Ukala, Gracy 1946-

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Ukala, Gracy 1946-
(Grace Ukala)

PERSONAL:

Born April 19, 1946, in Mbiri, Nigeria; daughter of Godwin and Beatrice Ukala; married Edward Osifo (divorced); children: Edward Ehi, Fidelia Osifo-Selormey, Pamela Ehi, Daniel Ehi, Paul Ehi, Yetunde Ehi. Ethnicity: "Black." Education: University of Ibadan, B.A. (hons.), 1970; University of Benin, M.Ed., 1981; University of Lagos, M.Phil., 1988. Politics: "Left-wing." Religion: Christian and Eckankar. Hobbies and other interests: Reading spiritual books, songwriting, singing.

ADDRESSES:

Home—London, England. Office—Goldsparkle Consulting Services Ltd., 275-285 High St., Stratford, London E15 2TF, England. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

Emotan College, Benin City, Nigeria, head teacher, 1981-90; Geoffrey Chaucer School, London, England, head of English department, 1990-95; Eastlea Community School, London, head of communications faculty, 1996-2000; Bow Boys School, London, manager of learning support unit, 2000-02; Gold-sparkle Consulting Services Ltd., London, managing director, 2002—. Ethnic Minority Education and Cultural Enrichment Services, founder and president, 1999-2001; Eckankar zone director, 2001-04.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Nigerian Literary Merit Award, Institute of Continuing Education, Benin City, 1985, for Dizzy Angel.

WRITINGS:

Dramas of Love and Marriage in Nigeria, Nwamife Press (Enugu, Nigeria), 1978.

Basic English Language, Idodoh-Umeh [Africa], 1980.

Dizzy Angel (romance novel), University Press (Ibadan, Nigeria), 1985.

(With Flora Nwapa and Zainab Alkali) Salsloze Asche: A Collection of Short Stories, Circus Theatre (Zurich, Switzerland), 1989.

The Broken Bond (romance novel), University Press (Ibadan, Nigeria), 2001.

Ada in London: Surviving the Traumas (autobiographical novel), Outskirts Press (Parker, CO), 2005.

Author of scripts produced by Nigeria's National Television Authority, between 1974 and 1984. Work represented in anthologies, including New Nigeria Verse: A Collection of Poems, University Press (Ibadan, Nigeria), 1985. Contributor of articles, short stories, and poetry to periodicals, including Nigerian Observer.

SIDELIGHTS:

Gracy Ukala told CA: "I am a strong believer in God and the Holy Spirit, as well as in life after death. I began life as a child in a staunch Christian home, became a born-again Christian at seventeen years of age, but got disillusioned with Christian practices in 1979. While searching for any other spiritual path, I discovered Eckankar, the religion of the light and sound of God, in 1981. I have been a member of Eckankar since then. My outlook on life depends immensely on my complete trust in God and Its ability to see me through any situation. Because God is neuter, we say 'It' rather then 'He.'

"A lot of my writings explore the ability of the individual to survive the harsh realities of this physical life, as well as the strong realization that life does not end here—that as souls we are immortal. Our duty here is to learn as much as we can from our life experiences in order to become coworkers with God, distributing divine love wherever and whenever we can.

"So my main inspiration in my writings has been the desire to explore human nature and human resilience; that is, the survival instinct in all of us that enables us to stand up after a fall, dust up, and carry on, even the ability to remember to thank God for every little blessing in our lives, despite whatever devastation we may have suffered. All my novels show these traits: the ups and downs of life, surviving the traumas, carrying on with confidence and hope, remembering always to look on the bright side and thank God for small and big mercies!"