Interview with Boniface Nwugwo, author of The Silent Immigrants

The Silent ImmigrantsTitle: The Silent Immigrants

Author: Boniface Nwugwo

Genre: Inspirational Memoir

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Pages: 378

Language: English

ISBN-13: 978-1-49180-508-4

When Boniface Nwugwo left his hometown in Eastern Nigeria in 1980 to study in America, he had only $4600 to his name for his tuition, his faith in God and an unquenchable thirst to succeed in America. In this revealing, inspiring and compelling memoir, Boniface with uncompromising candor, tells his story of courage, insurmountable struggles, and triumphs that he and many West African immigrants faced before and after coming to America demonstrating that you can reach your dreams if you persevere.

From modest beginnings as the son of a teacher in his native Imo State of Nigeria, Boniface Nwugwo overcame poverty to distinguish himself as a brilliant academic and achieve a respectable career in the information technology industry.

Through his story and the sample stories of other West African immigrants, America’s promise as land of immigrants with infinite possibilities are rekindled in this self-revealing and self-fulfilling book.

Why was writing your book so important to you?

I was inspired to write this book because I wanted my children to be able to read these stories and understand how, why, and what I and others like me went through to make it and not to rely soley on oral history that I would have to pass down to them. But the immigration debates that erupted in 2007, 2010 and recently gave me the push to write the book so that other Americans will understand what West African immigrants go through before and after they arrive in America.

What was the writing/creative process like?

It can be very time-consuming. Sometimes you will sit down to write and ideas will be flowing and sometimes you will sit down and nothing will happen.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I don’t really consider myself a writer in the sense of writing as a career. However, I’ve always written technical articles and reviews for the past 20 years. Writing my memoir was something I decided to do about 5 years ago because I wanted to get it out of the way and put my experiences in writing so that my kids and the new generation coming behind me will learn something from my experiences and those of other immigrants.

How much influence did you have in the cover of your book? Why did you choose it?

I chose the cover of my book. I chose it because it depicted the African immigrant and Citizenship Swearing In of new immigrants.

Can you describe a typical day for you?

Drive 45 miles to my clients site for software/IT consulting spending 1.5 to 2 hours in traffic to go home. When I get home, review my kids’ homework and assignments, eat dinner, and spend some time writing/debugging software. When everybody goes to bed, start writing down my ideas down.

What do your family and friends think of your writing?

They love my writing.

About Boniface Nwugwo

Boniface Chibuzo Nwugwo was born on February 16, 1960 at Alaenyi Ogwa, in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area (LGA) of Imo State (part of what was the Eastern Region) of Nigeria. Popularly known as B.C. (as his parents refer to their children by their initials), he is the third of nine children born to Juliana and Christian Onwezi Nwugwo. His father, a retired elementary school headmaster, and his mother, a retired seamstress, live part-time in the United States, and part-time in Nigeria.

Boniface attended different elementary schools in Mbaitoli LGA due to the fact that his father as a teacher moved from school to school. He attended Obazu Community Grammar School Mbieri in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State, graduating in 1978. After graduation from secondary school he spent 18 months working for First Bank of Nigeria while waiting to gain admission into a university. After almost two years of waiting, he travelled to America to pursue his post-secondary education even though he did not have all the resources required to make such a trip.

From the second month of his freshman year at the State University of New York at Brockport, he started working for the school’s Shipping & Receiving Department until his graduation. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport in 1984, with a B.S. in Computer Science. He found a job in Rochester New York and continued to pursue higher learning while working full-time, earning a Master of Public Administration in information management systems from State University of New York at Brockport in 1987, and a Master of Science in software development & management from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1989.

In 1995 he relocated with his wife to the Washington DC area. He continued to work and go to school until 2003 when he completed a PhD program in information technology management from Capella University, Minneapolis/St Paul Minnesota. Boniface and his wife and their four children live in Maryland.

Boniface now runs an Information Technology Consulting business he founded in 2005. Boniface is also IEEE Senior member and member of the IEEE Computer Society and Past Chair of the IEEE Computer Society, Baltimore Chapter. He lives in Maryland with his wife Francisca and their four children – Brian, Allen, Jaine and Denzel.


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