My name is Udochi Okeke. I am a Nigerian-American writer based in Washington, DC. I have loved writing since I was a little girl. From reading Ann Martin’s The Baby Sitters’ Club series, and R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series as a little girl in elementary school, to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as a teenager to books like Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card as a young adult. These books shaped by life’s experience.
Although, those books were fantastic and worthy of praise, when I became an adult writer, I found myself running into some problems. I wanted to write like the greats, and often found myself imitating them. Due to the cultural inclinations of many of the most celebrated writers, I had no real role models that had the same background and experiences as I did. Soon after this shocking revelation became clear to me, I stumbled across the writings of Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie (author of Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah). Her fearless style confirmed what I had felt in my bones all along, there is a space and even a hunger for contemporary African literature.
The purpose of Nwudo.com is to encourage my fans to embrace their identity, control their destiny and make things happen, because they are worth it. On the website I have created a store with books, and merchandise with empowering messages to encourage and uplift my community. On my YouTube channel, I do tutorials and lessons to help my subscribers reach their goals. And on my Twitter and Instagram Social Media accounts, I interact directly with my fans about their personal needs.
I make content to empower my fans to feel confident in who they are and to help them to achieve their goals in business and in life.
On a more creative level, I tells the stories of African people for African people. My long term goal is to have my stories translated into African languages. After all, if my stories are for Africans, wouldn’t it make sense for these stories to be catered to them in this very special way.
My deepest value is in African-centered literacy for Africans. What I mean is that, people are always talking about literacy rates in Africa, but they don’t talk about it in terms of African languages. After all, it is the Western languages, like English, French, German, etc. that are used to in business, science, etc. God willing, I want to commit my life encouraging African-centered literacy, i.e. Africans reading and writing and speaking in their own native languages. For me, that begins to creating African literature in African languages.
Mission Summary: I believe the world is big enough for everybody to enjoy it’s abundance and we all have to learn to work together not taking away from each other, but complimenting each other, because when everybody feels empowered, everybody wins. I think some of the biggest problems we face in the world today comes from an imbalance of power. It is impossible for two people to see things eye-to-eye when they are not on level playing field. So, I think when everybody feels like they are living to their full potential, everybody is encouraged to help each other fairly. That is why I love the blockchain system that we are moving into. That is why I love the information age. These are some of the things I hope to encourage Africans to take advantage of.
Originally, I wanted to be an African brand, then a Nigerian brand, but recently I decided to begin with and focus on being an Igbo brand, because I don’t know enough about all the other ethnic groups in Africa to do them the justice they deserve.
So, here I am, doing the best I can to serve and uplift my community.
I hope you enjoy what I have to offer.
Where you can find me:
The following is a talk I gave at the World Igbo Festival entitled “More than Just Kedu”