Breaking! Anambra Man Develops Unique Writing Method for Africans

Dec 3, 2021 - 22:09
Dec 3, 2021 - 22:43

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Bored with the borrowed languages of the colonial masters, a Nigerian man, in his search for an alternative writing and speaking method for Africans, has developed a unique and common method of writing for Nigerians and Africans at large, distinct from other native languages and English and French, which are all languages of the colonial masters.

The 27-year old, Mr. Cornelius Chijioke Nwakonobi, who is a native of Awba Ofemili in Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, is also a secondary school teacher at Sancta Maria Secondary School, in Oji River Local Government of Area Enugu State.

According to him, the idea was conceived during his secondary school days in Urban Secondary School, Oji River; 

Revealing his journey to the invention in a piece tagged “MY MOTIVATION”, he said:

“While in highschool as a student of Urban Secondary School in Oji River L.G.A. of Enugu State, I tried to squeeze out time for my personal privacy —a time when I could be left alone without talking to anyone. But I could not achieve that, as it was a lifestyle at the college then for fellow students storming into you at anytime. And if you must strictly avoid anyone, then you may be tagged or seen as ‘cantankerous’ or a ‘bad egg’. 

“Personally, I don't successfully study when people are around me. I also feel disorganized when others interrupt what I'm doing. So I decided to find a means to exist freely with everyone without hurting someone else's feelings. This led to the formation of customized figures which I got used to, to the extent that I later preferred using them for many of my write-ups to avoid being spied. 

“I later applied it on personal debt register where I wrote names of people who were owing me so that others would not get to know who was owing me or not if they happened to find my scripts.

“The students' attitude of trying to find out what everyone was doing reduced on me because whenever they came around and found out I was writing in some strange characters, they got turned off. I began to enjoy these figures and later saw the need to develop into a full-fledged writing scheme.

“Rules and terminologies were crafted, and it worked out well. 

“Later, I decided to give it a name —Mc-Figures. The term, Mc-Figures, was extracted from my real names and the one coming after my date of birth. My first name, second name and surname are: Cornelius Chijioke Nwakonobi. However, in places where I am not officially identified, they call me "Monday" because I was actually born on a Monday, according to my mother, Mrs Juliana Nwakonobi. Thus the 'M' stands for Monday, 'C' for Cornelius. That is "MONCORNEL'S" when articulated into one word. So from there, I coined the name MONCORNEL'S FIGURES, abbreviated as 'Mc-Figures'.

“It also occurs to me that my race and continent at large have not had an "original" writing scheme of their own. Rather, they have always depended on borrowed figures from their colonial masters. 

“Thus I feel inferior at imagining an Igbo man who has his own language and culture but would still use the English alphabets to transcribe his ideas. I also felt the need for an African man to have his own well-spelt figures for writing, different from the colonial masters' figures. Just as the Arabs, Hebrews, Chinese and many others can boast of her own writing terminology.”

Nwakonobi therefore seeks the assistance of the government, individuals and private/public organisations to develop an app for the scheme with the aim of popularizing it.

Anyone who wants to reach out to him can do so via:

See the attached videos/photos to find out how the figures work:

You can also watch a more comprehensive video of the scheme HERE


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Izunna Okafor Izunna Okafor is an award-winning Nigerian novelist, poet, journalist, essayist, editor, translator, publicist, Igbo language activist and administrator who hails from Ebenator in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria. He writes perfectly in English and Igbo languages, and has published several books in both languages. He has received over 25 awards, and has over 2000 articles published online, both nationally and internationally, cutting across creative writing and journalism. See his full profile at: