The story of Ebereonwu who was born as Paul Obinali Ebereonwu is one that reads like a classic legend. It is the story of a young man who sought to conquer the world by pursuing his professional interest in remarkable ways. Here was a young talent who strove to make a mark in the four major areas that he plied his trades: Poetry, Drama, Scriptwriting and Directing. Ebereonwu’s is the relatively unbelievable story of a scriptwriter who moved from what he considered the peanuts of not knowing the meaning of royalty for his poetry and drama, through
N25, 000 for a film script in 1996 to roughly N350, 000 a script by 2006.
Beyond his peculiar dressing that stood him out in all the Association of Nigerian Authors’ gatherings he attended, Ebereonwu made himself a phenomenon in other ways. Long before he preached about the relationship between scriptwriting and poetry or on the need to market creative writing the Nollywood way, Ebereonwu had as far back as 1997 printed huge posters with his face adorning same in order to publicize his books the way only a film-oriented intelligence would. No doubt, the many-sided story of the poet, dramatist, Scriptwriter, Producer and Director who gave us King of the Jungle reputed to have sold over two hundred thousand copies can only be told in bits, depending on the angle of the ranconteur.
Ebereonwu is like my late friend and mentor, Ezenwa Ohaeto, one fellow one would not like to describe in the past. Although I have known Ebereonwu for only ten years, he has always appeared to me like someone one has always known from infancy. The periods I have spent with Ebereonwu were as exciting as they were challenging. The same can be said of the kind of life he lived and the careers he pursued.
At the International Conference Centre, Abuja, venue of International Book Fair, in May 2002, Ebereonwu was at his usual best. “Amanze, why you dey buy books on film? Come make I teach you film”. Provocatively down to earth; that is what Ebereonwu was. He believed in his talent as a major Screenwriter, Producer and Director. Somehow, I refused to be drawn into Ebereonwu’s arguments about his mastery of the film idiom and when I finally found myself sharing the same hotel room with him, in Abuja later in the night, I preferred our venturing into an x-ray of the literary culture in Nigeria. It was one of those exceptional encounters where I moderated the exchanges involving Ebereonwu, Emeka Egwuda, Dr. Dul Johnson and myself. Among the issues Ebereonwu spoke about with passion are the problems of publishing and the critical reception of new Nigerian writing. Ebereonwu also lamented what he, like other members of his generation, saw as the insensitivity of Nigerian Governments to matters of literary production.
Prior to the Soyinka Colloquium at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, in August, 2006 Ebereonwu had called me on phone and teasingly addressed me thus: “sir, this is one Mr. Ebereonwu” He was enquiring about my postal address so that he can mail his last two drama texts to me, a rare privilege if one considers the production context of these books. Here is an Ebereonwu who has literally made sure that I was privileged to get, and relatively early enough, complimentary copies of virtually all his books starting from his first poetry collection, Suddenly God was Naked, which he gave me a properly autographed copy in Ilesha in 1999. The same goes for Cobweb Seduction, his first play which he claimed was the greatest comedy of our time and which I introduced to my students for a Drama and Theatre course at the Abia State University, Uturu in 2002. Next were his two other poetry collections, The Insomniac Dragon and Unpublishable Poems, relatively weird titles which ensured that Ebereonwu would remain in the public eye. After pasting the massive photograph poster adverts that he gave me in Abuja in November, 1997 in my office, I was excitedly looking forward to inviting the self-made Screenwriter, Producer and Director to my University base where my students had already taken a fancy to him, a fact they displayed when some of them met him in Asaba in 2002 during that year’s ANA convention. This is especially because at least twelve seminar questions were asked around Ebereonwu’s Cobweb Seduction when I taught this text to my students.
