Alexander Emmanuel Ochogwu

Books by Alexander Emmanuel Ochogwu

the diary of a boy soldier

The Creed of Brotherhood in the Nigerian Military School, Zaria is straightforward; one for all, and all for one. However, when Ayorinde fans the desire to attend the school, he has no inkling of what awaits him within the hallowed walls of the first military secondary school in West Africa. At the onset of his training at the school, aside adjusting to his new environment, Ayorinde finds that there are irascible senior students to contend with, especially Seniors Bawasa and Jackie Chan who are bent on making their juniors flee from the school. His time at the school would then be one of adventures and escapades; from getting lost and finding himself in a university campus while dodging Seniors Bawasa and Jackie Chan to ending up at Bauchi State and seeking refuge in a deity’s shrine while on a training in Jos. As Ayorinde plunges through the ranks, he realises a shift in his challenges as he now has to battle with meeting his mother's expectations, manoeuvring against the damning wishes of his critics, and not losing himself. It is until the tail end of his training in the Nigerian Military School that he would look back at his life and take stock, using his diary entries.


Omo is a young teenage girl whose impeccable academic records get blotted by the choking pincers of ghetto life. What follows is a downward spiral that takes her from standing against rape and blackmail to setting herself free from being a child-bride at fifteen. From then on, her life becomes one of many escapes and survival by a hair’s breath, including surviving and staying sane in a terrorist camp, being conscripted as a suicide bomber, and becoming a slave-worker in Niger Republic. Omo and several others eventually cross the Sahara Desert over the Mediterranean to Italy, in search of greener pastures, but in Italy, where other young girls from Nigeria as well as other countries practise sex trade, Omo becomes enmeshed in the intra and inter syndicate wars of rival cartel groups. While she is in the hospital, surviving an assassination attempt, she meets Kunle who takes her over six thousand miles back to Sun City, the inglorious ghetto in Lagos, Nigeria, where her journey began. This journey opens newer chapters of her life, newer chapters that are more complicated and laden with unprecedented uncertainties, yet fundamental to her emancipation. With this important story, the author successfully lays bare prevalent ills in everyday Nigeria, as well lends his voice to girl-child advocacy.


For many generations, uncertainty and tension have pervaded both the people of Under The Sky and the wraiths of Kiriyanga, but they trudge on, while holding on to the little streaks of light at the end of this seemingly-never-ending tunnel – a prophecy that order would be restored on the Day of Scarlet. This imminent respite however, comes with stringent conditions: “ … until a woman drinks from the confluence of two rivers that do not mix, the Day of Scarlet will not come.” Scarlet is an inquiry into the absurdity of possessing absolute power or its pursuit thereof. With strong allusions to the Grecian myth of Zeus and Hades, and Yoruba myths of love triangles among gods as told of Osun, Ogun, and Sango, or Yemoja, Obatala, and Ogun, woven into and set in tales from Kikuyu lore, Alexander Emmanuel Ochogwu lends his voice to the conversations around politics and power-grabbing in Nigeria, Africa, and beyond.


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