recalls and all. I'm sorry you're hearing about this book just now.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @08:29 #
     
    Top

    Let's close this chapter.

    Bottom
  • Toledo
    Toledo
    June 10th, 2010 @09:05 #
     
    Top

    Mfonobong Nsehe Udo IS Richard James. I say this as someone who knows his moves.

    Udo, I fail to see how this chapter can close while the Hate Blog you orchestrated against an innocent writer remains active. Face reality.

    [Editor's note: Nsehe has denied being Richard James - Ben.]

    Bottom
  • Toledo
    Toledo
    June 10th, 2010 @09:06 #
     
    Top

    Been scouring the net and look what I found

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

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    June 10th, 2010 @09:08 #
     
    Top

    Will Nsehe be distributing royalties to the writers from the money he has made from the sales of the book thus far?

    Bottom
  • Toledo
    Toledo
    June 10th, 2010 @09:13 #
     
    Top

    Udo, survive this all you want. Your name is permanently sullied. It is MUD. There is too much bad stuff trailing you on the net. You're going to have to change your name. I and a few of my friends will be waiting for you at Athi-River on Grad day.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    June 10th, 2010 @09:22 #
     
    Top

    But this is great! News about this nefarious criminal is spreading.

    It really and truly frightens me to think that any writing of mine that is posted online might be used to make money for someone else. It takes the joy out of wanting to share my work with others.

    And Nsehe, I'm surprised that a literary editor such as yourself isn't familiar with the play Othello, featuring one of the most devious criminals of all time.

    Bottom
  • Toledo
    Toledo
    June 10th, 2010 @09:25 #
     
    Top

    @Louis Greenberg: Royalities? He's absconded with everything. I wouldn't be surprised if he is the one now flogging copies of the book through so called Third Parties. Most of the attacks against that woman, including the odious blog, were done from outside Kenya and Udo is the evil mastermind behind it all.

    Blogcritics did a good job on this guy. He should be arrested, not come here and talk his slippery talk. Interpol should be informed, he's an international criminal.

    [Editor's note: Nsehe has denied essentially everything in this comment. - Ben]

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @09:28 #
     
    Top

    Whoa there, Toledo! Thanks for the Oprah link, but also - no need to insinuate threats of physical harm.

    Bottom
  • Toledo
    Toledo
    June 10th, 2010 @09:33 #
     
    Top

    @Sally, I've been reading the comments here and I laughed out loud when he drew a blank at Iago. Clueless! To call this guy a literary editor is an insult to literary editors. How many literary editors author hate blogs?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 10th, 2010 @09:37 #
     
    Top

    Hi Mfon,

    Sorry, like I said, you're under intense scrutiny, so we're not going to close this chapter until we've verified what you've said. The people on this site are mostly reasonable, and if we can ascertain within reasonable doubt from third-party sources (not affiliated or influenced by you) that what you say is true, we will leave you alone. Until then, we absolutely won't, because we hate being lied to.

    Given that,

    There are six international branches of Save the Children working in Kenya, but no actual Save The Children (Kenya).

    Which Save the Children did you give money to?

    Also, if Richard James was involved in AfricaStories, then I take it he's a student, too? Can I contact Daystar about him? If not, what was his involvement in the project, considering that you were the editor and publisher?

    Bottom
  • Toledo
    Toledo
    June 10th, 2010 @09:59 #
     
    Top

    @Ben, we're not going to harm him physically, just sort out his messed up head. The bad reputation he's gonna have to live with from now far surpasses any physical harm.

    Let everybody contact Daystar. I am going to Athi River Campus to alert those in charge, to let them know what's being done in the university's name.

    Bottom
  • Toledo
    Toledo
    June 10th, 2010 @10:10 #
     
    Top

    @Sam, good line of questioning. Let Udo provide documentation on how much was made from the Donald Trump book. Let's see documentation of where the money was donated to.

    Let's see the fake contracts he says a certain Agnes provided for Africa Best Stories writers.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    June 10th, 2010 @10:19 #
     
    Top

    Eish, these threats of campus violence take me back to my university days.

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @10:25 #
     
    Top

    Clarification noted, Toledo. Still, it sounded ugly.