In retrospect, when I read through Ebereonwu’s words in the books he autographed to me, I feel that here was an unusual character who despite his supposedly tempestuous exterior treasures the intimacy of an academic relationship. As early in the day as our meeting in Ilesha, he wrote as follows in the copy of Suddenly God was Naked he signed for me on the 29th October, 1999, “to Austin Akpuda, compliment to one of us. Spread the gospel to the people of Abia State. Thanks”. When he signed the autograph of The Insomniac Dragon on 2 Nov, 2001, he states thus: “special compliment to a teacher of the next generation, Amanze Akpuda”. For Cobweb Seduction given me on 18/05/02, Ebereonwu writes as follows: “To a friend and colleague. Austine Akpuda extra compliments”. Additional to this was our dear Ebereonwu’s scribbling of his v-mobile phone number on the copy of the book he released to me. Similarly, when on 1stAugust, 2006 he sent me two copies each of his last two published drama texts, Nero’s Lodge and Bread of Parapos both published in 2006 by Homemade Books, he wrote in Nero’s Lodge “Akpuda Austine Intellectual Compatriot. Regards”. And in what turns out to be his valedictory and challenging statement to me, Ebereonwu in the autograph to Bread of Parapos writes thus: “To Austin Akpuda the ball of tomorrow is in your court”. He had a way about him that would surprise and puzzle anyone who came around him. One could see from some of the above statements that Ebereonwu merely put up an exterior posture to deliberately distance himself from those who should be distanced. It was not until Ebereonwu wrote a scathing critique of the works of his generation of writers that I realized how much he rated my efforts, especially when he remarked that I never allow issues of convenience and money to stop my research. Here was a soulmate whose evaluations could be as serious as his outward show of an unbounded sense of gaiety.
While savouring Ebereonwu’s seemingly bizarre but beautiful signature on Nollywood starting from Beyond the Vow, my acquaintance with his irreverentialpoem on a Bishop made it easy for me to appreciate the depth of Ebereonwu’s iconoclasm. At a time some people, holier than thou as usual, were asking for Ebereonwu’s head for scripting the damning but humanly Beyond the Vow which appeared to scandalize the clergy, it took the intervention of a very highly placed and respectable then Archbishop Anthony Olubunmi Okogie to assert that there was nothing criminal with a film that satirized some of the anomalies of some Reverend Fathers and Sisters. Thus, contrary to the viewpoint of our Taliban-oriented censors, Ebereonwu’s radical film showcased by the usually daring Gabosky got a proper clean bill of health. Today, Beyond the Vow can easily qualify as a teaching text that would make people appreciate what temptations come the way of Reverend Fathers who by the way are mortals. In identifying with the filmic freedom and truth of Beyond the Vow, then Archbishop Okogie was following the footsteps of Albino Luciani, known as Pope John Paul I. in his day the late Pope not only commended the brilliance of Belli, the famous Roman Dialect poet who savaged Pope Gregory XVI in his verses, but also addressed why there could be imperfect Christians in our world. Thus, in his letter to Pinocchio, apopular fictional character and eponymous protagonist of a novel by Collodi, pseudonym of the Florentine writer, Carlo Lorenzetti (1828-1890), Luciani, the late Pope John Paul I recognizes that just as “the Church has existed for two thousand years and the world is still full of thieves, adulterers, assassins”, it does not mean that the church should be discountenanced. As the late Pope argues: “in other words: there have been bad Popes, bad Priests, bad Catholics. But what does this mean? That the Gospel has been applied? No, that, on the contrary, in these cases the Gospel has not been applied” (78).
Ebereonwu was a passionate believer in the power of the screen to expose the different aspects of our pretentious society. As with Beyond the Vow,Ebereonwu also accomplishes this feat in his film, King of the Jungle, where he artistically immortalizes as never before the stunts of the notorious Jango of the Enyimba criminal Jungle. As a promotional move, he would tell his teeming admirers in interviews that there is something biographical about his approach to filmmaking. For him, his early exposure to the world of criminals has made him stigmatize in a Dickensian manner such remnants of a better forgotten world. And for our insomniac Dragon, the theme song of his King of the Jungle, where he directed some of the best artists in the industry, became an instant hit and youth anthem the way Majek Fashek’s “Send Down the Rain” of old was coveted. It is difficult to view the intense story of the big time gangster and passionate lover Jango who melted at the sight of his adoring wife without being moved.
However, despite the empathy one may have for the criminal Jango because he is presented as one who has some emotions in other areas, Ebereonwu in King of the Jungle does not fit into those “directors and critics who”, according to Pope John Paul I, “believe they can redeem an entire pornographic film with a final moralistic sequence or speech, added like a sprinkle of holy water, as exorcism and counterspell” (Illustrissimi 48). Rather, as the ideology behind the film shows, Ebereonwu agrees with the Pope’s thesis that “since the province of art is all reality, that artists can legitimately and very freely narrate, depict, describe everything, including evil…but in such a way that it appears an evil to flee, that cannot be believed good, that is not beautified and does not inspire others to repeat it or imitate it” (47). The life lived on the edge and what befall Jango and his group are too ominous to encourage any normal human being to emulate the Jangos of this world.
