You see — as soon as I saw you approaching the house carrying all your load on your back like a tortoise, I knew that you had disgraced us in your husband’s house. Did I not train you to be an acceptable wife? The fire under plantains should not be too high, as it will turn black like charcoal. This is how to cook Moi Moi. This is how to put the pureed black-eyed peas into leaves and fold them into a pot so the steam can cook them into fluffy cakes.
She kept on typing hoping he would take the hint but he just stood there, rubbing his chin.
“Ada, Ada, why are you franking your face, eh? Is it a crime for a man to like a woman?”
“You no dey shame. I am an employee here and you are a married man.” She shook her head.
He laughed at that. “That’s what I like about you. You are not the kind of girl that makes things easy for a man. You want me to really chase you and shower you with gifts.” He scratched his head. “I know you Nigerian girls – suppose I get you a nice gold necklace?”
Lola ignored him and kept on working.
He cocked his head to one side. “You just want to suffer eh? I heard you are trying to pay for your university course. I can pay that, one time. Put you up in a nice flat. Get you a little car?”
“I heard you are trying to pay for your university course. I can pay that one time. Put you up in a nice flat. Get you a little Ada stopped typing. “Please try and respect yourself, Mr Obi. You are old enough to be my dad. Let this be the first and the last of this kind of harassment – if not, I will have to report it to management.”
He shook his head and laughed and laughed, doubling over.
“Every woman has her price,” he said when he’d finally stopped laughing. He leaned over the desk and touched her face; she reared back – swatting his finger away. “Give me time. When I discover yours, I will get you,” he snapped a finger. “Just like that.”
Ada smelt the alcohol mixed with cigarette that clung to the man like a second skin and her stomach instinctively tightened in nausea. Then she felt her heart beat accelerate when she realised that she was alone in the office with a lecherous man who had been drinking. He had motive and now he had opportunity.
She was amazed at her how firm her voice sounded. “In your dreams.”
His eyes mocked hers. “ Eh? You have bewitched me Ada. Dreams can become true you know. Don’t make me go and see a Juju man to get you o.”
She heard him laugh once again and leave the room a bit unsteadily. When he left she shook her head and felt her heartbeats begin to return to normal.
He was now threatening her with Juju. It was a good job she didn’t believe in all that, but his words had certainly unnerved her. Maybe she should consider talking to somebody in Human Resources?
Then, the door opened again and all her irritation and anger erupted.
“Just go away and leave me alone!”
“Ada?” The voice was confused, a bit hesitant.
She turned round and saw it was Tony Okoli. He closed the door behind him and leaned against it.
Her heart was in her mouth. The last person she had expected to see. What had he seen? What had he heard?
“What was all that about?”
“I – I thought you were someone else,” she said, suddenly embarrassed.
He looked at her. “There is hardly anyone about.”
Mr Obi must have been quicker on his feet than she gave him credit for as he seemed to have disappeared. She tried to focus on the screen in front of her. “I’m fine.”
“I understand. Colleagues do that to you sometimes. I’ve worked with a few in the past, harbouring those kind of sentiments, sometimes.”
Ada found herself relaxing a bit and managed a smile. “Don’t mind me. I guess it’s been a long day.”
He looked at his watch. “Do you usually work this late?”
She nodded. “Sometimes.”
“Why is that?”
“I leave work early on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to make classes at University. So I clock out late to make up the time.”
He nodded. “Yes. I remember you told me you were studying for a degree part time at Unilag. Business and Finance Management – wasn’t it?”
“Yes”. Ada was surprised that he had remembered their conversation. He must have spoken to hundreds of people last Friday.
“That’s one of the things I would like to change around here – get more people working part time so they can improve themselves professionally. I know there are a few in the Personnel Department studying for their Nigerian Institute of Personnel Management Exam.”
“That would be really good.”
“I’m glad you think so.” He smiled then, looking down at her and Ada felt a bit self-conscious, then realised that he was looking at a book on her desk.
“You have great taste.”
She followed his gaze and picked up her copy of Half of a yellow Sun by Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie.
“You started reading it yet ?”
“I’ve read it twice.”
Ada nodded. “I think it is brilliant but then some might say we are biased. It is our story. I just love the attention to historical detail, the way she uses words, the characters and stories. It reminds me of all the stuff my parents told me about Biafra.”
He looked at her. “My parents hardly talk about it.”
She shrugged. “It’s always been controversial. People see it different ways – for some it was a part of history we are supposed to have moved on from.”
“I went searching for my history. It didn’t come looking for me.”
Want to know what happens to these two bookworms – click on link below to find out!
On Dec 15th my first book was published. The dream I have had since I was about four years old came to pass.
I grew up reading those quaint Peter and Jane Ladybird books – where I looked for a child who looked like me in vain.
I hold up this book and I thank God for bringing me this far, for friends and family, for love and for those who believed in me when it was just a dream.
