The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) and Hendrix College are set to host two speakers this week, the schools announced. The speakers, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila and Mohsin Hamid, are notable authors who will discuss their writings and lives in separate events, with Gbaja-Biamila speaking at UCA’s Reynolds Performance Hall to a ticketed audience on Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. and Hamid joining the Hendrix College community virtually in a streamed event at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night.

Gbaja-Biamila, a former pro football player and host of “American Ninja Warrior,” a competition show on NBC, will speak at the performance hall about his book, “Everyone Can Be A Ninja,” and his other endeavors. Tickets to Tuesday night’s event at the hall are set at $15 for adults and $5 for children and UCA students.

Two days later, on Thursday, Hendrix College will host Hamid in a free live-streamed talk over the Hendrix-Murphy Events Channel. Hamid, the college’s Murphy Visiting Writer, has written four novels that tackle issues related to identity, immigration and politics, per a Hendrix press release. A native of Pakistan, two of his novels have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. As part of Hamid’s visit, he will speak to multiple Hendrix classes and give a public reading of his work. For information on how to attend Thursday night’s event remotely, email

Staff Writer Kolton Rutherford can be reached at

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