About Me

Ifeoma Chinwuba was born in Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria on 15th November 1960. She obtained a BA (Hons) in French from University of Benin and an MSc. in Political Science from the University of Lagos, Akoka. Since 1983, Chinwuba has worked in Nigerias Foreign Affair Service.

From child refugee to Ambassador; this is the summary of my trajectory.

After the Biafra War in my country, I went back to school, studied the classics and on graduation, I was recruited to join the Foreign Service of my native country, Nigeria. As a diplomat, I travelled to over sixty countries. Travels which, in retrospect, were really field trips for me. I encounter cultures and civilizations much like a botanist in the wild encounters species. An Igbo proverb has it that a traveller knows more than the homebound white hairs.

I grew up with story-telling. In the absence of electricity and technology, adults regaled us children with tales of yore, entertaining and inculcating culture and good behaviour at the same time. I, in turn, have told these stories to my children; with the advent of the printed word, we commit our stories to writing.

I should mention that my father was a principal of a boys’ college. We had a library at home which he encouraged his nine children to visit. It was either that or a house chore. Reading voraciously demystified literature. I told myself if So-and-So could do it, why not me? They don’t have two heads.

And so, here I am, author of five books, made up of novels, poetry in dialogue and a juvenile novella. My Merchants of Flesh and Waiting for Maria have, at different times, won the Prose Prizes of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), while Waiting for Maria was on the Long-list of The Commonwealth Writers Prize, 2008

UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA | Faculty of English and Film Studies

WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE, 2021-22 Email: ichinwub@ualberta.ca