By JAPHET ALAKAM
It was indeed a celebration of faith and victory over the devil as friends, colleagues and literary icons gathered at the banquet Hall of Excellence hotel, Ogba, Ikeja for the public presentation and launch of a book titled, “Sound of Broken Chains”, a collection of inspirational and revivalist poems, its CD and a booklet titled Pending Thoughts written by a journalist and environmentalist, Betty Abah.
The unique event which was well attended could as well be described as a book launch with a difference as it was spiced up with lots of performances by many budding artists and a special confessional message by Evangelist Oluwanifise Matthew, the former dreaded armed robber Shina Rambo who testified of how Christ broke the chains in his life..
The occasion which kicked off with a scintillating performance by Naomi Mac, one of the stars of the famous musical contest, Nigerian Idol was followed by another great musical rendition of one of the poems in the book by young Olumide.
In her remarks,Betty who has transversed many sides of life as a journalist with some of the great magazines in Nigeria, thanked all for their presence at the launch of her book and CD, as well as the sister booklet, Pending Thoughts which she tagged an appetizer, a result of the mixture of life’s lessons-lemons and lemonades in it.
The collection is one of three volumes that she has garnered over the years starting from her school days. According to her “I started, actually, to put pen to paper, I remember, as a pupil of Army Children’s School, Otukpo in Benue State around 1984 at age l0, scribbling childish essays and imaginary letters.
“I started poetry in 1989 as a second year student of Wesley High School, Otukpo. It was, I guess, all in a bid to make sense of a world I couldn’t understand. It was, many times, an escape route from pains around, an outlet for my questions and a shield against a tomorrow I couldn’t fathom from afar.”
Continuing, she stated that the publication was a special dedication to God. “After surviving what appeared like a near-death flying experience from Benin to Lagos on the night that late President Yar’Adua died, I decided it was time to do something about my manuscripts (poetry and prose) which had gathered dusts over the years. I resolved to first present the one with a religious tone, a special tribute to God, the Source of my inspiration, the Father of possibility and the breaker of ancient chains.”She added.
The reviewer, Rev. Okey Ifionu who described Sound of Broken Chains as a revivalist book of poems commended the author for the job as according to him “Poetry, by its nature, is an art form not widely embraced by budding creative writers and those who do so know the risk they are taking.”
The 102 pages book is divided into10 sections with poems numbering about 46 and arranged in verses that declaim the author’s faith in the sovereignty of God in all human circumstances.
The first section is titled ‘Peace’. It contains four poems sub-titled “The Word” “Peace” “Beyond the Storms” and “Firestorms”. Each of these poems offers the reader the author’s own idea of peace.
The second section is entitled “Perplexity”. It is the longest of all the 10 sections and contains eight poems where the author expresses her amazement at how incomprehensible God can sometimes be. Finally, she said that the 102 pages are poetic lines that excite the reader’s mind, inspire, motivate and admonish him.
Renowned Poet, Odia Odeimun who confessed his love for gracing ocassions marking the birth of a new book, commended the author for doing what he could never have done. “I like those poems because I could never have written them. They are devotional and inspirational poems which are not easy to write. I commend her for having the patience to get along with it. For me the collection is great, it requires a certain capacity of religion to write it.” He added.
On her part, the presenter, Prof. Ebele Eko, former Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar who described the event as an unwholesome moment because it was a celebration of someone who has broken all fethals said that the author got the inspiration to write the book because she is connected to God. She dedicated the books and the CD to the almighty God.