Search

Holloway prison visit inspires book penned by Hornchurch explosion resident

PUBLISHED: 17:22 14 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:22 14 February 2017

Author Emeka Egbuonu with his books

Author Emeka Egbuonu with his books

Archant

An author who writes about making lemonade when life throws lemons maintains his optimism despite having to abandon his home following an explosion.

Emeka Egbuonu, 30, who lived at the Bridge Point building, Southend Arterial Road, Hornchurch, celebrated the release of his third book, My Sister’s Pain, with a prestigious event at the Hackney Empire on Friday.

Despite waiting to be rehoused following the explosion which rocked his building on January 23, Emeka has not let the inconvienience dampen his quest to spread a message of hope.

“I did a talk at Holloway Prison a few years ago,” said the former Barking and Dagenham College lecturer.

“It gave me the idea to explore sisterhood because of some of the things they [the prisoners] shared with me.

“After I did my talk, a woman spoke to be about domestic abuse. She lost her patience and attacked her partner and ended up in prison.

“The powerful thing I took from it was the sisterhood they shared through their shared experiences.

“They came together in a negative situation but were seeing each other through their sentences, supporting each other.”

My Sister’s Pain focuses on two sisters, in their 20s, who tread different paths in their quests to find happiness.

Singer Jamelia and Christina Matovu, a season four The Voice finalist, made guest appearances at the book launch.

Emeka is no stranger to hardship, having grown up on the tough estates in Hackney and his many years as an inner city youth worker.

His first book Consequences – Breaking the negative cycle was a collection of academic thought and opinion from those who worked in the public and voluntary sectors about the state of today’s youth culture.

“There needs to be more in place for young people who are not academic,” continues Emeka.

“Young people feel alienated if they make mistakes within education. There needs to be more than alternative education packages, it feels like a punishment to them.

“Sometimes they have problems at home and we need to get past that before we can even begin to teach them in a classroom.”

He encourages young people, and those that work with them, to find a sense of purpose.

“A community can push a young person in the right direction,” he adds.

The father’s second book, Ambitions of the Deprived, focuses on four teenagers who make a plege to help one another in life no matter what happens.

One of the teenagers is convicted of a joint enterprise crime – meaning they were found guilty of another person’s offence.

“The book is about a friend helping a friend to find justice while fighting their own battles.”

At the moment, Emeka’s battle is trying to make a home for himself and six-year-old daughter Summer.

“It’s been really hard to be honest,” he continues.

“My daughter was at home with her mum and I was out promoting the book, when she called to say there had been an explosion.

“By the time I got back, I could see my side of the building up in smoke.

“I don’t have access to my building and I have had to spend money on things I already have but can’t get.”

But Emeka still presses on with writing and motivational speaking engagements that has seen him give lectures at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham universities, and Doncaster Prison.

“The message I am trying to share with people is that no matter what the pain is, it’s about supporting each other and helping each other to grow.”

Latest Romford News Stories

19 minutes ago

Shockwaves have been sent across Collier Row today as residents try to come to terms with the ‘disgusting’ murder of a 15-year-old boy after a birthday party.


34 minutes ago

Neighbours in Harwood Avenue have decided to take part in the capital wide competition for the first time.

Now that Brexit is finally getting under way, the Conservative government is keeping its promise to the British people by investing in our NHS.

Yesterday, 14:32

A man who followed a Rainham OAP driver and stole her car and threatened a mum at knifepoint while she was dropping off her children at school in Seven Kings has been handed six years in prison.

Yesterday, 12:00

A man has fractured both his ankles after a 70-year-old mobility scooter driver collided with him in Harold Wood.

Yesterday, 12:00

I saw huge moth and presumed I’d shrunk

PROMOTED CONTENT

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Sean Watson, director at the family-run St Michaels Homes which runs Howard Lodge and Dudbrook Hall, answers the common questions people have about care homes.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now