This memoir chronicles the remarkable spiritual and educational journey of a poor village boy from Nigeria who, through sheer dint of hard work and unwavering Christian faith he learned from his father, struggled to realize his American dream. It serves as a model for contemporary immigrants to this land, especially Blacks from Third World countries, who struggle to add their individual strands to the sociocultural mosaic of the United States of America. Besides, as time goes on and the rapidly Americanized Ogbaa clan expands, none of its members may have to look beyond the book to find their roots.
Carrying My Father's Torch is part of the African World Series, edited by Toyin Falola, Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin.
“From the wrestling matches in which he tussled as a young boy living in an Igbo village where the winds swirled against udara trees during the West African harmattan season, to his early Christian schooling, through the horrors of the Biafra War and his eventual move to the United States where he earned his PhD, Kalu Ogbaa’s memoir, Carrying My Father’s Torch, is a moving, unflinchingly candid look at the life and times of a Nigerian man living in the country during one of its most tumultuous eras. Ogbaa’s memoir spans a history dating back to the mid-20th century and furnishes us with fresh insights into the political and social changes during that period, while intimately detailing the personal trials, frustrations, and triumphs of one man’s journey to live up to, and grow beyond, his father’s desires for him to carry on the family name with honor. No one reading this memoir will doubt that Kalu Ogbaa has lived up to those early expectations, and has truly earned his father’s praise name, Ikenga nna ya — The right hand of his father.”
— Tony Morris, Professor of English at the College of Liberal Arts, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Georgia
“This memoir is the best literary counterpunch to what I see as the contemporary degeneracy in the lifestyles of recent immigrants, thereby supplying a gradualist, honorable and decent vision of life based on hard work, faith, integrity, and dedication to work and family.”
— Toyin Falola, author of A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt, the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and University Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas at Austin