Titi Horsfall with some of the students
As part of activities marking this year’s International Women’s Day, last week in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, author of historical fiction, Mrs. Titi Horsfall read excerpts from her recent novel, Influence of a King. She directed her address particularly at girls, whom she charged to be diligent in their studies, as it was the gateway to a better future.
At the Archdeacon Brown Education Centre, where she read, Horsfall dwelled in Chapter 10 of her novel, where the heroine, Kanyam, urged the colonialists or government at the time, to spend more resources on providing educational opportunities to the natives as a way of improving and empowering them for better service to their fatherland. Also for Horsfall, the girl-child is an important member of society, whose full privileges and rights should not only be accorded and respected, but promoted and supported for society’s good.
With ‘Be Bold For Change’ as theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, Archdeacon Brown Education Centre enjoined its students to boldly assert: ‘I am in control of my life and there’s nothing I cannot achieve. I don’t let people mistreat me. Even if I fall, I will rise up even stronger because I am a survivor, not a victim. I am 100 per cent strong. I am 100 per cent WOMAN.’
Horsfall, who had also read to students at a World Book Day celebration, noted that it was common knowledge that certain gaps exist in the approach to education. She recalled, after listening to veteran broadcaster, Mr. Ernest Ikoli on a BBC archive, what refinement, eloquence, and roundedness education afforded previous generations and the gulf that is all too prevalent in recent times.
According to the author of From an Orphan to a Queen Esther, her first historical novel, “While gaps exist, certain schools like Archdeacon Brown Education Centre are trying to bridge them. I listened to Ikoli on BBC archives while doing a research. He was so regal; there was so much eloquence in his voice, how he spoke, which people don’t often reflect these days. We go to school but the refinement and the roundedness that should come from education leave room for great improvement. I wish we could continually groom ourselves. Ikoli had a broad and enlightened view of what was happening around him.”