REVISTA MITO: Can you tell us about your works.
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Thanks for showing interest in my works. At present, I have written five novels, each addressing a social problem in my country. They are: Victim of Greed, The Traffickers, Betrayal of Trust, Campaign of Death and Destruction and The Glamorous Actress. Victim of Greed is based on the corruption in my country. The Traffickers is based on Nigerians’ role in international drug trafficking. Betrayal of Trust is based on the trafficking of young Nigerian girls and minors to Europe with promises of education, jobs and marriage only to be forced into prostitution. Campaign of Death and Destruction is based on the terrorist activities of Janna’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati-Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram –agent of terrorism in Nigeria. The Glamorous Actress is based on the need for girl child education and empowerment.
REVISTA MITO: Why did you decide to write about Boko Haram’s terrorism?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: I abhor violence especially terrorism. The level of security consciousness in my country is very low and needs to be improved upon. There is need for capacity building among security agencies in order to curtail the menace. The story shows the need for inter-agency cooperation and sharing of intelligence. The story equally acknowledges the gallantry of our law enforcement agencies in the fight against the fundamentalists. The story preaches religious tolerance in Nigeria. There is no need for any religious group to force its beliefs on generality of Nigerians hence Nigeria is a secular country. I also want to show the Christains that Boko Haram’s horrendous activities are not having the blessing of most Muslims.
REVISTA MITO: Is Cynthia story based on true story?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Yes.
REVISTA MITO: Do you think Cynthia has a passive role in society?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: At the beginning she was active and contributed to the economic development of her country as a banker, but after she lost her family and fiancé she decided to return to her home state for her safety, where before she found job she became a refugee due to flooding of her village.
REVISTA MITO: Does Cynthia live a kind of change from the beginning to the end of the story?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: At the beginning she was a happy young lady with a good job and bright future as a banker, but after the lost her dear ones, her life took a downward turn. Her future became uncertain when she ended up in the refugee camp.
REVISTA MITO: Does Cynthia interpret the reality?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Yes. Cynthia portrays the dejection many Nigerians who lost their dear ones in the senseless massacres by Boko Haram. Some Nigerians even suffered worse fate than Cynthia because in some cases the whole family is wiped out.
REVISTA MITO: What is the role of family in the book?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Family is the foundation on which life of the youths are built especially in a society where there is no social security for the unemployed like Nigeria and when it is no longer there, the youths face blink future. This is why Cynthia feels devastated when she lost members of her family.
REVISTA MITO: Can your story help the Nigerian society?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Yes. The story shows that Boko Haram is not killing only Christains but also Muslims. So this has helped to stop the urge of retaliation among Christains who initially thought it was a war between Muslims and Christains. The story also shows that not all the Muslims support Boko Haram’s terrorist activities against innocent Nigerians. It also shows that no matter how long darkness prevails, dawn will surely come by the defeat of Boko Haram by the Joint Task Force (JTF), after many years of murderous attacks on government agencies and innocent citizens. The acknowledgement of the JTF’s courageous actions against the extremists is a morale booster.
REVISTA MITO: What is the role of nature in the story?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: I tried to show the effect of global warming because in 2012, Nigeria suffered flooding that destroyed many towns and cities and washed farms away due to torrential rains supposed to have been caused by global warming. Cynthia’s village was one of the affected areas. It was submerged for months, killing many people and destroying homes forcing her to become a refugee.
REVISTA MITO: What are the consequences of Cynthia’s personally of being a refugee?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: The consequences are despair and dejection.
REVISTA MITO: Is there a place of love in Cynthia’s life? Does Cynthia believe in love?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: Cynthia definitely believes in love. She loved her parents, her brother and her fiancé before they were killed. This is why she became tremendously affected by their untimely death.
REVISTA MITO: Is there any justice in the story? Where does it arrive?
ANTHONY MODUNGWO: There is justice after the insurgency is crushed, and the sect members who killed her loved ones were either killed or arrested and jailed. Most of them paid for their horrendous acts.