Oxford youth worker writes play and book

Oxford Mail: the write stuff: rehearsals for Mr Samuels' play the write stuff: rehearsals for Mr Samuels' play

A COMMUNITY youth worker from Oxford has been busy writing a book and a play.

He has written a book which looks at the life of Apache leader Geronimo in a different light and a play about the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Natty Mark Samuels, 49, from Donnington Bridge, East Oxford, wrote Chant to focus on the relationship between the Native American hero and his daughter.

Geronimo was born in 1829 and died in 1909. He fought against Mexico and the USA during the Apache Wars in the late 19th century.

Mr Samuels said: “I wanted to show how Geronimo was also a devoted father to his daughter Eva and not just a rebel warrior.”

The play Our Lady of the Trees is based on the life of Kenyan Wangari Maathai, an environmental and political activist. She was known for founding the Green Belt Movement, which campaigned for and improved women’s rights, planted trees and tackle conservation issues.

She won the Nobel Prize in 2004 and died aged 71 in 2011.

Playing the part of Maathai is Nayarai Humba. The play will be performed at the Old Fire Station on Thursday from 7.30pm. For more information call 01865 263980.

The author is also part of a community project in Blackbird Leys which helps young people into employment.

He runs an African school, teaching African Cultural Studies to young people using activities and short poems inspiring them to take interest in writing.

His book costs £4 and is on sale now at Blackwell’s, Inner Bookshop, Ark-T Centre and Elder Stubbs Project.

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