Nigeria Writing: BattaBox heads out to an African Literary Evening in London to ask Nigerians – is writing a serious job?
“The exact words my mother said were – ah-ha we have doctor and lawyer, and you want to become writer! You must be kidding – not in this house!”
Many Nigerian parents agreed that their children would have to have to go to University and study another course as a ‘backup’ to writing.
“If you study medicine – I will build you a hospital! Typical Nigerian!” one lady was told by her father.
Books at the event included “Kemi’s Journal” and “Eyo” by Abidemi Sanusi, “Nothing Comes Close” by Tolulope Popoola, and “Imagine This” by Sade Adeniran – which was the 2008 REgioal Winner of the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book.
But things are changing say the authors at the event – especially with the rise of world famous authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her books like “Half a Yellow Sun.” And, of course, other famous Nigerian authors include Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe with “All Things Fall Apart.”
But first, if you want to write – you must first write for yourself:
“You don’t have to convince the world, you have to convince yourself. If you want to take it seriously you must live it, breathe it, eat it.”