Meet 29-year-old Nigerian Professor Onyeka Nwelue(Photos)

Meet 29-year-old Nigerian professor Onyeka Nwelue.

Below are some of the extracts from his Wikipaedia page…..

Onyeka Nwelue (born 31 January 1988) is a Nigerian cultural entrepreneur, filmmaker,professor and author who is best known for his novel The Abyssinian Boy, which was published when he was 21 and won the TM Aluko Prize for Fiction, came second at the Ibrahim Tahir Prize for First Book, was nominated for the Future Awards and later won the Prince Claus Ticket Grant.

Nwelue is also currently an assistant professor and Visiting Fellow of African Literature and Studies at the English Language Department of the Faculty of Humanities, Manipur University in Imphal,India.

Early life:

Onyeka Nwelue was born in Ehime Mbano in Imo state, Nigeria to Honourable Sam Nwelue, a politician and Knight of St. Christopher and Lady Catherine Nwelue, a teacher and Lay Reader. When he was 11, he was sent to Mount Olives Seminary in Umuezeala Nsu, where he was meant to become a priest. He left Mount Olives Seminary to continue at Holy Family Secondary School, before running away to Lagos, to pursue his career in writing.

Personal life:

Nwelue left for Lagos when he was 16 years old to attend the Wole Soyinka Festival, after which he was introduced to the Nobel Laureate. A few years later, Nwelue travelled to India for the 2nd International Writers’ Festival, at the invitation of the India Cultural Association.

He is the fourth of six children to his parents. His mother is cousin to Flora Nwapa, often regarded as the first African female writer to be published internationally, and acclaimed writer Chukwuemaka Ike  and Professor Leslye Obiora, former Minister of Mines and Steel.

At the age of 21, Nwelue was the first African to join Sandbox, a global community of young innovators under 30, after which he was followed by Nigerian musician, Bez.

Education and teaching:

On his return from India, Nwelue got admitted into the University of Nigeria,Nsukka, to study Sociology & Anthropology. He spent two years and dropped out, to study Scriptwriting at the Asian School of Media Studies in Noida, India, after which he taught Film Directing at Center for Research in Art of Film & TV (CRAFT). He handled the Sandwich Class of the English Language Department of the University of Lagos while working as the editor of FilmAfrique, a primer on African film initiatives, published by Africa Film Academy , curators of the Africa Movie Academy Awards. He was offered a scholarship to study Directing at the Prague Film School in the Czech Republic.

In 2014, he was appointed a Visiting Lecturer of African Studies at the School of Modern Language and Culture, the University of Hong Kong, and later an assistant professor of African Studies at Instituto d’Amicis in Puebla, Mexico.

By January 2015, he was promoted as Visiting Fellow cum assistant professor of African Literature at the University of Manipur in Imphal, north east India.


Early in his career, Nwelue wrote for The Guardian Newspaper in Nigeia, a rare opportunity given to him by Jahman Anikulapo, the then Editor of Sunday edition popular known as The Guardian on Sunday.

Later career:

Since the success of his novel, Nwelue has co-written the film Namaste Naija, directed by Teco Benson and shot in Hyderabad and Lagos. He also co-created a short film, The Beginning of Everything Colourful, with British actor and model Dudley O’Shaughnessy.In early 2012, Nwelue was signed to the Pontas Agency in Spain.He founded Blues & Hills Consultancy, which was featured on MTV Meets MTN with Ben Murray Bruce. Nwelue’s firm organized the first ever Bayelsa Book & Craft Fair, where he served as the director. He also undertook to edit and publish FilmAfrique, a primer on African cinema, funded by the Africa Film Academy, curators of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

Under Blues & Hills Consultancy, La Cave Musik was created and situates in Paris and Puebla, to serve as CEO/President.At 27, Nwelue became the youngest jury member of any film festival, as part of the Woodpecker International Film Festival in India. He went on to later create The Italian-Nigerian Festival of Cultures, curating the Diplomatic Jazz Nights for the diplomatic community in Nigeria.

Some of his novels:

The Abyssinian Boy,Burnt,Hip-Hop is Only for Children,The House of Nwapa and more.

Notable awards:

The Future Awards,2009 TM ALUKO Prize for Fiction,
2009 TAHIR IBRAHIM Prize for First Book,2000 THOMSON Short Story Prize

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