Windsor

Windsor teen wins provincial award for play she wrote in two days

Chidera Ikewibe won a provincial award for a play she wrote about the Nigerian civil war that she completed in just a weekend.

Chidera Ikewibe didn't tell her parents about the play until after her win

Chidera Ikewibe is a grade 11 student at Assumption College Catholic High School. (Tom Addison/CBC)

A Windsor teen is living every procrastinator's dream.

Chidera Ikewibe, a Grade 11 student at Assumption College Catholic High School, is the winner of a Young Authors Award from the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association — with a play she started and finished in one weekend.

"My parents were flabbergasted completely," Ikewibe said.

The play, named "The Rise and Fall of the Fractionalized Nation," is based on the late 1960s to early '70s civil war in Nigeria, where her parents are originally from. It's also known as the Biafran War.

The play is focused around 'people at the top' and Ikewibe wanted to bring out the essence of the war through their experiences. (Tom Addison/CBC)

Even though they could have helped her with some research, Ikewibe's parents never knew about the contest until after she won the award.

She said the war was not something mentioned frequently in the house while growing up.

"My parents didn't really feel comfortable talking about it all that much, especially because I was so young."

Ikewibe said her play was originally a dramatical production about police but she scrapped that idea completely when she felt it wasn't any good. As for he new version which won the award, she started that with only a couple days left before the deadline.

While doing the research necessary for the play — on which she took a lot of artistic license — learning about "the devastation of a country" that was so close to her was "just crazy."

"I was so taken aback," she said.

Hear more from Chidera Ikewibe on the CBC's Windsor Morning:

The school may use her play

The work she's done to complete the play has given her a more in-depth look into Nigeria — a place she calls "the diamond of Africa."

The history teacher at her school has also asked her to lengthen the play to 30 pages in collaboration with a student, and the final product may be used as a school play next year.

Even though it's not entirely historically accurate, she said her mother understood her reasons behind not sticking straight to the facts.

"She said that it didn't feel like I was writing about war, I was writing about people. She loved it."