In The Voice in My Pen, students bare their souls
The book, The Voice in my Pen, written by students of Mater Ecclesiae College, Epe, has again revealed the beauty of expressing your inner thoughts through literature.
The joy of the students during the formal presentation of the book knew no bounds, as the occasion featured and celebrated them as young authors.
The 411-page book is a collection of poems, short stories, and essays composed by the students under the supervision of the Flipbook Company, a creative writing and literacy organisation.
The latest authors connected their souls through the art of writing and bared their thoughts in a very apt manner.
TV personality, Mrs. Adesuwa Onyenokwe, who wrote the foreword, says the anthology would help adults get into the minds of pre-teens and teenagers.
According to her, “I felt a strong sense of De Javu as I read through the manuscript for The Voice in my Pen. I was almost becoming cross eyed by the sheer volume of writings, but as I read through the words put down by these teenagers, their messages made me think again.”
The book, she says, captures fantasy, poetry, prose, reality, dreams, ambitions, pain and loss. “These ideas and emotions are all captured in the different words and styles of the children, the editors have categorised them into 18 segments, I believe, for ease of reading. Writing along different themes the kid writers poured out their hearts in a way they never would ordinarily.
“We all know how reticent children can be, especially in their teenaged years. They are often at crossroads with their parents who really only want the best for their offspring but seem at odds communicating that. This is why I find this process of ‘un-caging’ the voices of these teens to be a good exercise for parents, as the anthology will help readers get into the minds of teenagers,” the publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Today’s Woman Magazine, reveals.
According to the school’s administrator, Rev. Fr. John Njorteah, the book is a sign of hope that Nigeria has young thinkers who are much concerned about the present situation in the society, and who, given the right opportunity, hopes to make a positive difference.
“We are celebrating the creative skills and gifts of our children. Like crude oil was given to us at the start of the session, last September they have been processed, and today, we are happy to present the product of this year’s effort. We are also proud of the effort of our children in putting together this piece of work – a reflection of the society from their worldview. The book we present today is a cause for celebration, it is also a means of enhancing the work of educating our children, it is our greatest desire to give the best to all students who come here to study especially in line with modern trends in education,” the administrator says.
Overwhelmed by the students, ideas and emotions, the Vice Principal, Sr. Regina Ada Odeh, points out that through their pen, the students have said volumes, adding, “let those who have ears hear.”
She adds: “Today, my dream as a formator and evangeliser of the young is actualised, as I witness where they cannot say a word in the open because they are young. Where their voices cannot reach, their pens have, where their legs cannot go, their pens have, and where their ability cannot carry, their pens have carried. The expression of their inner-self in the mind of the pen to change the world, they are small, and most importantly, this will ordinarily prevent them from knocking at the doors of the aristocrats, or the hearts of the hardened, or the tables of the leaders, legislators, executives.
“In the past, many things were done in the presence of children and many felt that they can’t see or hear. Thanks to technological advancement that has made the words of these children expressed in their fantasy, poetry, prose, reality, dreams, ambition, pain, love and since they cannot actualise all these. Like Martin Luther would say, if you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write. It is in this business of changing the world that these young Ecclesiae’s have put pen to paper and brought us here today. This is just the beginning of your greatest; your voices will be heard not only through your pen but the world will listen to you,” she states.
Founder of Flipbook and coordinator of the creative writing programme, Mrs. Belinda Nzeribe, in her response, said the foundation is committed to helping children discover their identity, self-identity and help them express themselves.
“And this is what has come to light today with these books before you. Our kids have expressed themselves. With some as little as saying: ‘happiness for me is eating two turkeys or two chicken,’ and somebody else is saying, ‘happiness is making all A’s in my exams. Writing is an outlet; it helps children manage whatever crisis they may be going through. So this is the result of all the hard work. We want parents to encourage their children to be part of this process, which is to write. Encourage them to write you letters and you can also write them letters.”