My novel ‘IGBOLAND’ is inspired by the photos and tales of my Mum and Dad, and by my Mum’s diary from their six years living in the Nigerian bush. I was born out there in Jos in the middle of the Nigerian Civil War.
My Dad, Gerald Gardiner, was a Methodist missionary out in Idoma. My Mum, Janet Gardiner, was a young, newly married wife.
They lived in a bush village called Iga; the only white residents for many miles. Even in the 1960s, they still encountered people who had not seen white folk before.
My Mum felt she could offer a little help by opening a tiny dispensary to help with simple medical complaints.
Dad helped run local schools, churches and teacher training colleges. School buildings and resources were vey basic.
My parents always commented on how friendly, welcoming and happy the villagers were. They were always welcomed, spoiled and treated with the utmost respect. Even though the Nigerian folk had little in terms of possessions, they would often give gifts of yams, chickens or fruit
Below is a picture of the village elders.
The road were treacherous and often just muddy rutted paths. If Mum and Dad’s Beetle ever broke down, locals would appear magically from the bush to help out.
Mum and Dad are still in touch with the Omafu family out in Nigeria, who run a maternity clinic, supported by kind donations from my parents.
I felt I should end with a photo of myself out in Nigeria. Here goes:
An early shot of Jeff Gardiner, author of ‘IGBOLAND’, a novel of passion and conflict inspired by my parents’ years in West Africa.
To find out more about ‘IGBOLAND’ ‘like’ my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Igboland/595879100465696
To buy a copy of ‘IGBOLAND’ click on the cover image below.