Feb 072011

When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in 1999, which was in my first year in Senior Secondary School. This great playwright, an NYSC Corp member had just been sent to my school as a literature teacher and I liked him instantly. We became friends and he commented on my Marvel-like cartoon stories. Then began my writing sojourn and I began at first with short stories and later, poetry which grew to be my favourite.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a WRITER in 2000 when the same Corp member stole one of my poems and used it in his anthology, I had given them to him to edit. We quarrelled…the title of the poem was: ‘A RAINY DAY’, I still have some lines running in my head.

What inspires you to write?
Things and people around me inspire me a lot. When I’m in any mood, intensely, I start writing and my hand shakes. I hear people talk, act and stories or poem start building up in my head.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I really do not have a defining style. For poetry, I love rhymes a lot, maybe to a fault. I also love rhythm to my poems because I hate drab poetry. I write plays and other genre of literature too. My style and language is simple and I like to incorporate the local feel into my writing. My writings are usually about love, nature and the evil in man.

Do you have a major theme that runs through most of your work?
Like I said above, love/hate, the evil nature of man and nature are my major themes.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Sorrows of Satan, The gods are not to blame, Things Fall Apart, The Old Man and The Medal, Violence, The Mayor of Casterbridge and many more nut

What books are you reading now?
Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin, Heaven and Hell by John Jakes, Chesapeake by James Michener and Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, Chimamanda Adichie, Lola Shoneyin and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim are the major ones. I have discovered many more on Naijastories.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
New Nigerian Newspapers published some of my poems in 2003 when I was in the university helped a lot in boosting my confidence. Also, my teachers from Secondary school to the University were very supportive.

Do you see writing as a career?
I seriously see writing as a career. As a matter of fact, I hope to publish soon.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Getting published and the issue of copyright are two things that bother me a lot. As a result, many of my best writings are covetously guarded.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon is my favourite author. I like his language and the fact that he was able to effectively stake his claim in all genres of literature. His works hardly lose their essence however they are translated and his characters are fully developed. His Sonnets just awe me. He has influenced my writing. Here in Africa, Dennis Brutus, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka are my favourites among the many I admire.
What do you think of the Nigerian publishing industry?
Its still poorly structured and hardly matured enough to help the nation’s teeming, and obviously talented, writers. Just look at Naijastories. When I look at the American publishing industry, I almost weep.

What comments do you have about the reading culture in the country?
We are coming up, certainly. Reading is being embraced again though the foreign writers seem to have a large chunk of the reading audience just as it is with other media. Still I see more and more young people imbibe the reading culture. I think the fact that we have more writers of repute coming from the country has helped stir the reading culture of Nigerians.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I want to thank everybody who has at one time or the other read and commented on any of my writings. I appreciate them and will be even more appreciative of further comments, however it may come. Feel free to contact me anytime… wordsrhymesandrhythm.blogspot.com.


3 Responses to “Xikay - Top Member”

  1. this is just the place to be

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  2. hmmmmnnnnn…!

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  3. These features are a nice insight into NS friends…na you biko!

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