KCKCC faculty member releases memoir

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by Kelly Rogge
A Kansas City Kansas Community College faculty member has released his memoir, depicting his time as a Biafran child soldier who rises to become an American-educated professor.

“Dear God, Never Again: Memoirs of a Different Child Soldier,” is written by Ewa Unoke, associate professor of political science. pre-law, and peace studies and director of the Henry M. Louis Center for Global Transitional Justice. Unoke holds a doctorate degree. Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC, the book was written by Unoke after several people suggested the idea.

“My life is an example that child soldiers, street gangsters and kidnapped children like the Bring Back Our Girls victims in Nigeria, can be saved, educated and reintegrated into society as useful citizens,” Unoke said on a recent speaking engagements at Park University and Washington High School in Kansas City, Kan.

“I was also kidnaped during my youth by the same northern Muslims, but I survived. However, despite life’s many turning moments, another life is still possible even when past injustices refuse to lie down quietly and rest,” he said.

Unoke has shared his story numerous times including in 2005 at KCKCC’s Intercultural Center. Titled, “From Africa to America: a Brief Personal Journey,” the talk focused on his journey from child soldier to college professor and was one of the first times he spoke about his past publicly.

Then in 2009, Radhika Coomaraswanmy, then the United Nations under-secretary for children in armed conflicts, made a similar request while visiting the Dole Institute at the University of Kansas. Since then, Unoke has been invited by high schools and colleges throughout the United States to speak to students including those in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Pa., Chicago, Ill. and San Francisco, Calif. as well as locally in communities in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

A book launching and signing event is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, at the Intercultural Center on the KCKCC main campus, 7250 State Ave. The public is invited to attend. Public schools and colleges can now buy the book directly from the publisher or contact Unoke to share his inspirational story with their students.

In addition, Tate Publishing has scheduled Unoke to speak in local libraries, bookstores and on radio and television programs locally and nationally in the coming weeks and months.

For more information about “Dear God, Never Again: Memoirs of a Different Child Soldier,” contact Professor Ewa Unoke at eunoke@kckcc.edu or by calling 913-563-8586.

Book excerpt:

“My students and friends in the United States ask me:
• As a former child soldier, did you amputate people’s hands and legs?
• As commander of BOFF, what atrocities did you commit?
• Is it true Biafran children were deliberately starved to death?
• Like the Nigerian jihadists, did you kill or kidnap school girls during the war?
• Can you tell us your childhood pains and pleasures?
My response usually is, “Wait until you read my memoirs.”

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