    Bottom
  • Toledo
    Toledo
    June 10th, 2010 @10:36 #
     
    Top

    @Ben, sorry for that. Still it is good for 'invincible' internet scammers to know they may have to face the real world.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 10th, 2010 @11:09 #
     
    Top

    Africa's Best Stories: An anthology of Africa's best short stories (Volume 1) (Paperback)
    ~ StoryAfrica

    Table of contents:

    Why husbands who love their BMWs should avoid high hairstyles – Muthoni Garland pg 9

    The Time Story – Chimamanda Adichie pg 14

    The miracle worker – Sefi Atta pg 34

    Borrowed Smile – Chika Unigwe pg 54

    In America – Maik Nwosu pg 67

    Keffi’s birthday treat – Wole Soyinka pg104

    Waiting - EC Osondu pg 109

    A place called Hope – Jude Dibia pg 123

    Stolen – David Omwange pg 155

    Of days and nights of old – David Oyuke pg 158

    This poet, this poet – Lilian Koki pg 161

    The meeting – Okey Egboluche pg 164

    The guitar – Kingwa Kamencu pg 169

    The funeral - Rosie R pg 184

    Don’t go home, he knows – Toni Kan Onwondi pg 195

    How to break up with a white man – Rosie R pg 212

    The beaten track – Molara Wood pg 222

    The Epiphany – Oscar Mubila pg 242

    I'm interested to know who of the above writers are from Daystar? Btw, this book is still being marketed new by various of the european amazons - direct, not via 3rd parties

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @11:12 #
     
    Top

    We've been waiting for that for some time, moi - thanks for digging it up.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @11:32 #
     
    Top

    Another Mfonobong Nsehe project, The Adolf Hitler Book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Adolf-Hitler-Book-1/dp/1438231725

    And here, with blog posts as recently as yesterday, is a profile for Hodderway and Nsehe:

    http://www.zimbio.com/member/Hodderway

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @11:35 #
     
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @11:41 #
     
    Top

    Some pretty good advice in that last link of Rustum's, in fact.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @11:43 #
     
    Top

    Toledo, you amaze me. First and foremost, I am not Richard James. Secondly, Sally, I know about Lago in Othello. I just did not understand the connection to myself. Louis Greenberg, we have not, and we are not collecting any royalities and we've not absconded with anything. Also, let me explain this to you, since you have a little problem understanding.

    The BOOK CANNOT BE SOLD! It is published by a POD publisher, so what that means is that there is npublisher. If anyone NO physical copy with the publisher. Any order for the book has to go through Createspace, but since we have stopped it, (As Ben can confirm from mails he's seen), then the book cannot be printed again. Ever! Those marketing the book still do not know that the book is not being sold again.

    Louis Greenberg and Toledo, it is Createspace that pays royalities. We have cancelled the book and so, nobody is making a dime from the book. So, don't complicate matters by saying that we absconded with royalties.

    Wombatsamwilson, I need you to understand that unlike Africa's Best Stories, Hodderway books', 'Crazy Billionaires Speak', did not infringe on any copyright. They were a collection of quotes which NOBODY has copyright claims to. Asking me to publish my earnings is rubbish because neither Hodderway or myself is a public company. We made charitable donations from proceeds to several organizations, and I don't even know why I'm even telling you this. You don't exactly have a right to know.

    Also, Richard James is not from Daystar. He's a friend I met and lived with during my days in Kenya. Daystar has no information about him. People were involved in this project apart from Daystar students. Richard played a venture capitalist role in Africa's Best Stories. He funded our start-up costs.

    Also, Toledo, about you insinuating you can hurt me (even if you were to face me in real life)...thanks for the comedy.

    I'm not invinsible. I've invited Molara for a talk.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @11:45 #
     
    Top

    "Richard Gates" might be another name/sockpuppet to look out for. Here (from 2007), on an Angelina Jolie blog, Richard Gates punts a book by turnermagazine.com (it no longer exists) which ranks Jolie among the 40 most influential under-40s in the world. "Angelina Jolie" wonders how the publisher of TurnerMagazine, one Mfonobong Nsehe, came up with the list:

    http://angelinajolie.celebden.com/495/angelina-jolie-to-join-council-on-foreign-relations/

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    June 10th, 2010 @11:55 #
     
    Top

    "'Crazy Billionaires Speak', did not infringe on any copyright. They were a collection of quotes which NOBODY has copyright claims to"

    Surely taking quotes from online sources for your own benefit is not only stealing but also unethical?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @11:56 #
     
    Top

    Someone calling himself Mfonobong Nsehe promoting Hodderway's "Crazy Billionaires Speak", dated today, 10 June 2010:

    http://askfamilys.com/sub/g718921051762141oi/c9038194228

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 10th, 2010 @12:15 #
     
    Top

    Tell you what, if my former business partner and friend was trashing my reputation with his dodgy dealings, I would have no problems handing him over on a silver platter.

