Nigerian writer Ejiro Umukoro’s novel Distortion has been approved within the recommended list of textbooks for senior secondary schools by The Ministry of Education in Delta State, Nigeria.

Umukoro’s book appeared in the approved booklist released by the Ministry of Education as endorsed by the Director, Education Research Centre, Mr N. Kentoa. Distortion is to be used for Senior Secondary School (SS 1 to 3) starting from the first term of the 2024-2025 academic session.

Distortion is a novel that explores the Osu caste system, widowhood, child trafficking, gender-based violence, and mental health issues. Read the synopsis below:

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.

The inclusion of Distortion in the Delta State school curriculum is a huge milestone for Umukoro as well as Nigerian literature. According to The Guardian NG, this book will inspire young minds to become critical thinkers.

Umukoro shared with us in a statement that she is thrilled about her book being approved as a textbook:

Children’s voices matter. Telling their stories gives them the empowerment, exposure, and revelance they need to be seen, understood and respected.

As a child rights advocate, this endorsement and approval by the Delta State Governmentt is a evidence of their high value for high quality literature and the culture of reading in Nigeria that is grossly lacking.

When parents and students read this book, they see the power of development communications and how the media’s role and journalists as watchdogs are powerful changemakers alongside citizens who collectively want a better country, a working Nigeria.

Ejiro Umukoro is a journalist, policy advocate, and writer. She received the Distinguished Changemaker Award from the United States Agency for Global Media.

Congrats to Umukoro on this achievement!