The launch of The Torn Petal held on the 8th July, 2017 at Merit House, Maitama, Abuja. Before the programme officially began, I stood aside and watched om’Oba Jerry Adesewo and Ozioma Izuora argue over the best way to arrange the pile of books which would later be unveiled (even though it had not actually been veiled in the first place). In the end, madam Ozioma won with a far superior argument. Ozioma Izuora is a lawyer by profession, if you must know. And she is humane. Or else, she would have sued Eriata Oribhabor (the President of Poets in Nigeria) for insistently referring to her as the ChairMAN of the occasion instead of ChairLADY or ChairPERSON either of which she had preferred. At least, the two of them didn’t disagree on the fact that Nigeria would be a better place with more Auntie Talatus.

The Torn Petal is Teresa (a.k.a “Auntie Talatu”) Ameh’s eight children’s book. With that, you could rightly say she has contributed her fair share to literature even if she were to ‘retire’ from writing today. Not only has she written for children, but she had also ensured that the books got to them by setting up libraries even in orphanages. And with the way The Torn Petal ends, we could bet your money that more is likely to come in the near future.

Dressed in a red suit and black trousers, Benjamin Ubiri could have passed for one of those croupiers in Las Vegas casino houses. He professionally dispatched his MC role and then morphed into an American auctioneer, enjoying the jostle between Nurdin Busari and an unadientified lady for the title of “Highest bidder” after Jerry Adesewo and others had thrown in the towel.

A stage adaptation of The Torn Petal was acted, drawing laughter and near-tears from the audience who were shown the lives of Hussaina and her happy family and how they are eventually torn to shreds by the insurgency in the Northeast.

Some of us who had come from far and near mainly to see the boil that we learned had popped up close to one of Auntie Talatu’s eyes were gladly disappointed when she sauntered into the hall without a pair of dark goggles following the boil’s miraculous disappearance.


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