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My Book Tour Concluded in Addis Ababa Where It All Began 22 Years Ago

A group photo after the launch

Yesterday July 30, 2022, we launched our last East Africa book tour in a place where my journey began as a refugee girl 22 years ago. The launch was attended by over 80 people from all over South Sudan. My gratitude goes to South Sudan's head of mission to Ethiopia Amb. James Mogan and Deputy Amb. David Dang for their support and participation in the launch. In addition, I extend my appreciation to Rev. Pastor James, Mr. Eng. John Yohanes, and Hon. Ruach Tang for accepting the role of speaker.

The event began with the “I have decided to follow Jesus” song then Michael Maker, the moderator ushered us to sit as he introduced the purpose of the event. It was followed by prayers from Rev. Pastor John Gach. The launch was done at the Anglican Church (St. Andrew) at noon, Addis Ababa time. Notable guests included the South Sudan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, HE. Hon. Amb. James Pita Morgan (Guest of Honor), Prof. Hon. Ruach Tang (Patron of the Day), Eng. John Yohanes Magok, Author, Entrepreneur and Public Speaker (Guest Speaker). I began my address by thanking the Ethiopian team for a job well done as well as the social media fan who contributed to me choosing Addis Ababa as one of the tour locations. I also thanked my wonderful friend Kamille Thomas whose absence in Addis Ababa was a nostalgic moment for me.

My author address was immediately followed by a Question and Answers session. One of the commenters said, “when I see a South Sudanese woman speaking, I just feel joy because they have been kept in a cage.”

Khan Badeng, a student of Biotechnology in a local university asked: “what other alternatives are there for the book to be accessed by refugees?”A young Nuer woman said she never knew that child marriage was a bad thing until recently. She added most of her elder sisters were married at 17 and 18 respectively and that she was the only one who has now reached 19 years old. She wondered aloud how we would end child marriage especially with looptholes in our constitution.

Nyayian, another young woman, articulated that “girls are being abused.” “There is a certain age at which they are being prepared to marry,” she said. She wondered how child marriage would be stopped if their parents were still pushing for the same. She also mentioned that the book, having been written in English, might never be understood by the parents.

Angeth Aco