Nigerian broadcaster and investigative journalist Ejiro Umukoro, popularly known as “Lady E,” debuted her first novel titled Distortion on November 10th 2020. The mental health fiction was published by LightRay Media.
In an interview with the Pulitzer Center, Umukoro discusses how she spent her time during the COVID-19 lockdown investigating and reporting on another rampant pandemic: violence against women and children in Nigeria. This series can be found in The Guardian Nigeria and are titled “Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: Hidden Social Pandemic Under Radar of COVID-19 Lockdown” and “Broken Girls and Broken Boys—Trapped Under COVID-19 Lockdown.” After this series she published her first novel that is based on some of the real experiences she reported on or encountered while investigating different cases.
Distortion follows the life of Abu, a pharmacist, who is plagued by a family curse relating to mental health that has turned his community against him. Through this novel Umukoro calls readers to action, to confront the abuses caused by domestic violence and take a hard look at how individuals, local communities, and the government need to step up and address these injustices.
Read the publishers description.
From century-dead ancestors, a family curse reaches out to haunt Abu, claiming first his mother, and turning his community against him. Even his status as a pharmacist in the small town of Umu-Oti does not give him what he craved most: the respect of society and the affection of women. He battles his demons of mental health and sexual addiction, while negotiating hurdles of caste discrimination and ruthless cults, but it is his alliance with the malignant widow, Mama G, that takes him to the precipice, and puts him on the radar of investigative journalist, Akpobrume.
Ejiro Umukoro is an award-winning broadcast anchor, investigative journalist, media executive and social entrepreneur. She is a Fellow and Awardee of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalist Report Women Leadership Program, WanaData South/South Champion, Winner British Council International Communications Entrepreneur (IYXE) representing Nigeria at the Global Awards in the UK and Pulitzer Grantee. She is now the General Manager/Head of Station of Mega 89.1 FM in Warri.