    Say wombatsamwilson, for eg, mucked me over like "Richard James" apparently has done to Mfonobong Nsehe , I would be giving out his phone number and his email and pointing people to his Facebook page and saying "Him! He's the one! Go after him! I'm the injured party here. I've given him a good talking to, but that man is crazy and has no respect for writers or Oprah or Donald Trump! If you people want to fight about this, talk to him!"

    Or has Richard James mysteriously disappeared like "Agnes"?

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @12:16 #
     
    Top

    UPDATE: Mfonobong Nsehe writes from Lagos to say that he's successfully persuaded Evans Macharia to remove the Molara Wood hate blog (again). And it certainly seems to be down for the moment.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @12:17 #
     
    Top

    Rustum, that was a Press release that was published on Prweb.com since January 2009 http://www.propeller.com/story/2009/03/13/39crazy-billionaires-speak39-now-available-on-amazoncom-proceeds-to-go-to-african-charities-ndash-prweb-ndash-entrepreneurcom/. But you just had to find a way to repost it on your dummy site and put today's date on it to discredit me. Keep playing.

    Meanw

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 10th, 2010 @12:22 #
     
    Top

    Mfon,

    I never said "Crazy Billionaires Speak" infringed copyright. I said it was promoted fraudulently, which it was.

    I'm checking to see if we can verify your charitable donations because that would go a good way to clearing your name. As it stands, your claim that ALL the money from both books would go to charity is suspicious, given the other demonstrably false promotional claims you made. You are under no obligation to prove your claim, and we are under no obligation to believe you if you don't.

    Incidentally, NINE of the stories in the publication were taken from the same website.

    http://www.naijarules.com/vb/books-art-culture/37590-molara-wood-thieves-storyafrica.html

    Surely you could have contacted the website owner yourself to get the contact details for the authors, rather than spending 100 000 shillings?

    And Richard James is providing venture capital for publications in which all the proceeds go to charity?

    That's an unusual business model.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @12:26 #
     
    Top

    askfamilys who.is record:

    http://whois.domaintools.com/askfamilys.com

    askfamilys is registered via Domain by Proxy, which hides the ownership of a domain. It was registered on 26 March 2010.

    As ownership is hidden, it is easy for someone to point to another (me for example) as having set up a dummy site, etc.

    Given the pattern that is emerging, it is not difficult to decide who is prodigious in setting up dummy sites.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @12:34 #
     
    Top

    Dear Lord, if I had ended up in a position where AOL Warner offered me $20 million for my magazine, I wouldn't be hanging out on the web with you bookish lot:

    http://www.kenya.or.ke/Turner_Magazine

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @12:49 #
     
    Top

    Rustum, regarding your Kenya.or.ke link, it's time to deploy an abbreviation: SMH.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    June 10th, 2010 @12:57 #
     
    Top

    I very much doubt that Rustum, an acclaimed poet, would go out of his way to discredit anyone like you imply. That is a very ugly accusation to make.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 10th, 2010 @13:07 #
     
    Top

    this is riveting stuff!

    Daudi Nungwana who holds 'copyright' on the 'Africa's Best Stories' cover art is variously

    ... 24 years old and studies IT in Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya. He loves football and to write books.

    http://www.einnews.com/pr-news/71299-eloquent-speaker-rises-to-the-very-top-the-white-house

    and (co)author of :

    They Talk After 90 Minutes: Qoutes (sic) From Some Of Your Most Celebrated And Crazy Footballers by Daudi Nungwana and Enoch Nungwana (Paperback - Nov. 30, 2008)

    ... no part of which may be "reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without prior written permission" (of the copyright holder, Daudi Nungwana). Incidentally, the same copyright notice (different copyright holder) is plunked squarely at the top of page 2 of 'Africa's Best Stories' - howzat for cornering the market in 'free' online content?

    and:

    Incredible Obama: Discover the Change by Daudi Nungwana (Paperback - Dec. 9, 2009)

    ... which above comprises quotes lifted from speeches by Obama (same copyright restrictions but waived in the case of "brief quotations in printed reviews" :-))

    and:

    The Reality of Sex by Daudi Nungwana (Paperback - Oct. 23, 2008) published by Hodderway Books via CreateSpace

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @13:15 #
     
    Top

    Any academics out there with access to Turnitin? Would be interesting to check some of Nsehe's articles on politics, energy crises and whatnot.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.justinslack.com" rel="nofollow">Justin Slack</a>
    Justin Slack
    June 10th, 2010 @13:27 #
     
    Top

    Mfonobong Nsehe's Wikipedia entry:

    "Mfonobong Nsehe born 4th of December 1987 is a Nigerian writer and fraudster."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mfonobong_Nsehe

    So it goes.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @13:30 #
     
    Top

    He has also won Pan-African awards and global acclaim:

    http://www.worldpress.org/freelancers/index.cfm/hurl/page=freelancerDetails/id=109

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 10th, 2010 @13:34 #
     
  • <a href="http://www.justinslack.com" rel="nofollow">Justin Slack</a>
    Justin Slack
    June 10th, 2010 @13:37 #
     
  • <a href="http://www.darlingtonrichards.com/" rel="nofollow">moi</a>
    moi
    June 10th, 2010 @13:40 #
     
    Top

    enough content here for a book already...

