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Fela! storybook presented to St. Martin children for Black History Month 2021

St. Martin children with copies of Fela! Let Music Be The Weapon. Visiting US author Iris Wilson (7th R) presented the storybook. Also in photo: Nicole de Weever, ASLF president (R); Nangwaya Gibson, illustrator of Fela! (center, front); and Jacky Vrolijk, SOS radio DJ (L), who accompanied her grandson. Chamber of Commerce building, Marigot, 2.19.21. (CLF photo.) St. Martin children with copies of Fela! Let Music Be The Weapon. Visiting US author Iris Wilson (7th R) presented the storybook. Also in photo: Nicole de Weever, ASLF president (R); Nangwaya Gibson, illustrator of Fela! (center, front); and Jacky Vrolijk, SOS radio DJ (L), who accompanied her grandson. Chamber of Commerce building, Marigot, 2.19.21. (CLF photo.)

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Famed St. Martin dancer Nicole de Weever is a champion of books for the island’s children for Black History Month 2021, said Jacqueline Sample of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

The book of the hour is Fela! Let Music Be The Weapon, “written in the form of poetry for children ages 6 years old through College,” by Iris Wilson, an American Broadway dancer.

De Weever and Wilson were dancers in the hit Broadway musical Fela! The book is “beautiful,” said de Weever, who also spoke about Iris Wilson’s excitement to visit St. Martin last week and present Fela! to schoolchildren.

The author’s son, Nangwaya Gibson, illustrated the hardcover title about Fela Kuti, the Nigerian political activist and musician.

For the last leg of the book tour on Monday, February 22, de Weever presented the Fela! storybook with song and dance to third graders at Hervé Williams primary school in Marigot, said Shujah Reiph, president of Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF).

CLF is the organizer of February’s Black History Celebration, in its 30th year in St. Martin, North and South.

Last week Wilson and Gibson visited from New York for the island-wide book tour, reading, and presentation to youngsters at the Chamber of Commerce building (CCISM), in Spring Concordia, Ruby LaBega Primary School in Retreat Estate, and Marie Genevieve de Weever Primary School in Hope Estate.

The Art Saves Lives Foundation (ASLF), founded by Nicole de Weever, organized the author visit, said Reiph.

CLF, HNP, and Culture Time collaborated with ASLF on the book tour, reading, and presentation. The St. Martin Book Fair, St. Martin Tourist Office, CCISM, and SOS radio also participated in the hospitality features and promotion of the cultural project.

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