Can you Say You’re One of Them? was the question thrown to the over 170 people, at the Port Harcourt World Book Capital, January Book-of-the-Month discussion and drama performance. Oprah’s book club author Fr. Uwem Akpan, the author of the book in focus Say You’re One of Them was present at a reading and drama performance which held on the 25thof January 2015 at the Hotel Presidential.
A panel, made up of students from Rainbow Book Clubs in Secondary Schools in Port Harcourt, interacted with the author in a discussion moderated by Daniella Menezor of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital project office.
l-r Rachel (Niger Delta Secondary School),Clara(Graceland Secondary School),
Fr. Uwem Akpan (author, Say You’re One of Them),
Daniella Menezor (Port Harcourt World Book Capital team),
Blessing (Ambassador Nnefurokurubo Secondary School) and Omasilam (Niger Delta Secondary School).
Uwem Akpan, a catholic priest, started his first remark by asking everyone to close their eyes, while he read a portion fromLuxurious Hearses(one of the stories in his book). The portion he read narrated an incident where the hand of a young boy had been chopped off because he stole a goat and the boy expressed how he felt about the consequences of his deeds. This dramatic scene set the tone of the evening.
This book is a collection of five stories about children in various parts of Africa and some of the tragic and traumatic situations in which they find themselves. These stories provoke questions such as ‘How do you react to the ‘stories’ you hear and see in the media?’ ‘Do you understand that these are real life situations?’ ‘Can you imagine yourself in the shoes of the people in the stories’ ‘Can you reallySay You’re One of Them?’
The University of Port Harcourt Institute of Arts and Culture, gave an enthralling performance ofAn Ex-mas Feast, a story in his book about child prostitution. Reacting to the performance, the author commended the UNIPORT troupe and added “when I was writing the book, I never imagined something so visual and creative could come out of it.” The Port Harcourt World Book Capital outing was an eye opening and thought provoking one.
A scene from An Ex-mas Feast, a story in the book
Say You’re One of them performed by UNIPORT students.
A cross section of the audience at the January Book-of-the-Month interactive session and drama performance.
Next month, the Port Harcourt World Book Capital adult book club will be readingChildren of the Revolution by Dinaw Mengetsu. Make it a date with us at the Atlantic Hall, Hotel Presidential by 3pm on the 22ndof February 2015 for our usual discussion and drama performance.