Akon Helped to Inspire my Young Adult Novel

Posted by Anton Marks on 10 June 2015 | 0 Comments






When I first heard of Akon’s massive philanthropic gesture and read about the groundbreaking contribution his organization had made, I was blown away. I was further impressed that he chose to improve people’s lives through technology and it resonated with the work I’m doing on my present project.

Writing my YA novel The Last Prince of Alkebulahn has given me the opportunity to really dig deep into researching the history, language, cultures and mythology of the African continent and the Diaspora. There are many science and fantasy elements throughout the book so  I obviously wanted to look into the contribution Africa made in science and technology throughout the ages. Hopefully the research will give my work the kind of context I would never get without it.  I just need to restrain my geeky self from turning it into a physics textbook.

The research is important but what is more so for me are the stories of innovation and entrepreneurship coming out of Africa itself. Why do I need these stories for inspiration if I’m creating my own world?  Well, I’ve challenged myself by setting the novel on a stage not dissimilar from the world we inhabit now. My main character Joshua  lives in London and I’ve given Africa a warts and all role and injected the whole proceeding  with elements of Science Fiction and fantasy. I don’t know what it is but when I’m exposed to these true stories it seems to strengthen my story creating capabilities. And gives my work a degree of verisimilitude – the willing suspension of disbelief takes effort with young people today.  My adult readers know I’m about entertainment first and yet I believe these kind of tales can have a far reaching effect on how Young Adults view the world.

Akon Lighting Africa - http://akonlightingafrica.com/  is just such a story that had me wanting to really make my novel not just entertaining but relevant.  I feel inspired and vindicated at the same time. I’m proud I can be one of the many voices willing to prove to the naysayers who think Africa has nothing to offer although it gave rise to us all. There are so many magnificent stories - African Student Solved 30 Year Old Math’s Problem - http://ind.pn/1RWmxb5  or Teen Nigerian Brothers Build Web Browser To Compete With Google Chrome - http://bit.ly/1MgwZXa, are but a few and that excites me for the future.  I’m privileged to be able to use these real life events to fuel my fiction and I’ll go out on a limb to say it has made my work that much better.


The story continues.


Peace, love and power



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