We keep getting more and more talented and inspiring writers every week through our #WriterSpotlight column. It’s so great to know these great writers who are making impact with their words. Abayomi is one of such writers and we love his sincerity and willingness to be an example to other writers. Get to know more about Abayomi as you read our interview with him.
Hello, please introduce yourself.
Hello, my name is Abayomi Ogundiya. I love innovation and paradigms that challenge the status quo. I hold a degree in Petroleum engineering but I fell in love with the art and enterprise of book making.
What do you do?
I’m a publisher; so I publish books and help authors get their books out there.
Why did you choose to write or what led you to writing?
Well, unlike many writers, I didn’t start out writing very early in life (although I believe I always had it in me – I just never found occasion to trigger the writer in me). While I was an undergraduate, in 500level to be precise, I had a divine instruction (more like a command) to write. Basically my writings were supposed to be records of the insights I received into spiritual truths. To cut long story short, I started writing and I realised I was really good at expressing myself on paper (’cause this is a bit different from oral communication) and the whole journey led to the birth of my first book, ‘Stand’. I’ve been writing since then and it has been an amazing journey.
What is your most challenging moment as a writer?
Hmmm! As a writer, sitting down, taking that pen (or whatever) and putting the first words down.
Can you share any lesson you have learnt on your writing and publishing journey?
I have this to say;
“The instruction of the wise, the folly of the fool;
even after you are laid to rest, deep within pages buried,
you never loose your power, to sadden or to make merry,
you rest in hope waiting for him who would know the powers that you carry,
if by chance he would read and for you make himself ready.
Words o words.
Words o words.”
That’s a verse from one of my poems about words (The full poem will be in the anthology we are realeasing in some weeks time. And we’ll be giving it away free at Afrohbooks). If you write, you’ve got the power to change the world and most importantly to enjoy the quintessence of life, so do. Publishing is not a day’s journey, if you want to have the best experience it takes some work.
Can you tell us your most rewarding moment as a writer?
I guess most writers will share my sentiments. Two things stand out in a writer’s experience, and particularly for me, one is creating something really beautiful and two is having someone else tell me how impactful my work as a writer has been in their lives.
If you didn’t become a writer what else would you have done?
Hahaha! Many things, maaany things. Army/Naval/Airforce officer; automobile engineer; of course, petroleum engineer; a doctor (gynecologist most likely, don’t ask me why); a lawyer. I admire a lot of professions. But I guess at the end of the day I’ll still write ’cause any one who does not write is missing out on one of the most fun things to do on the earth.
Have you ever been rejected as a writer and how did you handle it?
Not really, because if I want a platform, I create my own. So except you want me, I really don’t go pursuing.
Will you ever retire from writing?
Lol! With all that I’ve said about writing, it’s clear retirement is not an option.
What do you do in your leisure time?
I read (mostly my Bible, then other books), I watch sci-fi movies, I think (coming up with strange theories about the world), I write, I swim, play games a little; maybe some other things I’m not thinking of right now.
What would you pick
Continental Food or African Delicacy? My appetite dictates, I have no favourite dishes.
R&B or Hip/hop? Hmmm! That’s tough. I’ll take both.
Fiction or poetry? Definitely poetry.
Fashion or music? Music.
Do you have a writing mentor? If yes why?
I don’t but I admire a handful and I steal like an artist from them.
Your best article or story so far?
I can’t really say, I have soo many, most of them unpublished.
Last words for upcoming writers?
When you put ink to paper, you make yourself immortal. Whether your writing is respected today or not, you give yourself the chance to speak to a generation yet unborn who, perhaps, may understand your wisdom or appreciate the beauty in your work which your generation may have failed to see or acknowledge. So write, write, write and enjoy yourself while you are at it. We are the coolest guys on earth, one writer to another. Cheers!