The African Story Challenge

Larger truths. Change. Lives. History.

“Why are you doing such a story at this time?” one of the men on the panel asked. “Good question,” another intoned (in what sounded to me more like “let’s-see-how-he-answers-that-question!”)

A video camera was rolling, impartial to any bead of sweat or those inevitable signs of stress.

I‘m doing this story now because I want to do it now. Hello! Well, that’s what I couldn’t say. Instead, I told the panel about recent reports on potential cures for sickle cell disease (SCD), and how despite that, many people I know still remain clueless on the basic issues of SCD prevention and care.

“What sequences do you have in mind for this story?” another panel member fired.

I took the panel through my narrative arc – “Act one deals with… Act two… Act three… I’ll end my story in Nigeria -where there are claims of cure for SCD. I’ll explore the larger truth behind those claims.” Larger truths. Yes… I’d been mulling over an email a friend once shared with me. It was from a Professor to his class. There was the part that read:

Though I would like to believe otherwise, I know for some of you the future will be measured only in dollars and status and that your lives will be measured by it. Others will labor in musty old courthouses, in complex neighborhoods, or in distant, dangerous countries for fewer dollars and larger truths that will change lives and history.

Read the full story here.

Silent Reality: Truths and tales of the sickle cell disorder in Ghana and Nigeria
The Jubilee LEED Project