As with his creative works, Ebereonwu’s occasional ventures into debates about Nigerian literature and the movie industry were equally tempestuous but also deep-seated. For instance, in the heat of the revulsion about the supposed misnaming ‘Nollywood’, Ebereonwu wondered why any Nigerian intellectual who wanted to be taken seriously should contest a name given to a product he never showed interest in. According to him, “it took only one article in the New York Times for Nigerians to begin to understand and appreciate the phenomenon that is Nollywood”. During an interactive session at the 2005 edition of the annual Convention of the Association of Nigerian Authors in Kano, Ebereonwu who earlier in the day was a keynote speaker at a major event in the programme reasoned that without white journalists and culture activists projecting Nollywood no serious Nigerian intellectual had as much as given Nollywood academic attention. That is quintessential Ebereonwu. It is also instructive to note that at a time many people insist that Nollywood has nothing to offer even when it was this denigrated industry that produced the prototype Blood Diamonds before some Hollywood fellow began to flaunt a version of same to the wider world, a Nigerian film scholar based in the United States of America and who, like Ebereonwu, believes in Nollywood, Prof. Frank N. Ukadike, has secured a Full-bright Fellowship to understudy and teach Nollywood. And, happily enough, he is coming down home to Nigeria to a University that has produced a good number of the key actors and actresses in the industry to conduct his research, the University of Port Harcourt.
In terms of background, orientation, vision and general film ideology, Ebereonwu shares a lot in common with some of the world’s celebrated filmmakers. This is no exaggeration, especially for one who could perhaps appropriate Federico Fellini’s thesis that “it seems to me that I was born for the cinema, to do it without even realizing it, like breathing” (Interviews 58). Such can be expected of a young and talented auteur who without the benefit of any exposure to a Film school could before he was seventeen begin a flirtation with the moulders/administrators of the film idiom via the NTA, Aba. In other words, before Ebereonwu studied English/Literature at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, he had already, as it were, without knowing it, become one made for the Cinema.
Ebereonwu was never one to be taken for granted in the course of his passion for filmmaking. For someone who believes that “Scriptwrting is the foundation of a movie” as he tells Shaibu Husseini in a December 9, 2002 interview in The Guardian, Ebereonwu was conscious of the heritage that makes him share a kinship with the likes of Ben Hecht, Jules Furthman, Dudley Nichols, Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles. Ben Hecht is described by Tom Stempel, the author of Framework: A History of Screenwriting in the American Film (1988) as “the archetype of the reporter turned screenwriter” (114) In her 1968 book, Kiss Bang Bang, Pauline Kael, a famous movie critic describes Jules Furthman as one who “has written about half of the most entertaining movies to come out of Hollywood” (59). While Herman Mankiewicz is the screenwriter of the famous film, Citizen Kane, Dudley Nichols has been described by Tom Stempel as “the most critically acclaimed and highly respected (particularly by other writers) Screenwriter of the thirties and forties” (118). Again, in the Nigerian context, this was what Ebereonwu accomplished. Even when the average Nigerian movie viewer like the producer hardly bothers about the intelligence behind a film, Ebereonwucontested such seriously.
As someone who was sure of his heritage as an intellectual who became involved in the film industry, Ebereonwu informs us in the December 9, 2000 interview with Husseini that
I don’t allow the producers to treat me shabbily. If they can’t meet my terms, they have the liberty to go and hire their brothers in the village to write for them as most of them have been doing. I did not read Aristotle and went through the tutelage of great literary minds only to be paid peanuts(30).