I present Love’s Persuasion. Elements of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ remind me of the characters here – of love lost and second chances. It is never too late to love, to love again, to take a chance, to write a book, go back to school or chase after that dream. Friends please don’t wait till its too late to go after your dream, your passion and that thing you know you were called to do.
I created Tony Okoli because he reminded me of the kind of guy that we fall in love with. We want the world and he is just a normal regular guy with his faults.
I created Ada because she reminded me of the kind of woman that we need to be. Strong, determined but not so tough that she has forgotten what it is like to be a woman – to love, to forgive and to learn to live again.
Thanks everyone who has supported me on this page and for your patience in this journey of discovery and manifestation. Love’s Persuasion by Ola Awonubi on www.ankarapress.com. Please get your copy.
Things are changing for the staff of Lagos firm City Finance, and not necessarily for the best. But for Ada Okafor, a bright, dedicated and beautiful trainee accountant, the only change worth noticing is the dashing, British-trained new assistant managing director Tony Okoli. Ambitious and determined, Ada ignores her feelings for Tony and focuses on juggling her work in accounts with completing her degree in business and finance. But their love of books draws them closer together and soon they embark on a secret but passionate affair. They soon discover that the course of love does not run smooth and a host of obstacles – from Tony’s disapproving family to jealous colleagues – litter their path. Their passion for each other is truly tested as they fight to persuade themselves and the world that love, in the end, trumps social status. –
click here to buy – http://www.ankarapress.com/products/love-s-persuasion?variant=727334547
It all started with a kiss….
Tony arrived to pick her up at 8pm. She came out wearing a simple sleeveless knee-length dress made of brown African print material patterned with green leaves. A green belt and matching heels gave her some added height. Her braids were plaited high on her forehead which gave her eyes a slanted mysterious look and large gold hoop earrings drooped from her ears.
I like. Very much, he thought to himself. Maybe too much.
“Good evening, Ada,” he said as she got into the car. “You look nice. “That wasn’t what he wanted to say, though.
Ada, you look drop dead gorgeous. Actually quite, alluring.
His eyes lingered on her for a minute more. Was her waist really that tiny? He couldn’t help wondering what it would be like to see if he could put his hands around her to find out.
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To celebrate the launch of the books and to create a buzz, Ankara Press is planning a hashtag event/discussion on Monday 15th December 2014, from 11.00 – 13.00 Nigerian time (GMT+1). It’s a Twitter event and it promises to be great fun. We would be very grateful if you could participate and celebrate the launch with us. The Ankara website itself will go live at 10am (Nigerian time) on Monday 15th November. Please join us…
The wait is over! This is my cover reveal for my book Love’s Persuasion out on December 15th.
My book Loves Persuasion is set in cosmopolitan Lagos.
Ada Okafor is an ambitious young secretary who works for a Financial House in Lagos by day and studies for a degree in Business Administration in the evenings. One Christmas her whole life changes when she bumps into the new Assistant Director – Tony Okoli – the son of the Managing Director who has come to assist his ailing father with turning round the fortunes of the company – Citi Finance – a once thriving business house.
Ada and Tony begin a tentative friendship when he gives her a ride home and discover a mutual love of literature and a mutual attraction which both try hard to fight. Ada because she doesn’t want to be seen as a gold digger and Tony because he is already engaged to child hood sweet heart and family friend Gloria Onwuka and he has plans for his life that do not really have anything to do with what his family wants for him.
He is trying to make sense of his own life. She is trying to make a life for herself.
Neither of them have got a clue about what destiny has in store….
Ankara Press – coming soon. Six authors. Six stories. Six romances.
Are Nigerian men romantic? Subscribe to the website by clicking the link below to keep updated as the series launches on Dec 15th – to find out.
Look out for my digital novel – Loves Persuasion – one of the six due out.
Tony Okoli is the kind of guy you wont forget in a hurry. Ada Okafor however is trying to persuade herself that life has moved on since they parted……
Update on Ankara pre-launch at the Lagos Book and Art Fair last Saturday.
People have asked where they will be able to buy the Ankara e-books. The answer is that we will be selling directly from www.ankarapress.com as soon as the site is launched, on December 15th. The ebooks will be available on all formats, including Kindle, but the only place that people will be able to buy them from at launch is www.ankarapress.com. So please spread the word and invite your friends to register their email details on the website now and we’ll mail them with details of the launch special offer price when the site goes live.
“Dedicated to showcasing the best of established and emerging talented African writers in the UK”
Accomplish Press in conjunction with Femy and Remy Ltd and Nigerian Writers, presents an evening of reading, conversation and inspiration with the best of new generation African Writers. The event will be a mixture of literature, poetry and spoken word performances, as well as a panel to discuss issues relevant to writers in the UK.
See link below to get tickets and more details