Sharing my thoughts and putting my message accross
By Frisky Larr
June 23, 2018. The first in a series of the yearly gatherings of predominantly African authors and creative artists was launched on Saturday, June 23, 2018 in Marriot Hotel, Cologne, Germany.
Organized by the Zambian-born publisher and author, Amina Chitembo, residing in Peterborough in the UK, the event seeks to promote and support as well as bring together, established and aspiring writers and artists mainly of African origin, in unique brainstorming sessions.
Introducing the project in her opening remarks during the one-day event at the luxurious five-star hotel in the heart of the bustling city of Cologne along the River Rhine, Ms. Chitembo highlighted the challenges facing aspiring African authors in finding publishers for their laborious creative works. By launching her Diverse Cultures Publishing House in the UK one year ago and organizing events of this nature, the multiple award-winning Zambian took one step further to ameliorate a major problem to help individual writers break out of forced anonymity. She expressed her shock at the huge number of African writers, who not only write and keep their manuscripts in the comfort zone of their computer storage but simply seem to be content, writing for self-satisfaction. She lamented the age-long problem of upcoming and new authors, who are exploited by publishers for pecuniary gains and hardly ever succeed in bringing their work to public view.
“Diverse Cultures Publishing is different from big and popular publishing houses. We offer our clients several ways to get their work to the public.” Continuing she says: “Events like this will not only help published writers organize official collective launches every year, it will also bring them together with other writers and creative like-minds and artists going about their craft with passion.”
Ms. Chitembo delivering her opening address
The First International Authors and Artists Conference in Cologne thus used the opportunity to launch the book “The Perfect Migrant” that was published by “Diverse Cultures Publishing” and co-authored by eleven different writers with a signing session for each contributor since every participant in the conference was given a free copy of the captivating book.
Much like the Ugandan, Beatrice Hofmann, one of the co-authors of “The Perfect Migrant”, the Germany-based Nigerian midwife psychologist, Clara Meierdirks, could hardly conceal her overwhelming joy at the opportunity of signing her first public work. Another Nigerian Germany-resident, Dr. Vivian Timothy (nicknamed VVT), displayed her creative works of painting on the walls of the conference room as the only creative artist in attendance. A third Nigerian, Frisky Larr, showcased his books and had a signing session on the fringes of the event. The diverse origin of participants was rounded up by a good number of Kenyan writers, some from neighboring Switzerland, a Ugandan co-author of the “The Perfect Migrant” and the only European man in the room, the Italian radiologist, with a passion for visiting and residing in African countries, who attended the event also as a co-author of “The Perfect Migrant”.
The Public Health Community Specialist, the UK-based spouse of Ms. Chitembo, Ali Abdoul, also used the opportunity to showcase his book “Black Men in Denial”, on the edges of the event, drawing awareness to the seriousness of prostate cancer and the tendency of the state of denial by African men. He sensitized women to the need for calling their husbands attention to early medical consultancy when symptoms appear and are noticed.
The conference took a break for lunch at the luxurious hotel and ended up with a family photo and individual portraits of participants.
Plans are already underway to host next year’s conference in Italy with hopes of receiving entries from writers all over the world and enjoying a larger attendance and a more fascinating event than the premier itself.