Chad Bryan, Gleaner Writer
Clichéd though the phrase may be, 'Why me God?' is an utterance by those who have been weighed down by burdensome situations with damaging effects.
It is also the name given to the debut novel penned by gospel recording artiste Omari and published by Page Turner Publishers, who have also distributed D'Angel's Love Triangle and Miss Kitty's Good Girl Gone Bad.
The book, a faith-based novel, was officially launched on Friday at Sangster's Bookstore in Mall Plaza to a strong gathering of church friends, Damion Crawford, the minister of state in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment; fellow recording artistes Alaine, Jai and Hezron, among others, and members of the media fraternity.
In 19 chapters, the novel tells the story of young protagonist Steve Malone whose life suddenly spirals into turmoil.
Leafing through the chapters and immersing oneself in its content, themes of despair, perseverance, compassion and triumph are bound to occupy the mind of its readers.
Omari expressed his passion for writing and noted that the decision was made to write the novel since all that he needed to say could not be done in a three-minute song.
"Writing has always been a great desire. If one looks closely at how I write all my music, most of them are really telling stories. I talk about my own life, the life of others, things I have gone through, things others have gone through and it is really not enough to tell a story in a three-minute song when you can create 19 chapters," he said.
While not having a specific target audience, the artiste hoped that the novel's honesty would reach everyone.
"There's no specific target audience per se, teenagers can read it, young adults, seniors, just about anyone because everybody at some point has asked the question 'Why me God?'" said the artiste.
During the launch, hosted by Sean Downer of Mega Jamz 98 FM, several touching exhortations were given by close friends Hezron and FAME FM's Marlon Young, enough to bring tears to the eyes of listeners.
Excerpts were also read by Alaine and Randell Positive, and performances came from Jai and the man of the hour himself, Omari, who sang crowd favourites Help, Why, and Jehovah Guide Me.
The launch closed with a special prayer for the artiste and for the success of the book by LOVE 101's Nadine Blair. The prayer was followed by the cutting of the cake and book signings.
The book will retail for $1,375 and is available at Sangster's Bookstores, with other locations to come on stream.