No doubt, the screenwriter of Wedlock, Beyond the Vow, Wedding Bells and parts of Victor Eriabe’s Izozo knew his worth and insisted on the attendant recognition which he got and savoured before his death.Apart from usually signing off his films as “an Ebereonwu film”, he was excited about proclaiming on the sleeve jackets of his films that one had before one’s view”a script crafted by Ebereonwu”. Without doubt, Ebereonwu was sensitive to what he shared in common with such internationally celebrated screenwriters as Akira Kurosawa, author of Throne of Blood, Francis Ford Coppola, author of The Conversation and George Lucas, author of Star Wars. Such explains why according to his testimony, his scripts were good enough to fetch him reasonable amounts of money that made him fulfilled and comfortable.
For what he shares in common with the famous Italian Filmmaker, Federico Fellini, once described by Irving R. Levine as “one of the most sought-after men in Rome for interviews” (Interviews 54), certainly those who are familiar with Ebereonwu’s life story and career in the screen world would appreciate Federico Fellini as anticipating the world Ebereonwu would inhabit roughly 30 years after Fellini’s 1966 interview with Irving R. Levine. We shall let Fellini speak while we draw the parallels with Ebereonwu’s life and distinguished career. For Fellini:
I don’t think I chose the career of film director with any premeditation. As a young man during the first years of my work… I never thought of becoming a director. I began working in films as a writer. I was a journalist, and I started as a gag-man in some screenplays. Although I had the opportunity to go on set to talk to a director in correcting dialogue, I generally remained quite detached from the world of cinematography… Probably I became a director to engage in a very spontaneous vocation. And then, because of working in films as a writer, I was never satisfied at the way the directors for whom I wrote carried out the work. Suddenly one day I accepted a rash offer from a producer friend of mine and decided that I would do a film from a script that I had written. That’s how I became a director (Interviews54-55 emphasis mine).
During press interviews and at his very well advertised presentation in Kano in 2005 at a forum on Film and Literature, Ebereonwu said things that bear out his kinship with Federico Fellini. As a summation of his career and life, the movie industry was to him what it was for Fellini. When Fellini states that “then things began to roll, and now I am able to say that cinematography was the means to the realization notonly of the artist, but of the man, the realization of myself that seems more congenial to me. I wouldn’t know how to place myself in another kind of profession or human activity, other than that of making films” (Interviews 58), one realizes that this Fellini confession which sounds like the quintessential Ebereonwu is one major reason why Nollywood is in mourning. In life, Ebereonwu, whose works received rave reviews, wasalso like Fellini, in the Nigerian context, “one of the most sought-after men in (Lagos) for in interviews”. Shaibu Husseini featured him on his Celebrity page in The Guardian on Saturday at least twice which is rare for the move people Husseini promoted.
Similarly, Ebereonwu is not unlike Haile Gerima, the famous Ethiopian filmmaker and Director of Harvest. Ebereonwu shares with Gerima the view that the film medium can be considered as “the new Hydrogen Bomb”. It is this sensibility that made him follow the footsteps of his artistic forebears: Sembene Ousmane, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Wole Soyinka and the late Ken Saro Wiwa. Here was a born artist and consummate auteur who took himself and his art seriously. It explains the reason why Ebereonwu’s straggling colleagues in ANA were always looking up to him as the likely instrument of their desired movement into the enchanting world of Nollywood.
Beyond the award wining Picadilly and some of his earlier films, Ebereonwu was at his best in producing those films a Bernardo Bertolucci would describe as “desperately autobiographical”. For Ebereonwu, this represents the phase of filmmaking where he claims to have let loose the demons of his earlier forced apprenticeship to the criminal world in Aba. However, as he learnt early enough in those heady and formative years where he consorted with big time criminals who couldn’t ‘claim him’, he was perceptive enough to appreciate as he wrote and made King of the Jungle that the average big time gangster has, to put it in James Hadley Chase’s classic phrase, “a short time to live”. While claiming that he preferred ‘committing’ crime through presentations on film, Ebereonwu also strove to demonstrate that crime does not pay. As with the moral drawn from the novels of James Hadley Chase, especially those that read like The Way The Cookie Crumbles, where in the long runthe Ticky Edris’s of this world would usually be humbled by the Sheriff, Ebereonwu in his crime and gangster films also demonstrated the truth of his real life experience, peering into the world of big time gangsters, that the days of the criminal were usually numbered.
