What started like an idea in the mind of Mrs. Jennifer Atakpu has materialised into a literary work of art titled “OCHUWA” an Etsako word meaning “He who brings wealth”. The look was launched at KADA Entertainment centre in Benin City the Edo State capital with encomiums showered on the author by guests present at the event for this great work of Art blending fiction with everyday reality of an asthmatic patient, touching on the intricacy of life.
The Journey of the book OCHUWA started some years ago when the author Mrs Jennifer Atakpu attended a book launch of a prolific writer and a literary Iconm, Chimamada Adechie in Lagos. The book titled: “Something Around Your Neck” became the propeller for Mr. Jennifer Atakpu, who felt she can also write a book that talks about her experience with asthma, how life treated her and how she over came the disease. The book which centred on the real life situation and the trauma that asthma patients go through everyday in the hands of their loved ones, friends, colleagues, neighbours and the society, is out for the reading delight of the general public.
The book which touches on life intricacy started some three years ago. Prof. Marcel Okhakhu, a lecturer from the Faculty of Theatre Art in the University of Benin and the father of the day at the occasion, said he received the first draft of this great work in an envelop over three years ago, and today that draft has become a published work of Art that has been launch and certainly would add to the body of knowledge of whoever reads it.
“I want to commend the author of this book and praise her courage to put literary work together. I know what it takes to write a book, I want to appreciate the effort of this young lady who brought an envelop about three years ago containing the very first draft of this very book. I want to commend you for this job and find the work interesting and surprise that you have the discipline of mind and soul to sit down and commit your thought to the people. I want to commend the author which I have continued to call OCHUWA. I am really delighted to be here”.
Speaking further Prof. Okhakhu commends the intelligent level of the author and express delight at the finished work launched. “I have taught lots of students but not often do you find students you have taught and mentor trying to out run you, and I see this as one effort trying to out run us and I commend this effort. The effort of this book is unquantifiable; we call on Nigerians to take advantage to read this book”.
“This book launch should be an on going project, get the book, read it and recommend the book to somebody who will in turn read and perhaps also recommend  it to another, And the book will find its way to many hands, library and homes. For those in government, the most you can do for this author is to ensure that the book get into the reading list of secondary schools, when this happens she will begin to get some royalty for the book and it will go a long way to help and support the author in no little way,” he concluded.
A former asthmatic patient and an invited guest to the book launch Mr. Ken Ehigie spoke with an emotion patient  laden voice as he recounted his experience as an asthmatic patience, what life was and how he over came it and for fifteen (15) years now have not used any medication and have been free from the disease.
“I was born into a very poor and large family of 21 children. All my parents were good at was making babies but find it difficult to give them the best life could offer because they were poor. I was sick with asthma but did not know because I was never taken to the hospital because my parents could not afford to pay any hospital bill. I was lucky to travel to Japan at the age of eighteen (18) years and that was where I discovered the name of the sickness. I worked with a professor who said with therapy I can overcome asthma. The professor led me through therapy and before a short while I was free from the disease”.
Mr. Ehigie said for the past fifteen (15) years he no longer use inhaler or ventolin tablet. “I am proud to tell you all sitting in this auditorium today that for the past fifteen years I no longer use inhaler and ventolin tablet, I have been totally cured of asthma through therapy. I don’t know what is in the book but from the introduction, I believe the book will touch on the therapy side of it. This book written by Mrs. Jennifer Atakpu is the story of my life and I am here to support her course and wish her well”.
The Senior Special Adviver (SSA) to Edo State Governor on taxation Mr. Austin Atakpu, who was also present at the book launch, commended the writing ability of the author for writing this book and assured her of his support. “The book is very important to our lives because it talks about the everyday experience asthmatic patients go through in the hands of the society. If you look at life today, it involves struggles to get the best out of it. Young boys and girls struggle to get the best out of life and they are tempted to go outside. Someone out there can pretend to give them love but that love can never be compared to what they get at home, that love they get outside can not be compare to what they get inside. There is a lesson to learn from this book. This book is good for your shelf, read and encourage others to buy and read”.
Continuing, Mr Atakpu said the book is good and will be a best seller any day. “I am proud of the author for a job well done. I am surprised  that she can sit down to write this book “OCHUWA”. This book gives an insight to a child growing up, the book is a real life situation, for me I think it is a book that every home needs to have in their shelf. There are more moral teaching coming from this book, if you have it at home and understand what it is saying, I believe it can shape and impact the growing up of your child. I never expected such great writing skill from her; it is very encouraging to see a young woman of her age doing something great. All I can do now is to give her my full support to do more. This is just the beginning of many good things to come, so we are expecting more books. I pray God will bless her with more knowledge to write greater book of this magnitude” he said.
The Executive Director Youths and Sports in Edo State Government Hon. Osaro Asemota who was also a guest to the book launch commended the author, Mrs. Atakpu for such a book and encourage her to aim higher to publish more books. He said that despite the invitation coming very late, he has to make out time to be present to support the author in his own little way.
Another invited guest Mr. Israel Wekpe who spoke with our reporter commended the author for showing the other good side of Nigerian youths. “This is a very good work. She has shown the positive side of the youths using her skills and talent to show what they have. I am happy for her doing this great work. Ochuwa as a book represents for us another escortion to that firmament of creative writing. The book amazingly creates the story of love and betrayer but at the end love triumph. It also show parents and friends need to be there for their children. This is the beginning of good things to come for Jennifer, she has created another template for young people and adults especially parents to look at life from another perspective. I want to congratulate the author for another brilliant work”.
A Professor of Mathematics in the University State of America (USA), Prof. Peter Atakpu who was also part of the book launch commended the author. “I am just taking aback by all of this, happy to see my sister-in-law write a book of this magnitude. It is quite inspiring, encouraging and motivating. I am very proud of her and pray she will get to a greater height. I am proud of her”.
Speaking further, the Prof. of mathematics said she should be appreciated for writing a book because no price tag can be placed on a book of this magnitude. “She has poured out her soul, her love and passion for a subject she care so much about and she has given you opportunity to learn about her. When you read this book, you learn more about the author. Books convey a lot of knowledge that is why you need to read this book”.
A friend of the author, Miss Ann Itodo expressed delight that at last the dream of many years have finally materialised into a literary work of Art that will add to the body of knowledge. “I have been there with Jennifer from the on set, we write poems together way back in school and she carried on with her own skills and today “OCHUWA” the end product of that long time dream. I am happy and proud of her as a friend and wish her well and many more other books to come from her”.
The husband of the author Mr. Victor Atakpu was full of smiles all through the occasion as his wife truly made him proud with her book launch. Expressing his joy, he said “I am most grateful to God for making today a reality, we have planned, prayed and finally the book launch has materialised. “I want to thank all who created time out of no time to attend this book launch; I pray God will bless them all. For my wife, the sky is her starting point”.
The author of the book “OCHUWA” Mrs. Jennifer Atakpu expressed delight for the calibre of guests that graced the occasion of her book launch. She said the book is important to her because it is centred on her life. “This is a book you need to read, it will surely add to your knowledge. This book is educating and inspiring especially to those suffering from asthma, because I was once an asthmatic patient”.
Speaking further, Mrs. Atakpu said she is using the book to reach out to asthmatic patients, just to tell them there is hope even if you have this disease. “I assure you that you will learn a lot from this book that talks about love, care and respect for yourself”.
On the book “OCHUWA” the author said she was inspired by the work of Chimamada Adechie “The Thing Around Your Neck”. “I went to Lagos to attend a book launch and I was inspired and began to think of writing my own book with my experience with asthma, writing a book on those suffering from the disease, today that dream has come to reality”.