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @13:44 #
     
    Top

    Rustum, why not ask me instead? It's funny how you're spending so much time digging up info about me. You should find a real hobby (Joking).

    I don't have access to Turnitin, but here are a few of my articles on whatnot:

    http://www.zimeye.org/?p=3107

    http://www.africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles.php?article=3130

    http://www.modernghana.com/news/178428/1/nigerias-power-crisis-should-be-resolved.html

    http://www.modernghana.com/news/172081/1/sex-sells-but-good-taste-builds-brand-reputation.html

    http://crimeninuria.blogspot.com/2009/03/africa-dont-blame-whites-problem-with.html

    There are so many of them, but you're a finder of things. Enjoy.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @13:53 #
     
    Top

    Turnitin is plagiarism-detection software; finding the articles are easy enough.

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @13:56 #
     
    Top

    Nsehe is being upfront about those links. Got to give him credit for sticking his neck out further.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @14:33 #
     
    Top

    And whoever created my Wikipedia page is certainly from this site. As you're spreading untruths about me, people will spread lies about you. That's life.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 10th, 2010 @15:13 #
     
    Top

    Hmmm, looking at the Wikipedia edits history (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mfonobong_Nsehe&action=history ) the "Nigerian writer and fraudster" update is credited to just an IP address: 41.219.254.237 which is Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria according to Whois.com.

    It looks like wombatsamwilson did a much more benign update to that entry on "controversy" last week, which was subsequently removed by user "Hodderway", who was also the originator of the Wikipedia entry.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @15:16 #
     
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @15:21 #
     
    Top

    Yep, looks like the Wikipedia attacks, such as they are, are coming from Nigeria, not SA, Nsehe. Meanwhile, it also looks like you've the wherewithal to handle them.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @15:24 #
     
    Top

    No, the attack came from South-Africa. I just checked it out, and I updated it.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    June 10th, 2010 @15:24 #
     
    Top

    oops, Ms Beukes beat me to that one.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @15:26 #
     
    Top

    So it's Sam that has been writing the rubbish on Wikipedia. Thanks for clearing that up, Laura. Ben, I told you that it was someone from this site.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @15:27 #
     
    Top

    Rustum, so you keep digging on information about me, hoping to find dirt. Then what next? You post it up here. Then what?

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.samwilsonwriting.com" rel="nofollow">wombatsamwilson</a>
    wombatsamwilson
    June 10th, 2010 @15:31 #
     
    Top

    Mfon-

    Go to the history. Click on the URL of the edit you object to (41.219.254.237). Click on the "WHOIS" at the bottom of the page. It takes you here:

    http://toolserver.org/~chm/whois.php?ip=41.219.254.237

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 10th, 2010 @15:35 #
     
    Top

    Actually, no, as I said, Wombatsamwilson's entry was benign and fairly clinical actually, just the facts m'am sorta stuff.

    Viewable here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mfonobong_Nsehe&oldid=365827416

    Copy 'n' pasted here:

    Mfonobong Nsehe born 4th of December 1987 is a Nigerian Publishing executive. He previously worked as a Business journalist for Newspapers in Kenya and South-Africa.

    In 2008 Mfonobong Nsehe founded Hodderway Books, a publishing company that published the bestseller, 'Crazy Billionaires Speak' among other books. Crazy Billionaires Speak was been translated into Greek and Indonesian. The company has a partnership agreement with Ufuk Press-one of Indonesia's largest publishing houses.

    Mfonobong got his B.Sc (Cum Laude) in Communications from Daystar University, Kenya. As at 2010, he is working on a new publishing company, StoryAfrica which aims to publish and sell the very best of African literature to the Western world.

    He divides his time between homes in Lagos-Nigeria, Weinsheim-Germany, and Geneva-Switzerland.

    Controversy (<--- this is the bit WombatSamWilson added, which seems to me to lay out the facts as you've agreed to them Mfonobong.)

