How we grew up on Port-Harcourt (PH) streets

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By Blessing Wikina

If you haven’t read about 30 of these (James Hardley. Chase books), or exchanged copies with strangers, or started a new friendship with a copy of these books, then you need to go for lessons on how we grew up on PH streets from your parents.

You could just see someone with one of these novels in the bus, and just to read it, you will follow him to his destination, to book a turn to read it.

He too may have gotten it from another friend or person.
Our discussions, back in the day, centered on titles of thriller books we had read. We revelled in the advantage of reading more books than your friend. And James Hardley Chase novels were the preferred choice back then.

Once you are a bigger boy, you abandon thrillers, for the boring, slow non-fictions, and true stories.
You are on top of the chart if the novels you read had been made into a movie.
But wait. Have you seen such movies like

  • Papillon,
    -90mins at Entebbe.
    -The Borne Identity
    -The Godfather, etc

If you have seen “The Godfather” movie, then you should also read “The Luciano Testament” , the Biography of Charlie Lucky Luciano.
It was a fad in Port Harcourt to read novels, but that street culture seem to had been exchanged for a newer pastime…..with the Advent of the digital world, and it’s fast fingers, plus all it’s accompanying crimes.

But now, we may begin to rekindle that culture back, with a new initiative, called THE PORT-HARCOURT AUGUST MEETING, brainchild of a PH boy, who started by diverting his annual Birthday Bash, to a Book Reading meeting.

Kingsley Wenenda Wali, via this, is not reinventing the wheel. But rejuvenating an old Port Harcourt street Culture, that created friendships, bonds, family, and elevated discussions among ourselves then. We found contents on the pages of books we read, shared, exchanged and even stole.

The Godfather, as Kingsley Wali is fondly known in PH, had already hosted the first in the August Meeting Series, and they actively supported our own Hilda Dokubo , #Watersidegirl project, on the day her maiden novel was unveiled .

On Saturday, 18th November, the next edition of The August Meeting is taking place again… the same venue, Port Harcourt Club, Unity Hall, in old GRA, by 10am prompt.

For Kmanero (Kingsley Wali), this venue choice appears constant, for a reason……when you are starting a development, give it a “structure” to avoid it being stolen…..fight no good.
Reading is better….it gives better weapon to attack from the Head.

Blessing Wikina is a former Chief Press Secretary, Rivers State Government House

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