The American University of Nigeria, AUN, on Thursday, February 4, hosted one of Africa's most prolific writers, Prof. Boubacar Boris Diop, in “An Evening of Readings, Drama, and Discussion.”
Venue was the Robert Pastor Library auditorium of the University, and as the title of the event suggests, students took turns to celebrate Prof. Diop through readings, drama and discussion, following the opening remarks by the Interim Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Science, Dr. Jacob U. Jacob, who said that the event was meant to celebrate the iconic literary giant. According to Dr. Jacob, “We are extremely lucky to have him at AUN.”
Then came Ross Hart with the reading of his review of one of Prof. Diop’s many novels, Murambi, the Book of Bones. Hart, whose reading captivated the audience, concluded that the book “is quite a read.” Students of the AUN Academy also thrilled the audience with readings of excerpts from Prof. Diop’s Marina Nkusi. Chinenye Jewe and Yvan Kamanzi, first-year students, concluded the readings session with riveting readings of extracts from yet another of Prof. Diop’s books: Michel Serumundo. The AUN Theatre Group also treated Prof. Diop and the audience to a drama based on a scene in Michel Serumundo.
The discussion segment of the evening, anchored by French and writing instructor, Mrs. Emilienne Akpan, was particularly revealing, as it saw Prof. Diop field questions from members of the audience. Here, Prof. Diop spoke about his visit to Rwanda in the 90s and the subsequent inspiration for writing Murambi, which is essentially based on the Rwandan genocide of 1994.