Ifeoma Onyefulu is a Nigerian expatriate living in England who has successfully introduced English-speaking audiences to the range and variety of village life in her homeland through her picture books for young readers.
Ifeoma’s name is pronounced “Ee-for-ma Oh-yefulu”.
She was born in 1959 in Onitsha, Nigeria and brought up in a traditional village. After completing a business management course, she trained as a photographer, contributing to a number of magazines.
Her highly acclaimed books are renown for countering negative images of Africa by celebrating its traditional village life.
Illustrated with her own photographs, Onyefulu’s books have been praised as useful additions to classroom libraries for the lessons they teach about the universality of some experiences, as well as for offering a rarely seen depiction of African village life.
The brightly coloured photographs she includes in books such as A Is for Africa, Grandfather’s Work: A Traditional Healer in Nigeria, and A Triangle for Adaora: An African Book of Shapes evoke the important relationships between the people in her stories and also illustrate the customs and realities of everyday life in contemporary Africa.
The books’ authenticity comes not only from Ifeoma’s own Nigerian background, but also form how she obtains the images, travelling to Africa(often risking life and limb) to live with and photograph the subjects of her books.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the publication for Ifeoma’s first book, ‘A is for Africa’ which has become a bona fide classic in the genre of cultural diversity.
These gentle and reassuring First Experience stories will strike a chord with young readers everywhere.
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