- ‘If you want to be successful as a writer, pursue excellence’ – Eazy
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- ‘Write for God and humanity’ – Richard Ali | #WednesdayWritersWorld
Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy, a writer and ace reviewer, believes that reading culture in Nigeria and the demand for Nigerian writers’ works will multiply 70 folds in the next five years.
Hello, you are on to #WednesdayWritersWorld and we are pleased to have you here. Please may we meet you
First, I find it a great honour to be invited here and I have you to thank for making it happen.
Well, I am Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy, I graduated from the Department of English and Literary Studies, Kogi State University, Ayingba. What else is there… Okay, I am an Igala from Kogi State, Nigeria. I come from a family of story tellers, farmers and great hunters.
Why do you write?
I have three answers to this question:
One, every man has a duty to society; writing is my own little way of contributing to my society. I believe words are seeds that would grow into trees if planted on fertile soil.
Secondly, writing for me is therapeutic. It is a way to let out my emotions and express ideas about existence and the world.
And thirdly, reading also makes me happy and sometimes I write the things I would like to read to myself.
What’s your writing genre?
Well, I think I do everything that revolves around writing and can hardly be placed in a water tight compartment. I write poems, short stories, short drama pieces, book reviews, critical essays, etc.
What inspires your writing?
My love for good stories and the hoi polloi (common people) of the society.
Where and where have your works been published? And how many contests have you won lately?
While there are still grounds to be covered, my literary essays have found their way into various parts of the world. My works have been published on websites such as sevhagereviews.wordpress.com, literarycriticsandwriters.simdif.com and www.memorila.com, blogs like amadinjokublog.blogspot.co.ke, kingifey.blogspot.co.ke, and in various literary or poetry anthologies.
On the issue of winning contests, let me say that I have never been keen on contests. I rarely submit entries for literary contests because I do not know how to write for contests. I write what I am moved to write about and decide what the word count and theme should be. Literary contests come with too many specifications and rules which I do not pander to. Maybe in the future, I might be moved to send in entries for contest but now, I just want to write.
What inspired your first published work?
Musings on life and existence.
Describe your writing style in one word?
What writing styles are easy for you to pull off?
My mother (of blessed memory) did not have much of formal education yet she loved to read books whenever she had time enough. I do remember that I got my first novella from her; it was Ade, Our Naughty Little Brother. I caught her reading this book and snatched it from her. So when I began writing poetry while in high school, I wanted to write that which my mother could read and understand. And as I continued writing, I began to realize more and more that I wanted to write for the commoner, the ordinary man on the street, hence I choose to be simple without being simplistic and I have mastered this style.
Humorous and sarcastic style of writing also finds favour with me, much more than tragedy.
Aside from being a writer what other career would you settle for?
That’s easy! I want to draw and paint. Painting was a thing I used to love but which has been downplayed in favour of writing. Now, I want to do both simultaneously.
Give us a little talk on being a writer-entrepreneur/reviewer/ writer or a blog/ website you run.
Writing is not something one wakes up one morning and start doing, it is a tedious process that demands a long period of apprenticeship. Why most young writers are not getting readership today is because they fail to learn forgetting that one must first learn to stand before walking, then running, and later flying. They want to fly into flying. By learning, I mean that you should read and study the works of other writers, what makes them thick, their peculiarities, and style. Today, we have more writers than readers and it is appalling.
To become the best at what you want to be, you must set aside a time to learn and grow.
If you where to pick any writer from your Facebook friends or writing groups whose works inspire you the most, who would it be?
That would be the young Zimbabwean poetess, Elizabeth Patience Semende, her poetry definitely knows how to pull the chords of emotion.
What has been the best part of your writing journey?
That would be when I wrote a Zimbabwean short story, “Obato Utuhugabe Must Let my People Go” published on kingifey.blogspot.co.ke, it was a challenge I doubted if I could fulfill because I have never been to Zimbabwe.
What do you think is the best way for writers of this time to make money?
You begin to fail as a writer when you make money your priority, just write and write excellently and all else will follow.
In five years time, what do you think would become of Nigerian writers and the demand for their works?
Once, I became afraid that should the likes of Soyinka and Achebe be no more, what will happen to literary writing for I could see no one taking their place. However, the rise of younger writers as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Helon Habila, Adam Ibrahim, Molara Wood, Dumebi Ezar Ehigiator, and many others have installed an unshakable confidence in me of the future of African literature. Besides, I have worked with young writers like Enemali Theophilus (Nigeria), Godwin Gabla (Ghana), Nkosiyazi Kanjiri (Zimbabwe) and their skills make me believe that the future of not only Nigerian writing; but that of Africa as well; is secured.
In the next five years, I see a seventy percent rise in the reading culture and demand for the works of Nigerian writers.
If you were to be in a gathering were you are to address first-time writers/authors who want to profit from their writing, what would you say to them?
Same thing I have said before and still say. The greatest of all writers never make the Forbes’ list as the richest men in the world, they may even become debtors! More than making profits, writing is service to humanity. And if you are unlucky as to be writing in a third world country such as Nigeria, you might even find it difficult getting publishers, so end up spending what little you saved up in self-publishing.
Nonetheless, there is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to make good money out of what you do and it is true that you can make lots of money from writing. But, you need not just be good at it, pursue excellence and all others will follow.
Thank you for inspiring us today.
Thank you also for having me here.