Corneille: You know what? This is... I would not have been able to read it... I probably would have been able to read it three years ago. But there's something that happens when you go through something so traumatic where you get out of your body because no human being is equipped to stand that kind of psychological shock. So you get out of your body and I could recount those events and be completely detached. So I could have read this book three years ago and been like, and commented and commentated on it the way people are doing during this webcast.

But I've done some work and I've started going through therapy and with the help of my wife, I've started really grieving. I hadn't grieved. I couldn't grieve. It was too painful. And I've come now, I'm starting to come to terms with certain things. I had a phase where I hated Rwanda. I did not want to hear anything about it. I wrote a song on my latest album called, "I'll Never Call You Home Again." And I call it my angry song. I have to say I was angry. 

And the people of Rwanda have been told that they were not allowed to be angry because it's not the right thing to do. You're not supposed to be angry. You're supposed to think in terms of reconciliation. Reconcile. Forgive and forget. And that was just simply not realistic. And so I was...

Oprah: You've got to be angry first. You've got to allow yourself. 

Corneille: You've got to be angry first.

Oprah: Then you can make peace with it. But you've got to be able to express that. I wish we had more time to talk to you. I'm really glad that out of the horrors that you have been through that you were able to read this little story, because that's—it really is one of the shorter of the short stories in this book—and allow that to touch a space in your heart and to perhaps be cathartic for you. I wish you continued healing. It's a long process. I can't even, you know, imagine or fathom what it's like to be able to come back to yourself or what it would be like after...

Corneille: It's a long process. 

Oprah: Yeah. To create a new self. Yeah.

Corneille: It's a long process. But I'm, I'm in a good way. I'm on a good path. And the one thing that I wanted to tell Father Akpan, if I may, is that I support him in what seems to be sort of a mission to come to the West and tell people Africa is not doomed and things that are happening here in the U.S., all over Europe, could be interpreted and looked at as just as bad. It's just that they're different things and the genius of this book is to have used children and the voices of children because the children are just pretty much psychologically set up the same way anywhere you go. 

Oprah: Thank you, Corneille. 

Uwem: Thank you.
Oprah: Thank you.
Uwem: Thank you. 

Oprah: Powerful. Very powerful. Thank you, thank you, thank you. That's a powerful testimony. So where has the night gone? If you want to watch this book discussion again or tell a friend who missed it, our webcast will be available on demand tomorrow for free here at You'll also be able to download the podcast tomorrow at and on iTunes. I just want to thank you so much, Father Uwem Akpan.
Uwem: Thank you very much for giving our children a voice. 

Oprah: Thank you.

Uwem: Thank you very much. I'm grateful.

Oprah: Thank you. It was a pleasure. Thanks, everybody.And thanks to, CNN International, and Anderson Cooper for showing us the real life issues behind Say You're One of Them

And, of course, thanks to all of you for watching. I just want to say, really, to those of you who are on the webcast with me right now and those of you who, you know, have read this book, it's really outstanding because you know particularly as Americans, I know that you'reatching from all over the country, but particularly as Americans, when I've chosen other books that are set in foreign places and have foreign characters and foreign names, all the publishers in the world says that Americans aren't gonna read stories like that. And you all proved them wrong.

So I thank you for that. Thank you for that. Here's to books.

Uwem: Thank you.
Oprah: Thank you.
Uwem: Thank you. 

Oprah: Thanks, Corneille. 

Corneille: Thank you, Oprah. Thank you, Father Akpan. 

Uwem: Thank you, Corneille. God bless you. 

Corneille: God bless you. 

Announcer: For more news and perspectives from inside Africa, visit For more on Say You're One of Them and to watch the full webcast on demand, visit

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