Today that begging holds high attraction for many Nigerians with visual impairment, 13- year-old Adeife Ugwumsinachi Adeniran is thinking beyond menial subsistence. EMEKA ANOKWURU writes on the amazing talent of the author of the debut fiction, Can You Ima ine?, making waves in South Africa.
Adeife Ugwumsinachi Adeniran was born 13 years ago in Ogbomoso, Oyo State Nigeria, to the family of Navy Captain David and Engineer Jenevive Ngozi Adeniran, visually impaired from birth. But her dogged and can-do spirit manifested early in her infancy. It was no surprise when she came up with a diary containing a collection of her thoughts based on her interactions with friends and school mates, with some ideas coming from TV programmes she has watched.
These thoughts and ideas form the plot of this work of fiction entitled Can You Imagine? To translate such experience into a work of art speaks volume of the talent of young visually-challenged child that you cannot but wonder: can you imagine? It can’t be gainsaid hers is a product of the splendid imagination of the author.
Can You Imagine (Authorhouse, 2012) is a story of a resolute school girl, Sophie, who relocates with her mother from the United States of America to South Africa. Sophie keeps a jealously-guarded journal that contains a record of her experiences in the various schools she has been made to attend because of the constant reposting and movements of her career diplomat mother.
As the plot unfurls, she loses the journal at Timble, her newest school, through the curiosity and mischief of her roommate, Claudia, and the search for the journal turns into an adventure that leads to the discovery of the magical powers of written words. At the end, the search which was eventually abandoned, serves as tonic required to foster friendship between Claudia, Sophie and Justine their male schoolmate, even as they meet to relive their experiences of the lost journal.
The book portrays the exuberance of youth, the joys and pains of friendship, the minds capacity for mischief and the resilience of the human spirit. Can You Imagine? is the author’s fictional experience, but it has already garnered rave reviews in South Africa and increasingly popular among her peers in South Africa.
Adeniran’s fecund imagination is steps removed from hog the literary limelight, her handicap, serving as a source of inspiration and morale booster to people like her desirous of shaking off their physical impairments and making a mark in society.
Adeife, meaning crown of love in Yoruba, currently attends Prinshof School, Pretoria, South Africa for the Visually Impaired, where she has distinguished herself as an ardent scholar with leadership potential. She originally wrote Can You Imagine? in Braille and is already working on a sequel to her book. She is also a playwright, a motivational speaker and has dedicated to touching mankind, especially children who are physically challenged.
The foundation, established and named after her in 2012, is meant to contribute towards the welfare of people living with disabilities in Nigeria, particularly in the area of education. Her dream, apart from writing books, is to build an international school for people living with disabilities.
A gifted speaker, it was after she delivered a powerful, emotional speech at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja, during the 2013 Diaspora Day/Conference last month that we met.