Virtually every action taken by Ebereonwu had the touch of the rebel artist in it. At a time his colleagues and mates were lamenting the failed publishing industry, he took his destiny in his hands by heeding the late Prof. David Cook’s submission that “Young writers need alternative publishing outlet”. Such a predisposition accounts for Ebereonwu’s early appearance in 1995 under the imprint of the soon-to-be properly celebrated Kraft Books. Unlike several of his mates, Ebereonwu had the courage to dedicate his first poetry collection to Nzeogwu, Dimka, Vatsa and Orkar at a time it would be considered extremely risky so to do. In protesting a poetry style that he dismisses as one written in ‘algebraic English’, Ebereonwu in his three collections sought to redefine his idea of poetry by becoming the George Bernard Shaw of Nigerian poetry with catechismal and manifesto-oriented prefaces/preface poems. Despite the self-advertisement that may characterize such preface/prefatory statements, Ebereonwu in “what’s a poem”, “To an Unborn Poet (Unpublishable 14 &15) “The minstrel”, “Catharsis” (Suddenly 6 & 9), “Just a poet” and “Song of the insomniac” (Dragon 9;14-15) used his poems to demonstrate his thesis that “our ill-considered fixation with serious poetry has delimited our repertoire of poetry” (Unpublishable 10). Moreover, these poems advance his life long desire to “evolve a new spirit, a human spirit in Nigerian Poetry “(Unpublishable 12). Thus, just as his dress sense marked him out so did his approach to Poetry.
Any discussion of Ebereonwu’s life and career without a reference to his brash and often mischievious moments would be incomplete as such add to his total picture. For instance, as early in the day as our first meeting during the ANA Convention in Abuja in 1997, Ebereonwu told me that ” i no go school”. Moreover, during the same encounter, I was literally put off by Ebereonwu’s rather impish behaviour of abandoning us when Obu Udeozo’s Mercedes we were driving in broke down on the way to our hotel rooms. While others pushed the German big car, Ebereonwu carefully disengaged himself and all those present felt very bad since we needed an extra hand desperately.
Probably because of the hangover he had as a result of some disagreements with certain ANA overlords, Ebereonwu at different moments discountenanced the community that should have been his first constituency. In an interview with Shaibu Hussieini first published in The Guardian Saturday, December 9, 2000, Ebereonwu sounds very professional and seemingly harsh in his evaluation of the works of some members of his generation. As he posits:
We must improve in the quality of books we turn out. We shall improve the fellowship with good books. For my generation, I will tell you quite frankly that most of us are not writing – we are merely re-writing; we don’t have our own voice. People are still writing Okigbo,Achebe,Soyinka among the young ones. Why should I read you when I know you are just imitating another man? I will simply go back and read the real man (“Maverick”30).
For the young writer who always described himself very proudly as “a Lagos-based writer and film producer”, ordinary creative writing as a literature worker made him a poor man whereas the same job in the video sector made him a rich and popular fellow. Come his privileged presentation at the special 2005 ANA Convention in Kano recognizing the interface between literature and film, Ebereonwu seized the day to make his most scathing statements about the Nigerian literary scene. I remember having to come to the aid of a participant who wanted to fight Ebereonwu for some of his relatively controversial comments. Here are some of them as reproduced in “Between Nigerian Literature and Nollywood; a stake holder’s comment” courtesy of Sunday Vanguard August 27, 2006:
While Nigerian Literature has created only two stars, the movie industry has created a multitude of stars who can be recognized in the remotest corners of the world. Put it to a popularity test, a sudden appearance of Aki and Pawpaw in a street in Ghana will draw more attention than a month advance notice of the appearance of five great Nigerian writers… Today, while the Nollywood assumes the sky as starting point, Nigerian Literature is in the emergency ward, very close to the mortuary, and not far from the cemetery. So, to truly represent the relationship between the two industries, the apt title for the theme of the Convention would have been; “The Nigerian Movie Industry and the fading Literary Industry”. If we accept this new exchange of roles, we can now begin to ask, what can the movie industry do to upliftNigerian Literature? (46).
The above are among some of the very provocative statements Ebereonwu made at the Kano Convention that made so many people uncomfortable, angry and unhappy not necessarily because they felt insulted but also because they realized that the money power and glamour he talked about later were seriously lacking for more than 70% of the ANA members. That was typical Ebereonwu writing as if we do not have the Adichies, Oyeyemis, Abanis, Habilas, Afolabis and so on.
