EBOOK: CYPRIAN JOSSON – “MY JOURNEY AS A WRITE”: PART THREE
The city of Ibadan holds a profound significance for me when recalling my childhood writing adventures. It’s a city that shaped me and everything that has made Cyprian Josson who he is today. However, leaving Ibadan marked a somber moment for me due to the political crisis of that period, and I found myself in a village. It was a sorrowful experience, particularly because I had to part ways with Dolores Viola. Although she promised to take me to Detroit, Michigan, it turned out to be an unrealized promise.
I moved to a region where, after a few months, the Biafra-Nigeria war was declared, bringing uncertainty and fear about what would happen next. The declaration of the Biafra War brought some relief, as, before the war, the Igbos faced mass killings in the northern part of Nigeria. Each one of us as Igbo people had lost somebody in the North. However, finding a safe haven in Biafra, only to realize it was no longer secure, was disheartening. Living in Biafra during the war was challenging. People resorted to eating lizards and rats, essential supplies were scarce, water quality was poor, and our city Owerri faced continuous shelling and bombing by the Nigerian troops from morning until night at a low altitude. It was hell in Biafra, an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Despite the hardships, my role as a writer emerged during this period. I documented numerous aspects of the war, keeping a diary where I noted the events unfolding around me. Unfortunately, I lost a significant number of my manuscripts during the war. Nevertheless, I am determined to write a book about that experience. As a writer, I feel compelled to immortalize such experiences, perhaps through poetry, another form of expression, or by writing a novel about the Biafra War. The specter of Biafra still haunts many of us, and the memories feel as vivid as if it were yesterday. I cannot forget Biafra.