Writer explores audiobook to tackle sexual violence

Isaac Newton Akah

At the recent 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, a former US first lady, Michelle Obama, won Best Spoken Word Album for her rendition of her audiobook “Becoming”. This medium is one of the innovative ways publishers and writers utilise to grab the listener – previously readers – attention.

A young Nigerian author, Isaac Newton Akah is one of such writers.

Akah who had started with an audiobook titled “Bathsheba” recently released another “At Your Peril” which comprises of three audio stories: “Uloma”, “Ayomide” and “Lubabah”.

He told Daily Trust Youthville that he chose this medium because he “wanted the listeners to follow the narrator’s story in the narrator’s voice.”

He added that the medium “establishes better connection as they follow through the narrator’s emotional toil”.

He explained that audiobooks give the listener the option to multitask as “You could listen while cooking or doing some other activities”.

He said the stories, which have audio-time of 30 to 35 minutes “capture sexual violence against minors in different scenarios. At school, at home, and even in marriage”.

Akah explained that he made the book free for download because he sees it as a social construction and re-construction tool and wants everyone to listen. “I believe it’s a shame that sexual violence has persisted in our society. The audio stories don’t only narrate scenarios and cases, they also provide tips on how victims can find help and justice.”

The challenges in embarking on such experimental medium include getting your readers to embody the emotions of the characters in the story, Akah explains.

He added that “There are also production difficulties—from recording to sound design and the logistics and naturally, it costs a lot of money.”

He said for those who want to do an audiobook aside from getting a good recording studio, they must understand their stories well enough to interpret them to the readers.

The writer who shares his time between Lagos and Jos is the author of “Living in Gidi” a paperback and an e-book.  He also teaches screen writing.

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