Yemi Elegunde is the third of our authors writing about how their books have helped them raise awareness about an important issue and how it has established them as an authority on their subject.
Yemi’s book, Time Will Tell, tells of his life growing up in Nigeria after he was abducted by his father and taken from his mother and life in England. International Parental Child Abduction is a crime that is committed on a larger scale than even Yemi himself realized. He now lectures on the subject and assists research into the psychological impact the experience has on the abducted child.
The AuthorHouse Author’s Digest introduces Yemi’s story.
Yemi Elegunde’s Story: Time Will Tell
At the time when I agreed to have my manuscript Time Will Tell published, I was oblivious to the universal and controversial issue that is International Parental Child Abduction.
As the name indicates International Parental Child Abduction occurs when one parent takes their child or children to live in a foreign country without the knowledge or consent of the other parent. This happened to me when I was just a 7 year old boy. I had lived all 7 and a half years of my young life in England with both my parents and my sister, until one day in September 1973 when my dad took both me and my sister to Nigeria without so much as a goodbye to our home, toys, friends or most of all our mum.
We lived in Nigeria for a total of 14 years and I only returned to live in England as a 22 year old man. The pains and emotions of those years inspired me to eventually write my manuscript. Before the book was even published, I appeared on The BBC Breakfast News Show to discuss my experiences, and then I talked to Sky News Radio and some other media houses.
Once the book was published I went on to do interviews with The Daily Mirror newspaper, my local newspapers and a few other magazines. I also presented my book, and experiences to a group of solicitors who subsequently invited me back as a guest to speak to over 200 barristers & solicitors. I have done speeches at colleges and helped a university with its research into the effect of parental abduction on the child. I have worked with and contributed to various charity organisations including Reunite International and Abducted Angels.
According to new research released by the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO**) in 2011, a British child is abducted by a parent to a country which has not signed the Hague Convention on international child abduction every other day. In practice this figure is likely to be even higher as many cases are simply not reported. Figures from the United States are even more astounding. I never knew this before the publication of my book.
I am astonished at my growing fan base on Facebook and the demographics it covers.
I receive so many humbling messages from friends, and people from around the world who have read or are reading the book. They all tell me how they couldn’t put the book down once they started reading it, how they could visualise the villages in which I grew up, how they felt that they were with me on my rollercoaster of emotions and most importantly from those left behind parents caught up in the trauma, how my book has helped them and given them hope.
Time Will Tell has opened my eyes to the extent of the issue of Parental Child Abduction and I hope it continues to help all the parents, charity organisations, mitigation solicitors and government agencies in their efforts. As a very personal character, it has been strange but very worthwhile telling the story of a period of my life to anyone who wants to read it.
Yemi Elegunde’s AuthorHouse Bibliography
You can find out more about Yemi Elegunde and International Parental Child Abduction on his official website, Time Will Tell.