The book ONE LOVE by Koko Kalango, was launched on Thursday, 17 December 2020 to a virtual audience that included Africa’s first Nobel Laureate for Literature, Professor Wole Soyinka, the Jamaican High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Esmon Reid and 150 other guests from Nigeria, Jamaica, the US and the UK.
Exploring Jamaican Contributions to Nigeria’s Development
Speaking at the launch, Soyinka said the book was an important contribution to the literature of the African diaspora. On that occasion, ONE LOVE, which delves into the contributions of Jamaicans to Nigeria’s development, was reviewed by novelist and historian Chibundu Onuzo. This coffee table book features fifty stories of Jamaicans, highlighting their life and work in Nigeria.
Published this year to coincide with 50 years of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Jamaica, ONE LOVE begins with the profile of Andrew Chisholm and Edward Miller, the first set of Jamaicans who arrived in 1846 as missionaries and spans over 170 years. Majority of the stories are about Jamaicans, like the author’s mother, who migrated to the United Kingdom in the 50s as part of the windrush generation, met their spouses, who were students there and followed them to Nigeria.
170 Years of Jamaican Presence in Nigeria
The book explores the experiences of Jamaicans from different generations who came as missionaries, educators, agriculturists, industrialists, and healthcare workers, etc., highlighting their significant impact on their adopted home. The author, who once worked at the Jamaican High Commission in London, explained that the inspiration for writing the book came from her mother’s love for Nigeria, and she aimed to showcase the strong bonds between Jamaica and Nigeria through the theme of love. Kalango hopes that the book will inspire future generations of the African diaspora to connect with their African heritage.
Endorsements and Reviews
In his introduction to the book, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo writes that the book went beyond being a mere chronicle of individuals who migrated from one country to another to telling the story of stolen people who managed to find their way back home, assimilate into the society they encountered, and make significant impacts in Nigeria. In her foreword, Jamaica’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith said the book shared a creative and inspiring perspective on Jamaicans in Nigeria and Jamaican-Nigerian relations. Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama described the book as a must-read for diplomats, researchers, the academia and the general public.
ONE LOVE has received a 5-star rating from readers on amazon. A copy of the book can be gotten on Amazon. Also, to get more inquires about the book, visit this website https://kokokalango.com
Photo – Pamela Coke-Hamilton