No less personalities than;former Governor of Imo State and serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, former Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, Akwa Ibom State, Rt Hon.(Dr) Ekong Sampson, award-winning journalist and author, Anietie Usen, renowned media scholar, Dr Udeme Nnana, Current MD/CEO of Akwa Ibom Water Company Engr. Edo Bassey, were amongst the glitterati that hailed the young Akwa Ibom female author, Queen Maadiah Johnson on the launch of her debut book, ‘Clawed to Death’, at a ceremony held at the Mandela Hall, Watbridge Hotels&Suites, Uyo.
Senator Okorocha, who was a Special Guest at the book launch while speaking via zoom from Abuja hailed Maadiah’s ‘impressive gift of writing’ and on being able to put her thoughts out in a book at such a tender age, complimenting that ‘she had the world surely at her feet’. The former Imo State Chief Executive equally praised Uyo Book Club for nursing a platform to help young people explore and externalize their intellectual wealths, promising to host the child prodigy any time soon in Abuja.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Patron of Uyo Book Club, Rt Hon.(Dr) Ekong Sampson extolled Maadiah’s ‘inspiring achievement at such a tender age’, saying it was imperative to bring back the short stories genre in literature which was almost going extinct, to help lend voices to topical issues affecting our daily lives.
Dr Sampson, himself a renowned lawyer, author and poet, further used the moment to encourage young people to venture more into writing in order to enrich our stories and social discourse.
The chairman at the event, himself an award winning journalist, Anietie Usen announced that the 16 year old is currently the youngest author in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He went further to hold that Africa has only about ten (10) authors within that age bracket and encourage parents to encourage their wards to venture into the literary world. Other dignitaries at the event who also spoke include; The Executive Director in Akwa Ibom Internal Revenue Service, Mr Leo Leo Umana, former Governorship aspirants, Mike Sebastian and Anietie Ufot among others all poured encomiums on the outstanding achievements of the young author, saying her feat was not only inspiring but already has a place in the history books.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Founder of Uyo Book Club, Dr Udeme Nana, in his usual tone setting, highlighted the importance of breeding a robust reading culture, especially for the young people, informing that the Book Club will continue to expand ‘its vistas of promoting knowledge and scholarship, so that we can get to have more of the Maadiahs’.
The book launch also had in attendance parents of the author, Mr & Mrs Aniekan Johnson, Maadiah’s brother Jeediah Johnson who’s an artist, schoolmates, friends, and relatives.
‘Clawed to Death’, which is already receiving rave reviews for a debut effort is available on Amazon.
The 16-year-old author had earlier launched her pro-girl pet project tagged ‘Raise Them, Queens’ initiative.
The campaign which will have her network around Africa and partner others to help educate mothers, communities, schools, government and the larger society to awaken to the consciousness of raising every girl child as queen. As is with every Queen, she will enjoy respect, honour, confidence, dignity, and splendor and by that structure, our society would be free from rape, molestation, trafficking, abuse, et al.