Urhobo Historical Society

Akpomiemie  Erujaroh

Author of  Anywhere But Here

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Book Release: Anywhere But Here
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 16:28:18 EST
From: Erujaroh@aol.com
To: editor@waado.org

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am pleased to inform you and the wider Urhobo community of the recent publication of my novel titled: Anywhere But Here. 

Available at:
Amongst other outlets, Anywhere But Here is available at:

Akpomiemie Erujaroh

From the Inside Flap
Set in London, "Anywhere But Here" tells the hilarious and moving story of reluctant mini-cab driver Ese Urhobo. Having just left university with a degree in law, Ese takes up mini-cabbing to clear his debts. Unamused, his long-time girlfriend decides to dump him.
Ese will find the love of his life in the stunning Mary. But all goes wrong when Mary’s sexuality threatens their perfect relationship. But Ese’s problems are only just beginning when a passenger dies in his cab, and the young graduate is charged with murder.

The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming; as Ese knows too well. In sober reflection, he tries coming to terms with the chilling possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit. But all is not lost, if anyone can help him, it has to be his mentor and old lecturer, the distinguished Professor Hopkins. He agrees to take the case after a long absence from the law courts.

The story develops from Ese’s graduation ceremony through his cabbing experiences and on to the emotionally charged courtroom drama that captures the imagination of the country’s media. Through all of this, Ese nurtures one dream: to return to his native Nigeria and practise law, a dream that can only become true if he is found innocent.

We asked Akpomiemie to say something about himself and his book. Here are his rich and provocative thoughts. -- Editor

----- Original Message -----
From: Erujaroh@aol.com
To: UrhoboHistory@waado.org
Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2004 4:26 PM
Subject: Re: Book Release: Anywhere But Here

Dear Mr Ekeh,

Please forgive me kindly for the delayed reply. I am indeed honoured that you took the time to reply my mail. I must say I am immensely delighted and pleased that you are in the process of adding an additional site to the already brilliant and enlightening UHS website.

You may include the following for my profile in the new site.:

I was born in Kaduna State in northern Nigeria in 1969. After the Nigerian civil war my migrant parents moved back home down south. It was then the Mid-Western region, which eventually became Bendel State and afterwards Delta State. My family settled in Warri otherwise known as the Oil City of Nigeria (for its Oil production capacity). After secondary education at Unity School Agbarho and Okapere Grammar School, I pursed my ambition to travel. I had previously visited England in the summers of  '85 and '87. In London I had found the most exciting and cosmopolitan capital that there is, I simply fell in love with the place. When I decided to embark on my travels after secondary education, there was only one destination in mind, London, England. Since 1989 I have lived in northern, eastern and now the southern part of this great Metropolis. In 1998 I obtained a Law degree at the University of Westminster.

Many have asked me what drove me to write Anywhere But Here. The reason is simple:

A while ago, whilst having a good heart-to-heart conversation with a childhood friend of mine, he used the phrase: 'Trapped in Paradise.'  His name is Ejiro Obahor, an Urhobo gentleman. We were in fact discussing the economic and social situation of Nigeria and the effects it has on the young generation in particular, i.e.,. the burning desire to leave the Home country for a better life abroad.  We came to the conclusion that whilst Europe and America may appear promising, the Sun of our shared destiny was in nowhere else but back in the Home country which can only be brought about by the contribution of every individual however small, or far away from home because regardless of the fact that Europe and America may appear to be the place to be. Issues of race, culture, economics and a respectable place in the history of man drives us back to the inalienable truth that our place in history can only be established when we endeavour to make our history and existence something, not just to be proud of but to advance and promote or else we at home or the Diaspora, be it Urhobo, Nigerian or African for that matter will find that after a humiliating experience of leaving the Home country, we become Trapped in Paradise. A paradise that is nothing but a fleeing illusion.

I was inspired to write Anywhere But Here because I did not just want to tell the story of a young Nigerian, but most importantly to drive home to our leaders the consequences of their sometimes short-sighted and misguided leadership.

In publishing my piece, I hope most Africans living in Europe or America can relate to the story of Ese Urhobo one way or another.

I developed the writing bug soon after leaving university and have since written a few short stories. Anywhere But Here is my first novel. The struggle of getting it published is a story of its own that might be told someday. Although presently working on my next book, my conviction in Anywhere's potential, I am afraid is now my driving force and as such I am presently putting a lot of time and effort into getting it made into a motion picture or TV drama. I hope other Urhobo would-be writers will follow suit.

Akpomiemie Erujaroh Esq.