    Mfonobong Nsehe has been linked to possible fraud with his anthology Africa’s Best Stories Vol. 1. According to an investigation on South African literary news site, book.co.za [1] and blog posts by Nigerian author Molara Wood [2], the anthology published stories without seeking permission from included authors. The press release for the anthology[3] also falsely claimed that the book had been selected by Oprah Winfrey for her book club.

    References

    1. ^ "[1], Meet a literary 419 scam
    2. ^ [2],See Me See Trouble-O!
    3. ^ [3], Oprah Book Club pick is 'Africa's Best Stories'

    * http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/01/prweb1824374.htm
    * http://africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles_editor.php?editor=363
    * http://africaunchained.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.html
    * http://www.startupafrica.com/2008/05/ycombinator-startup-school-2008/

    Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mfonobong_Nsehe"
    Categories: Living people | Nigerian writers | Nigerian journalists

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    June 10th, 2010 @15:38 #
     
    Top

    It's useless trying to reason with this guy. He is clearly under the impression that he has done no wrong and will not be convinced otherwise.

    Personally, I think him posting is just tarnishing the goodwill element of the site.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 10th, 2010 @15:38 #
     
    Top

    The more recent edit, which originated from Nigeria according to the IP address (which is a finicky thing to fake) is here:

    This edit does not conform to Wikipedia standards of objectivity in its style and I'd say you were justified in taking it down.

    ------
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mfonobong_Nsehe&oldid=367108287

    Mfonobong Nsehe born 4th of December 1987 is a Nigerian writer and fraudster[1]. In early June 2010 certain unsavoury facts about his business dealings came to light. Mfonobong Nsehe, using a group called Story Africa, and working out of Daystar University Kenya where he claimed he was a final year student, stole stories from free e-zines, and published them in an anthology called Africa Best Stories for profit on Amazon. When he was outed, and some of his subsequent correspondence to the writers--after the fact--published in a blog[2], [3]he encouraged friends from his university to attack those who named and shamed him. [4] Mfonobong Nsehe goes by many pseudonyms. One of these, Richard James, has been used to write false reviews of Africa's Best Stories on many websites and blogs. [5] [6] And on the online group, BlogCritics.org Richard James was outed as Mfonobong Nsehe after he submitted an article purportedly about an interview with Donald Trump in which the billionaire revealed that he was currently reading a book on billionaires by Mfonobong Nsehe.[7]

    ------
    But I'd argue that WombatSamWilson's previous edit (above) is a fair and neutral account of events, as you've admitted to them.

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @15:45 #
     
    Top

    Can't but agree with Lauren on the Wikipedia postings - Sam bent over backwards to be objective in his reporting, it's pretty clear. Good digging, Lauren.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 10th, 2010 @15:48 #
     
    Top

    And now I'm heartily sick of all this.

    Mfonobong, can I suggest you apologise again here, without making any excuses or blaming the fiasco on any cohorts, real or imaginary.

    (Even if it was "Richard James" or "Agnes"' fault, you need to take responsibility for so badly mismanaging your friends / business partners.)

    Thank you for engineering the takedown of the Molara Wood hate-blog. I trust we won't see it again - nor hateblogs / personal attacks or death threats made on any of the other contributors to the anthology or this site.

    I also trust that Africa's Best Stories will not resurface in any form and that you won't publish anything ever again without the necessary permissions.

    (Here's a hint - authors LIKE being published and especially republished, they're generally VERY happy to give permission for stories to be reprinted in anthologies, all you gotta do is email them and if you can't find them, email Ben, he'll hook you up).

    And I trust you won't be making strange claims about celebrities or charity organisations that can't be backed up with hard evidence.

    If I were to try and make amends, I would provide proof of a chunky donation to a charity of Molara Wood's choice (being the one who has suffered most through this debacle).

    All the best,

    Lauren

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @15:55 #
     
    Top

    Seconded, Lauren! Brilliant note. And terrific ideas. Thanks.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @16:09 #
     
    Top

    Lauren, haven't you been reading this site? I've apologised severally- to all the parties involved. How many times have I apologised? Apologising is not the problem. I know we did wrong. I've apologised, withdrawn the book, e.t.c. Ask Ben and Molara, I am writing an apology that will be published tomorrow. I'm not being unreasonable.

    My problem is this: Everytime I apologise, one of you (eager to prolong this scandal for some reason), brings up a new (false) accusation against me, and then people then go to search the web for my articles and everything about me that may paint me in negative light. Then they go to write stuff on wikipedia and bring it up to this site looking.

