Onyeka Nwelue, famously called the drop out professor is a young Nigerian writer whose life style draws attention to many Nigerian youths. He was born on the 31st of January 1988 to Honourable Sam Nwelue, a politician and Knight of St. Christopher and Lady Catherine Nwelue, a teacher and Lay Reader.
Onyeka a Nigerian cultural entrepreneur, filmmaker, professor, and author best known for his novel ‘The Abyssinian Boy’, which was published when he was 21 and won the TM Aluko Prize for Fiction, came second at the Ibrahim Tahir Prize for First Book, was nominated for the Future Awards and later won the Prince Claus Ticket Grant.
His story is a bit intriguing; Onyeka attended Mount Olives Seminary in Umuezeala Nsu, where he was meant to become a priest. He left Mount Olives Seminary to continue at Holy Family Secondary School, before running away to Lagos, to pursue his career in writing. He left for Lagos when he was 16 years old to attend the Wole Soyinka Festival, after which he was introduced to the Nobel Laureate. A few years later, Nwelue travelled to India for the 2nd International Writers’ Festival, under the invitation of the India Cultural Association.
His second book Hip-Hop is Only for Children is a narrative in verse and has been described by British-Hungarian poet, George Szirtes as ‘breathless.’ He toured 25 countries of Europe in 2014, promoting. It has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Igbo and Yoruba. It was translated by Venezuelan writer, Alberto Quero and published in Peru. It had its official launch at the Cusco Book Fair in Peru in 2015.
In 2014, he was appointed a Visiting Lecturer of African Studies at the School of Modern Language and Culture, the University of Hong Kong and later an assistant professor of African Studies at Instituto d’Amicis in Puebla, Mexico.
At 27, Nwelue became the youngest jury member of any film festival, as part of the Woodpecker International Film Festival in India. He went on to later create The Italian-Nigerian Festival of Cultures, curating the Diplomatic Jazz Nights for the diplomatic community in Nigeria.
In 2016 he won the non-fiction writer of the year (readers vote) at the Nigerian Writers Awards.