Literary icons would on May 22 gather at the Base Events Centre, Enugu, for the public reading and unveiling of Where The Rain Started Beating US, written by Ugochukwu Agballah.The book, a fictional recreation of events that happened in the pre-colonial era in Igbo land, gulped 26 years of research and is published by Kraft Books Limited.
Where The Rain Started Beating US, which is Agballah’s second literary effort, has been praised for being in a class of its own.Former Dean, Faculty of Arts, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Professor Damian U. Opata has described the book as ‘groundbreaking and a unique work of art.’
Speaking during a pre-event briefing on the 363-page book, Agballah who is the leader of Igbo Improvement Union (IIU) and former governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) said his insistence on verifying and confirming most of the culture, traditions and usages that are now extinct made the writing linger for 26 years.
He explained that the book, which focuses on slavery, colonialism and clash of warrant chiefs and the traditional republican setting of Igbo society, derived its title and theme from an Igbo proverb contained in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, where the classic author stated: “Those who do not know where the rain started beating them will not know where it will stop.”
A statement for the publishers disclosed that the writer employs historical narration as his style of writing, stressing that he is culturally inclined as evident in his use of proverbs, which is relevant to the context of his story.
“The text is intense with gripping story that details the experience of Ndi Igbo during the pre-colonial and colonial epochs, aside revealing the scheme of deception behind slavery in Igbo land. The discord and air of suspicion between the natives and the colonialists (Nwa Bekee) on one hand, and on the other, between Christianity and traditional religion worshipers is represented in a manner leaning towards the perspective of Igbo people and other customs,” the statement said.
Ugo Agballah, who started writing from the age of 13, wrote his first play, Sacred Cap, while a student of College of Immaculate Conception (CIC), Enugu and won the best written play Award at the 1982 Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Zone ‘C’ Festival of Arts and Culture.
Agballah has kept literary interest alive. He was publisher, Informant Newspapers and former Editor of Eagle Magazine and Icon Magazine. The unveiling and public reading of the book precedes the nationwide and international promotional tour that would visit Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Owerri and other selected cities overseas.