    I'm tired of writing. The truth, Lauren, is that it is you who is being unreasonable.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @16:14 #
     
    Top

    About the charitable donation to Molara Wood's charity, that's a terrific idea. Just suggest to me where I'll get the 'chunky' funds from. Right now, my sincere apologies is all I have to offer.

    Bottom
  • Sven
    Sven
    June 10th, 2010 @16:16 #
     
    Top

    Mfong,

    This blog has made me so sick that I am forced to write this from a hospice while someone attempts to ladle my innards back into my mouth.

    As lord sovereign investigator of my own posterior on book.co.za I formally demand an apology, written in blood, on the doors of the United Nations.

    I then suggest your write:
    "I will not use unauthorised short stories in compilations ever again in my life" several thousand times on your university chalkboard.

    Once this is done, I recommend you spend several years in a leper colony, chanting "Oprah, trump, me don't know hum" on a daily basis until you come to such a profound appreciation of wrongness that you become a banker.

    I'll then expect a personal apology just for having made me read this nauseating thread, which, due to circumstances being as they are, will have to be made posthumously. I suggest doing this at my ticker tape funeral procession through Maitland.

    Ab ove maiori discit arare minor, sayeth the Eick

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 10th, 2010 @16:17 #
     
    Top

    I can't speak for Molara, but If I were her, I'd accept volunteer time at a soup kitchen or something...

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @16:28 #
     
    Top

    Sven, thanks for the perspective.

    Bottom
  • Sven
    Sven
    June 10th, 2010 @16:28 #
     
    Top

    Mfong,

    I hear Molara supports the 'Buy Sven a Dodge Viper Foundation'. Any help would be appreciated.

    (PS: Dodge, not as in dodgy, I want it new, with a manufacturer's certificate presented to me personally by the GM of Chrysler)

    Blue please.

    Bottom
  • mfon
    mfon
    June 10th, 2010 @16:57 #
     
    Top

    Lauren, that would be great. Problem is that we have no soup kitchens here- at least none that I know of. I haven't been in Nigeria for long so I don't know. I volunteer with a children home in Lagos where I teach children the drums and percussions, but if Molara would want me to volunteer elsewhere as a sign that I am truly sorry for the mess we've created, I'll do it gladly.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.moxyland.com" rel="nofollow">Lauren Beukes</a>
    Lauren Beukes
    June 10th, 2010 @19:23 #
     
    Top

    I retract the soup kitchen suggestion for obvious reasons.

    Bottom
  • Sven
    Sven
    June 10th, 2010 @19:34 #
     
    Top

    Do the right thing Mfon.

    Bottom
  • Egibobo
    Egibobo
    June 10th, 2010 @22:57 #
     
    Top

    I have watched the comments on this matter on this page with varying degrees of nausea for a week now. I am Nigerian, and I live in Nigeria. Do you guys not get it? Mfonobong Nsehe is a criminal; a sociopath, with a sad, and quite genuine, lack of empathy. He is evil. Do not be fooled by his false contriteness; read, instead, between the lines, and you will see the flashes of anger, of, "who cares, who gives a damn," in any post he has made here.
    And you guys are being so polite to him. Why? Oh, I get it . . . He is like a specimen in a glass jar; you guys wonder why someone could seem so stupid, don't you? He is our experiment.
    He is not stupid. He is bad. That's all he is: bad.
    And, Mfon; +How na? How ur bodi? You don see mugu for oyibo, shebi? I hear say you dey Lagos. Waka well o, or na Panti Police cell you go sleep for the entirety of youR holidays.+ BIG THIEF! 419! DISGRACE TO YOUR COUNTRY'S REPUTATION! PSYCHOPATHIC, EMPATHY-LACKING, OLE!

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @23:17 #
     
    Top

    The reason comments have been restrained, on the whole, Egibobo, is that we try to avoid descending into flame wars on BOOK SA, preferring to treat evidence carefully, relying as we do on the rather fallible web. Many will have sympathy for your post, but most will also recognise that some of your accusations are firmly of the untested variety.

    Bottom
  • Egibobo
    Egibobo
    June 10th, 2010 @23:18 #
     
    Top

    And the boy is still talking. Still talking?
    He blames everyone but himself; classic sociopath. He lies; oh, how he lies.
    And he wonders about his reputation. He is a thief!
    Let me break down something for the Books SA group: He formed StoryAfrica in April 2010. The book came out in May 2010. So in that one month--keeping in mind how difficult it can be to get things done in any major endeavour--Mfonobong wants us to believe that he commission Agnes, the vile villainess, to travel around the continent, to post via snail-mail, physical copies of contracts from the writers, some of whom he has also claimed were students of his institution. Haba! All in a month? Mfonobong is a miracle worker.

