The Africa’s Best Stories Scam

9 Jun

I am flattered.  My name (well, alias in this case…) has finally made it alongside Wole Soyinka and Chimamanda Adichie.  Let me tell you how:

Sola Osofisan, who is the owner of Nigerians In America and African Writers posted a message in the NIA forum about a publishing company called Story Africa owned by a Mfonobong Nsehe published a book called Africa’s Best Stories.  It includes the works of Wole Soyinka, Chimamanda Adichie and *gasp* myself. 

I use the alias Rosie R with stories I publish online in NIA and the same alias in African Writer.  Some of you have read some of these stories here on my blog and also on other sites.  I am a little shocked that a person would go as far as putting together an anthology of works from both notable writers and people like myself with lesser know works and make money off our backs!  Clearly this Mfonobong lifted most of his stories from Sola Osofisan’s websites.  Two of my stories (“The Funeral” and “How to Break Up with a White Man”) are included in this book titled “Africa’s Best Stories,” which according to what I learned is still available on Amazon.

This publishing 419 scam is befuddling.  I wonder how this book got on Amazon.  Don’t they have a vetting system? A few authors whose stories were used have spoken out against the book and one of them Molara Wood even got a hate blog in her name for speaking out against Mfononong Nsehe.  If I had heard of this earlier, I would have joined Ms. Wood in making sure that this man and his cohorts know that you can’t use a person’s work without their explicit consent.

Book Review and Retraction by Seattle Pi Books

Scam Story by Book SA News

Lesson Learned: finish my MBA and start my writing career before someone else steals my work.  Again.

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23 Responses to “The Africa’s Best Stories Scam”

  1. Jaycee June 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    I just read the story on Book SA news. Rather frightening. Looks like Mfonobong isn’t scared of jail.

  2. EDJ June 9, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Did you e-mail the guy to see what he would do? You should file a complaint with Amazon as well.

  3. blogoratti June 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    Wow….talk about reaping where you did not sow.
    I think you and others affected need to take this up with amazon or something.

    Lesson learned indeed.

  4. Lady X June 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    My goodness! Plagiarism. How I hate it. You guys shouldn’t let him go scot-free. Ole. Thief. Barawo.

  5. Eghosa Imasuen June 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Sorry, Ms. R. We have tried to be very supportive of Molara and other writers whose work was stolen by this thief. The plot thickens, as many other things this Mfonobong has done are being unearthed everyday.
    Meanwhile we have discovered the email address of Mfonobong’s Dean at Daystar University Kenya (which is supposed to be a Christian Interdenominational institution.) This is the email address: Jon D Masso, Dean, SciTech, Daystar University. jmasso@daystar.ac.ke
    The chap–who now tries to hide behind a veil of false stupidity, and fake contriteness–must be disgraced. I hear he graduates in 2 weeks. let’s give him a nice graduation present. Send an email to his teachers.

  6. Myne Whitman June 9, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    This story just leaves a sour taste, I feel very vulnerable and have been thinking of Naija Stories since I read about it. I believe Sola and most of you guys shoulf seek legal action.

  7. taynement June 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    This is ridiculous! I admire your calmness. That’s hard work right there coming up with a story and for a no good idiot to just lift it is just ridiculous. Biko, if you have time send the email and followup with Amazone. Crazy!.

  8. OriginalMgbeke June 9, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Damn, that really really sucks. I agree with the other commenters, you should definitely follow up with Amazon/seek legal action. Na wa!

  9. Ibhade June 10, 2010 at 4:45 am #

    Hmmm……woners shall never end….spend your energy on finishing your MBA…

  10. justjoxy June 10, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    Pele o, the sheer effrontery of the thief! Please seek legal redress, maybe in conjunction with the other authors who were also robbed?

  11. BBB June 10, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    can u imagine
    abeg dont take it sitting

  12. Beulah June 11, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Really bad, dont keep quite oh, blow d whistle!

  13. Funmi June 12, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    LOL… The articulate child in me is forced to say “Na beans???” KAI… Obviously I am not knocking your writing skills but no one would believe that their stories could just randomly end up in an anthology with the likes of Soyinka and Adichie just like that- believing something like that so easily reeks of narcissism. I write as well so I totally understand how annoying this must be. This 419 people never tire sha… LOL… This must be the final frontier after “yahoo yahoo”… 🙂

    • lucidlilith June 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

      I only just found out about this this past week…hence my tongue-in-cheek post about my name being among Soyinka. Narcism? He he he…aren’t we all?

  14. Virtue June 13, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    So… I think the writer should have a tangible reason for going ahead to publish the stories of legends in the world of literature and aspiring figures also. In these days of scam, it is possible that the said Mfonobong was lured to believe by some fraudster of a publishing house that he had the consent of these writers. How else can we explain this. On Amazon? He must have had some belief that he was on the right part, and not just about money making. This is a university graduate for God sake. We must dig deep before we judge.

    • lucidlilith June 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

      If he is hoping to be a publisher in the future, he needs to be on top of things and do his own fact checking.

  15. Eghosa Imasuen June 13, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    @Virtue. As shocking and unbelievable as the story seems every word of it is true. He stole the stories, he lied that the stories were edited by the greatest minds from Harvard, Columbia, and Yale, and he lied that Oprah had picked the anthology for her book club.
    After the wahala was broken on Book SA he tried to sneak around the writers, getting permissions after the fact, but which respectable writer would agree to attach her name to someone who would lie about Oprah, about Professors from the Ivy League?
    http://news.book.co.za/blog/2010/06/08/mfonobong-nsehe-shuts-down-africas-best-stories-and-the-molara-wood-hate-blog/#comment-29120
    http://news.book.co.za/blog/2010/05/19/media-watch-meet-a-literary-419-scam-africas-best-stories-involved-in-oprah-book-club-hoax/#comment-29176
    And after one of the writers stood up to him, he mounted a hate campaign against her. http://news.book.co.za/blog/2010/06/07/media-watch-molara-wood-under-shameful-attack-from-africas-best-stories-supporters/#comment-29175

    • lucidlilith June 15, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

      i did not know he tried to get permission after the fact!

  16. lucidlilith June 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    @everyone – I just wanted to post a quick update. Mfonobong issued a global apology which I will be posting very soon.

  17. Ginger June 15, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    Wow, this guy’s activities over the net have kept me busy this past 2 hours. What a crook. I believe this is our nigerian example of someone suffering from multiple personality disorder Mfon/Richard James.
    Whatever the case maybe you authors couldnt have found it funny. hopefully it is now over! pele…

  18. Fabulo-la June 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    What???

    My gawd….

  19. miss.fab June 22, 2010 at 11:43 pm #

    this is just disgraceful

  20. 9jaPhoenix June 23, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    Ah! This is amazing! But why? Why do we do this to each other as africans? Why? I am lost for words and an expression for this crap.

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