My Eye Dances – A Promise Fulfilled

Nwachukwu Egbunike

With liquid eyes flood my soul

That I may be able to discern

Not only what is good

But what is excellent

The verse above by Mark Nwagwu, unlocks the depths of a highly philosophical piece of work. My Eye Dances is a sequel to Forever Chimes.  The author “describes the life and times of Chief Akadike Okeosisi of Okeosisi, the great-grandfather of Chioma (the main character of My Eyes Dance), from her birth to her graduation from Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA.”

In a prior review of the precursor of My Eye Dance, my pen wrote that:

Forever Chimes is a voyage into the lineage of Akadike of Okosisi through his son Maduka to his granddaughter ­– Onyebuchi and down to his great granddaughter – Chioma. Akadike’s great granddaughter takes on the family tradition, a personification of all that her grandfather stands for. It is a novel that treats history, not in the conventional way which African tradition is built upon. As a matter of fact, Akadike a man of valour, a High Chief of Okosisi, not only interacted with the colonial masters but actually assisted the Resident in Okoko – Mr Author Greenfield to write a book about the history of his town. Akadike’s wisdom not only shines through the book but also his passions, especially his tendency to get easily offended. The intricate web of both the philosophical and supernatural finds its embodiment in his life.

I had begged Nwagwu for a sequel, and he gladly gave me one. He has fulfilled a promise.

Charles Nnolim in his foreword to the novel attests that:

My Eye Dance is a novel of character and a novel of ideas. The character around whom most of the action accretes is Chioma Ijeoma, and the ideas surrounding most of the themes are about African ancestor worship and its attendant idea of totemism.

Chioma…becomes the carrier of the ancestral genes by receiving an ancestral ‘walking stick’ that has a mind of its own and tries to influence Chioma’s actions at important moments of her life. Chioma led a life of exceptional virtue and is everything one admires in a human being. She is an artist par excellence, a painter, a philosopher, a brilliant academic, and her celibate life in Opus Dei, influences for the better many followers…she is in every way a saint if we consider the adage that a saint is a person who does the ordinary things in life extraordinarily well.

A more detailed review of this book will soon be hoisted on this blog.

4 Comments

  1. Mark was my professor of Molecular Biology at University of Ibadan – a great scientist well ahead of his time. He used to regale us with hilarious stories during his lectures that I am not suprised he made a smoooth transition to a novelist. The 1995 class of Cellular Parasitology would never forget stories of “DNA heliz”, “G – Protein”..ha..ha and “What can GPI do for you”. The work on the almighty G – Protein had just won a nobel prize then, and we could not hear enough of G-protein.

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  2. Yea.
    Prof Mark Nwagwu (MN) was a great man, smiled on by the brilliant and pretty comfortable God almighty.
    My 1995 MSc. colleague- Chinedu Ogbonna in Prof MN’s Cellular Parasitology class at Nigeria’s premier university- University of Ibadan, Nigeria-Chinedu Ogbonna’s comments on Mark Nwagwu are real.
    He developed younger ones in Cellular Parasitology many of who are in vital positions in the field in Africa and abroad- by God’s special provisions and blessings. ALL THESE HUMAN RESOURCES WERE DEVELOPED BY THE GREAT PROFESSOR MARK NWAGWU. HE ALSO DEVELOPED A NEAR EXCELLENT CAPACITY FOR RESEARCH IN HIS LABORATORY. IT WAS HIS HARD WORK AND THE DELIGHFLUL GOD’S BLESSINGS.
    I recall when MN described some of his finest moments in his ecientific career at Walter Reed, Sweeden, and other great places (institutes, universities and laboratories) in the advanced world where science is a delight to practise with excellent facilities, encouragements and socials to beef up life after duties and science research-daily and weekly.
    Nwagwus had work was a major factor.
    Blessed be God and having God’s deposits of selflessness and greatness in him.
    Shalom to all these my colleagues of MN’s 1995 SET AT UNIBADAN, and to the entire family of Professor Mark Nwagwu.
    Leo
    BLESS GOD.

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  3. Yea.

    Chinedu is right on the great Mark Nwagwu- He was hardwoking , selfless, developed lots of talents and potentials in human resources- many of whom are in some of the best and finest places (labs, univs and institutes) for a science career abroad – by God’s special provisions.He developed a near excellent facility at the university of Ibadan (NIGERIA’S PRMIER UNIVERSITY) , and HE WAS SMILED ON BY THE BRILIANT AND SWEET GOD ALMIGHTY.

    MAY GOD’S PEACE BE UPON ALL MY 1995 COLLEAGUES of the MSc Cellular parasitology class at the University of Ibadan, and to the entire family of Prof Mark Nwagwu, amen.
    SHALOM, AMEN.
    Bless God, amen.

    Leo

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  4. It is now April, 2012, Easter time, and I’ve just read these comments by my former students. I don’t know where they are now, all I pray for is that they are well, and have joy all over their hearts as they pursue whatever it is they do. God plays with us in time. And, as we say, time comes and goes, but where are we? In time God created us. In time He came to us as one of us, man, as Our Lord Jesus Christ. In time Christ died for us. In time he resurrected from the dead and entered into timelessness. Now we too await our own entry into the timeless joy of heaven, after death, and the timelessness again of our our resurrection, body and soul together in heaven, in the beatific vision. Happy Easter.
    This Easter time is a great time to contemplate on TIME. What a time it was when we were all in the lab, the Cellular Parasitology lab, at the University of Ibadan. Thanks for these gratifying comments, Chinedu and Leo.

    Reply

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