How many of us, ever contemplate writing a book about our life, or telling our life story through poems, better yet one for each year of our lives.
One Seychellois woman did just that! ’40 years’ is the title of a newly launched book of 40 poems illustrating 40 years of Janine Henriette – a Seychellois author. A first for the islands!
Henriette who uses the pseudonym Ritah said that she is sharing her life story with others through the book published to coincide with her 40th birthday celebrated last year. This is something that we do not see every day as it is rather biographies and autobiographies which are usually written but the use of poems is somehow a novelty on the island nation.
“Everyone takes time to reflect and look back on life but I believe when you reach 40 you are more mature and you have lived life long enough to take a moment to trace your life journey step by step,” said Henriette. The author explained that she conceptualized the idea early last year ahead of her birthday.
“All the good things that have happened to me and all the good memories and souvenirs that I cherish, the not so good things and the painful moments and other challenges. I decided that I want to share my life journey and I decided why not put together 40 poems to coincide with my 40th birthday,” she recounted.  

Henriette said she is sharing her life story with others through the book published to coincide with her 40th birthday celebrated last year.  (Seychelles Nation)  Photo License: CC-BY
Henriette added that the end product is 40 different poems to coincide with such a momentous celebration. 
“In the book are pieces of my life from childhood, the years as a teenager, my romantic life, the world of work, motherhood, travel experience, the journey to discover and connect with God… and much more,” explained the author. 
Henriette – a mother of two sons – said that through this first publication she is determined to fulfil her childhood dreams of becoming a successful writer. Adding that as far back as she can remember she has always loved reading and writing.
“I remember when very young I wrote about my feelings on different issues and I put my thoughts in poems,” Henriette recalled. But what inspired Henriette to write these poems? 
Henriette dedicates the first poem in her collection to her mum, titled dance, mother, laugh: Dance, mother, laugh. So I radiate happiness, As struggles cease with the unseen reverberations of your love, And I sense the vibration of love sealing my fate to love without borders.
The author confirms that the poems she writes, other than depicting the different stages of her life, strongly touch on love in its different forms. 
“In fact, love features everywhere in my work but it is for different people, in different relationships. The first one I wrote was for my mother, followed by one for my grandparents and the third dedicated to the work my mother did to feed and clothe us. She was a single mother and a waitress,” Jeanine revealed. 
The Association promoting poetry in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – Bling Bling has welcomed this book.  “I am so excited and cannot wait to get a copy and read it,” Tony Joubert chair of the association told SNA on Thursday.
Another member Stephanie Joubert said that “the book is honouring poetry, as the author has chosen this art form for such an important milestone in one’s life, a true celebration.”
Ritah’s book is available for purchase online Amazon: Kindle $8, paperback $15. It can also be purchased with the author at $11. By later this month the book will be available in local book stores.
The former Central Bank policy analyst who is currently working as a primary school teacher said that the launching of the poems is only the beginning of a long fruitful journey she has embarked on as a writer and has set her eyes on a second publication in the not too distant future.
Source: Seychelles News Agency