Thursday, March 12, 2009

Onyeka Nwelue's fear of not being read!

Born in 1988 in Nigeria, Onyeka Nwelue travelled extensively to Asia, particularly to India. In 2004, he was described in The Guardian as a 'teenager with a steaming pen'. His writings have appeared in The Sun, Kafla Inter-Continental and The Guardian. He's presently a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In this interview, he answers questions about his fears, the writers that he loves and the strangest thing that got into his hair.

Who is Onyeka in one sentence?
Onyeka is a writer born in 1988 in Nigeria

Which talent would you most like to have?
Talent as a writer.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My Christian background.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?


What is the last thing you read that made you laugh?
White Teeth by Zadie Smith.

Who is your perfect audience?
My siblings.

How does being a Nigerian influence your writing?
Many ways.

When is the best time for you to write?
When I'm depressed, hungry, lonely and angry.

What is your most treasured possession?
My hair.

Writers that influenced you
Wole Soyinka, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Jude Dibia, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Kiran Desai.

What is the book that changed your life?
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

What inspires your writing?

Describe your writing in a sentence?

Stories that reveal the unreal parts of life.

How will you introduce your child to writing?
No way. My father didn't 'introduce' me to politics.

What part of writing do you enjoy most?
The flow of thoughts; the writing itself.

What would a story about your life be called?
The Humourous and Mystical Life of Onyeka Nwelue. Or The Wondrous Tale and Tale of Onyeka Nwelue. Or The Paltry Sultry Years of Onyeka Nwelue.

What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is not to be read.

Who are your favourite writers?

Arundhati Roy, Ian McEwan and Salman Rushdie are my favourite writers.

What do you love most about India?

Its diversity in everything.

Where is Onyeka, the writer and person in five years?

I live my life in a minute. Don't know.

Animals: do you eat or save them?
I think both. I eat and save animals.

Your house is on fire; what will you take with you?
Any manuscript I'm working on.

What is the strangest thing that has ever been found in your 'afBoldro'?
A HB pencil during POST-UME at Nsukka

Five minutes left on earth, what will be your last words?

Live and let's live.

What do you hate about being Nigerian?
The claim that when you are religious different, you are 'possessed by an evil spirit'.

What were you thinking of when you wrote The Abyssinian Boy?
I was thinking of a world that can only exist in my wildest imagination.

What is the worth of a book?
A book I can read, laugh and clap, even when I'm supposed to cry.

NB. Watch out for A WRITER AND A REVIEWER: Onyeka 'in response' to a review of his novel The Abyssinian Boy.

No comments:

Post a Comment