    That is why I love Occam's razor; the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one: Mfonobong is evil, a sociopath, with no empathy for the hurt others feel, and he is a thief!

    Don't you guys recognise classic narcissistic behaviour when you see it?

    The young man enjoys all the attention; but somewhere deep down, something akin to self-preservation must be making him think twice, about his future, about his father's name.

    Note what his reaction to this comment will be: bile, mixed oddly with false hurt and contriteness. But he is so predictable, so long as you do not expect anything too low from him; his kind will do anything.

    I hear he is in Lagos. He will be arrested. I promise you this; his name has been submitted to the Police, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC. And you know why, Ben? Because after all this posturing, and polite discussions on this page, Mfonobong and his ilk know only one truth, deterrence. Deterrence and punishment. BECAUSE HE IS A THIEF!!!!

    Bottom
  • Egibobo
    Egibobo
    June 10th, 2010 @23:33 #
     
    Top

    haaaaaa . . . Been waiting to exhale for a while now. I feel better now. Apologies to all the Book SA crew for my bad manners in the last two posts. I will not do it again. My apologies again.
    But, kai! It is really upsetting to see this guy taking advantage of the good manners of the forum to spew his poison. It was very upsetting. He didn't give--via the id part of his personality--Molara Wood that benefit when he formed that blog, when as R James, he asked his friends to attack a honest person who stood up and said no.
    I feel better now. My bad; I'm sorry.

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 10th, 2010 @23:42 #
     
    Top

    As they say in the Guardian, Egibobo, "comment is free", but this is not a hate forum, so rein yourself in or I'll do it for you.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.itsnotmytree.co.za" rel="nofollow">Annette</a>
    Annette
    June 11th, 2010 @09:14 #
     
    Top

    And may the force be with you Ben Kenobi.

    Bottom
  • Egibobo
    Egibobo
    June 11th, 2010 @22:11 #
     
    Top

    Reined in, Ben. Is just that Mfonobong's behaviour is typical of what we call, in Nigeria, the yahoo-yahoo boys. I recognise it. You guys should--after this encounter--recognise it too.
    And when I used the word "evil," I did so, not in any religious sense, but in the sense of someone lacking empathy, of being incapable of feeling what others feel, of being incapable of admitting true guilt, without excuses, without projecting fault on the victims. Basically the closest scientific description of that very vague word.
    So, Ben Kenobi, may the force be with you. (Lovely job you're doing here, by the way. J Dibia told me about this site.)

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://www.single-unsingle.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow">Duchess.LK.herself</a>
    Duchess.LK.herself
    June 12th, 2010 @11:04 #
     
    Top

    I am one of the people, rather, writers in the mix (Duchess Lilian Koki) whose work was published and i would like to say a few things.

    1st: This is a tough lesson to most of us in the writing world. When something feels a little too easy, then it is. May explain why my heart wasn't entirely ecstatic as others were for me. Couldn't put my finger on it, but now i can. It was a scam.

    2nd: I know Udo. I went to college with the guy and that's how we met. He's a staunch Christian (but on this, remember that we all falter and fall short of God's glory from time to time) and i know him to be a man of integrity.

    Has this changed in light of these recent findings on the scam? No. Shocker, huh? Sure, i don't support his move to endorse Oprah in the whole thing, but in retrospect, sadly, if i were a budding publisher and all in this, i may have done the same. Mark the words MAY. The idea would have crossed my mind but i'm unsure if i would have cated on it. Oprah though, is a big deal, but still.

    Udo was also a victim. Something most of you will not want to see or accept. You are entitled to your opinion though, but i can vouch for the guy.

    Most of you are probably saying that he used his wiles and charm to convince me that he's a good guy, but he hasn't. I know Udo. He's a good man. He is.

    3rd: I need to find a new publisher and do this right. Get turned down, get my work rejected and sent back, all that murk, till someone believes in me. Looking to do it right this time. So, i'm hoping for the best.

    PERSONAL STATEMENT TO UDO

    Udo, i got your back in this. So you can count on my support and friendship coz i gotchu. I do.
    I'll be there when you need to work on building your reputation and everything else. Don't want to be a seasonal friend or anything less. I gotchu.
    The road to being a media mogul and bigtime entrepreneur is never straight and easy.

    Don't give up. I still have faith in you.

    4th: Some of you here just don't know when to stop running your mouths! It's the same thing when it comes to scandals. Instead of getting the facts right and being objective, you choose to.... Why am i even getting in the middle of this. It's not worth it.

    I have said what i have to say, and i am done now. Say what you must.

