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Author is a young adult “hooked on Jesus”

Gigi Tinsley | 8/14/2014, 9 a.m.

Niger Alford was born in Miami to the late Ella Mae Tyler and Carlton Dixon.

She was raised in Brownsville and attended Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Brownsville. After graduating from Miami Central Senior High School in 2001 she enrolled at Bethune Cookman College (now university) in Daytona Beach. After a year her pursuit of a degree in business administration was

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Niger Alford

interrupted when Alford’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live. She came back to Miami to be with her mother and enrolled at Florida Memorial University. Alford started writing poems after her mother’s diagnosis.

She discovered that she had a creative gift to earlier at church when she entered an oratorical contest.

“As I read my essay, I felt God’s hands on me and people began to cry as I spoke,” Alford said.” “I enjoyed writing, it came so natural to me.”

Alford said she would be given a topic and after praying about it, and reading the bible, she would sit and write essays.“I competed in my church for four years where I placed first place every year. I then went to the next level where I competed for my district. I always placed second. One special memory I recall is when the district director approached me after I recited my essay, and she was crying. She said she had just lost her sister and that my essay touched her heart. She later offered me a four-year scholarship to Bethune Cookman College.”

During her mother’s illness she said “I would pray for my mother day and night and it consumed me. I was so worried about living in this world without her that I had a nervous breakdown. The same year she was expected to die, I gave birth to my second child. While I was inside the mental hospital I would write prayers and poems to God.” “I decided to share the poems with others by publishing a book. Before that I just carried notebooks full of poems I had written. I had no money to publish my book of poetry and I was discouraged, but through God I met a friend of my sister, D. Franklin Dixon, who had just started a publishing company. He offered to help me at no cost. I typed my poems up and emailed them to his publishing company, Diovolique Publishing.

I was so grateful to have my poems in print that I decided to go further. I speak at churches around the city and people are being touched. My husband encourages me to keep going and not to quit.

Alford added, “I don’t have much support from my family but God’s people are receiving what God has placed in me and I am so grateful and honored to be used by God in this way. I am living my dream and my purpose now is way clearer than before. I believe this is my calling from God to inspire my community and my world through spoken word and poetry. I’m blessed to be in my right mind and I thank God every day I wake up. I want to share love and hope to my community and the world. To contact Niger Alford call 786-715-8790.