However, noting the above does not necessarily mean that Ebereonwu turned his back on his first intellectual constituency, Nigerian creative writers. For instance, during the heated debates accompanying the supposedly botched NLNG Literature Award for the year 2004, Ebereonwu’s “My generation, lack of standard, tufiakwa” was one of the most polemical and pungent on the prize problem. Published in the Sunday Vanguardof October 24, 2004, Ebereonwu’s essay addressed issues relating to haste, grammar and standard. In his seemingly volatile piece, considered as an adequate response to “the gas traders insult “, Ebereonwu states as follows about the concept/problem of haste:
… What determines a hasty work? Most writers live with their manuscripts for years, rewriting and reworking before getting published… But then what is wrong with writing a book in a haste? Barbara Cartland holds a world record for bringing out twenty-one books in one year. When Anthony Burgess was told by his doctor that his death was imminent, he went home and wrote thirteen books, hoping that the royalties from these books will take care ofhis family in his absence. They were not bad books. Most of the great playwrights normally complete a play within a month … (40).
It is a highly perceptive Ebereonwu who argues that the so-called ‘haste’ which is a relative term has nothing to do with the final product. For him, since “a good book and a bad book can be done within the same duration” one can then appreciate that “there is no time duration for writing a good book”(40).
On the question of grammar and literary creativity, beyond drawing our attention to the principle of deviance as a stylistic attribute as seen in Saro Wiwa’s Sozaboy and Samuel Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners, Ebereonwu makes the following submission:
The fundamental issue is that English literature and English language are poles apart ….language deals with communication ….which is more important to literature. Ada is a boy is grammatically a correct sentence .But if it happens that Ada is a girl then the wrong meaning has been communicated. Grammatical laws have equally proven to be something you can’t really bet your finger on. English language is not governed by rules of grammar alone. Conventions and traditions sometime mitigate grammatical rules. As such based on the rules of noun and verb concord ‘I is not happy’ is grammatically correct. But English language tradition simply prefers the verb ‘am’ in this situation. I don’t want to be misunderstood as being an advocate of bad grammar. I am simply saying to these judges: Are you sure of what you are saying or did you misunderstand the context by which some of the grammars are constructed?” (42).
Pertinentquestion. Quintessential Ebereonwu. When comes another who will combine humour withseriousness in both creative and critical writing?
Concerning the question of standards and evaluation criteria, Ebereonwu in arguing that “the reasons the judges deduced for their embarrassing verdicts lack merit” remarks as follows:
The job of the judge is to pick the first among the submissions. The contest is among the submissions …..you can’t withdraw a Prize because the standard was below the previous year’s, or because you expect succeeding years to be higher. Standard comes as a gradual process as the award’s own recognition improves. If the errors in the submissions could not stop them from selecting three books for honourable mention, why did the errors stop them from only awarding the prize? Why did they take the 13 short-listed candidates on a wild goose tour? (42).
Well, although Ebereonwu probably never read E.E. Sule’s take on the NLNG prize to be published much later in The Ker Review, he kept to his assessment of the first NLNG literature prize till his death. That is how far he can go to defend members of his core literature constituency and, more especially, his often denigrated generation of writers.
Whether we are reflecting on the sword-sharp satires presented by Ebereonwu in his portrayal of religion in his film script, Beyond the Vow, his drama, Cobweb Seduction, and in the poems, “Hear who is talking” and “Bury the bishop inside the brothel”(because my daughter’s son resembles him/ My Adaku that went to catechism /Had got a wholly communion/which rounded her stomach (Suddenly God was Naked 33) or the misadventures of the political class in both Cobweb Seduction, and his film, King of the Jungle, there is no doubt that as man and artist, Ebereonwu shared a lot in common with the Satirist in Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. In real life as in art, Ebereonwu would agree with Rushdie’s Baal that the work of the artist is “to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep”(6). With his core creative work, literary and filmic, as with his essays, Ebereonwu made sure that he stopped the world from going to sleep by starting arguments that continue toresonate in ANA and Nollywood circles. In this inheres Ebereonwu’s inimitability, infectiousness and durability as can be seen in the phrasing, content and logic of Cobweb Seduction, Suddenly God was Naked, Unpublishablepoems, Nero’s Lodge, among others.