    Bottom
  • Egibobo
    Egibobo
    June 13th, 2010 @03:52 #
     
    Top

    I post this so that the above comment by Mfonobong's good friend will not be the last word on this matter.
    @Duchess. *tut tut* Do you not see how difficult, nay impossible, it is for most people to believe anything Nsehe says? Here is a young man who promotes a book on Hitler by saying that, "Hitler . . . was one of the greatest minds of the 20th century."

    While I hope that quote gave you a double-taken at the glaring lack of judgement that would make a black man market any book thus, as it should everyone but the most ardent neo-Nazi, let me mention something you've just done: Your 4th point in the above comment seeks to turn the argument against those who are rightly indignant. Why? We should feel bad, and stop running our mouths? Why should we? You are a writer, a poet, who seeks publishing opportunities, and you try and defend someone who stole stories from people? Who gives the excuse that he gave a contract out to a lady to source for permissions? Come on!

    The publisher of Africanwriters.com (where 80% of the stories were copied-and-pasted from,) Sola Osofisan, hit the nail on the head when he said that if Nsehe was genuine, all he had to do was go to the website, follow the "contact us" link and most of the writers would have willingly agreed to publish their stories with him, for free even ( http://www.nigeriansinamerica.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=277731#post277731 ). Africanwriters.com rarely pays a honorarium, so why wouldn't people published there want to help a genuine young man? This is what is suspicious; why explain this with the complicated story about a woman who ran away with his money. (There was something I was taught in psychiatry: it is a variant of "Occam's razor." And it concerned pathological liars/schizophrenics/delusionals: these chaps build up entire worlds, entire mythos, each step/floor/level resting on flimsy foundations; they tell stories, and finally the listener believes them. Not based on any evidence, but out of sheer exhaustion. People who lie for a living make you believe them thru sheer force of will, not on anything based on facts or "truth." Those who actually believe what they are telling you do the same. The solution? The most unadorned story is most likely the correct one. It shouldn't be a stretch to see how that anecdote applies here, should it, Duchess?)

    The problem now is that the StoryAfrica project, and its founder, are forever tainted. He made up a story about Oprah. Oprah! He stole a story from Wole Soyinka! Even if he asks now for writers, even if he posts a "call for entries," writers have very long memories. You may want to publish with him, but . . .

    So do not gloss over what he did by using that most banal of excuses: HE IS A GOOD MAN AND A CHRISTIAN; you are a writer. Show me, don't tell me. And based on the scenes enacted so far--the Richard James connection; the Molara hate blog; the lie about Oprah's book club; the frantic attempts to sneak in author's permissions after he had been caught; the many many many times he has been caught lying in threads on this site; the odd profit-sharing/charity-donating mess; the narcissistic way he hugged the spotlight on this website, gleefully enjoying sparring with others--you cannot be right.

    Best case scenario, Duchess, you've been had. Worst case, you're a writer who knew that her story was going to be published in a fraudulent anthology. But do not come here and start attacking those who rose up in defense of a good woman who was being attacked by Mfonobong and his friends, do not attack those who rose up in defense of a population of which you claim to be a part--and by this I mean writers in general, not those who were in the anthology.

    Bottom
  • tee
    tee
    June 22nd, 2010 @23:31 #
     
    Top

    Wow, I've just gone through the whole article and all the comments and I must say it's shocking to read all of this. This is scary and really serious. Copyright is a very sensitive issue so I won't even join in the debate. I'm even more surprised because I knew Mfon in Daystar Uni and he didn't (and still doesn't) seem like anyone who would do anything fraudulent. Nigeria already has a tainted image, and you can see from the tone of Egibobo's comments that there are many people angry about this and hoping that the literary scene, among others, can change this. I think that a true fraudster would probably have disappeared and not have come back to this blog to clear the air. No i don't endorse anything here, I'm just saying this as an observer and someone who has met Mfon.

    Bottom
  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    August 19th, 2010 @13:56 #
     
    Top

    One trembles at the thought of resurrecting this thread, but I've just received word from Mfonobong Nsehe that he's "settled into a career in the Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria" and has decided to sell StoryAfrica:

    "And so, I'm putting up StoryAfrica for sale. I'm looking to sell the StoryAfrica.com domain name, our trademark, and all."

    Nsehe is looking for "someone who will nurture the dream, and publish quality African literature under a strong African literature brand".

    As you can see, there are still plenty of ways to make money out of StoryAfrica. If anyone wants it, post a comment and I'll forward your deets to Nsehe.

    Bottom

Please register or log in to comment


» View comments as a forum thread and add tags in BOOK Chat