‘Wuhan, different every day’ – a slogan many who have lived, studied or travelled in Wuhan will be familiar with. And now, one community organization is contributing to the changing face of the Central province with their author and book community.
Black Livity China caught up with Monifa St. John, proud mother of one and founder of Eden Amore and Eden’s Healthy Kitchen to find out a little about the community and their latest event, an awards show aimed at recognising not only Wuhan’s talented authors but authors throughout China.
Can you tell us a bit about Elevare and the organisations involved in the Author Awards?
Elevare is an organization that plans various events throughout the year to inspire, showcase and help the expat community in Wuhan, they also strive to bring awareness to Foreign Authors across China. If my memory serves me correctly Elevare has been around since 2016/2017.
What did they hope to achieve with the Author Awards?
So, the highlight events from Elevare are the free breast cancer screening during breast cancer awareness month for expats, and this Authors Awards that took place on December 14th 2019. The Author awards is a chance to recognize the talents of authors throughout China. I believe that Elevare shines a light on the authors to celebrate and highlight their accomplishments. Also due to the large network, Elevare has curated they are able to promote the authors’ books on a larger scale across China The founder of Elevare, Shubila Ruth Kikoko is an Award-winning Author and an avid reader as well, so perhaps this was her way of paying it forward.
What inspired you most about the event?
I was moved to see the number of authors who were my peers and younger. I was also inspired by the passion the authors had and encouragement they gave to attendees to become fellow authors as well. Having an event that sheds light on the accomplishments of black people and an avenue to showcase your work is very inspiring.
There was one author whose bubbly spirit attracted me to peruse her book which I did buy, and believe it or not, I curled up with my favourite cup of tea and two hours later I finished the book that same night.
It is called “Self Love is up there with Oxygen” by Uzapi Hange. This 90-page self-help book is a condensed version of most of those “self-help” books with a twist of the author’s experiences, which made this book unique. I am a visual person so after meeting the author I imagined her narrating the book with her bubbly personality and this made the book even more enjoyable. It is definitely worth reading the stories are totally relatable and the lessons learned are ones that can benefit our lives.
In Wuhan, we have a book publishing culture of some sorts … every year there are about 3 or 4 people who have published a book. So having a space to showcase the work is definitely necessary.
There were several authors at the event – why is it so important that we tell our stories?
Oh yes it is definitely important for us to showcase what our Melanin is capable of and it is also VERY important to document our lives and our stories through every medium possible and writing is one of those mediums.
Who won the award(s) and why?
• The overall most popular author-Stanley Asasu Anenyemele
• The most inspirational book – Stanley Asasu Anenyemele
• The best personal growth book- Abel M. Hara
Other nominees who received the certificates of achievement were Ms. Ketura Kendrick, Mr. Ahmed Bemba and Mr. Clinton Kadochi
How were you involved in the event?
Elevare and Eden’s Healthy Kitchen (my business) has a long-term business relationship and at this event, we catered the food and also attended to show support.
What can we expect in the future and how can we stay up to date with your events/activities?
I am not sure what’s next for them but I will surely attend. You always have a good time and meet new people at Elevare’s events.
What do you think other black communities in China can learn from Wuhan’s black community?
I am not sure what the black community in Wuhan can teach others but what I can say for all black communities across China is to support black businesses, collaborate with each other and continue to celebrate our accomplishments. Ultimately, we’re all the same. Just a minority striving and winning in a country that’s not our own.
You can find out more about Elevare at wechat: Elevare320
To keep up with Eden Amore and Eden’s Healthy Kitchen, follow their official account on Instagram: edenamorellc and edenshealthykitchen facebook: edenamorellc wechat: edenshealthykitchen