There’s something fresh about each #WriterSpotlight feature. Each writer brings in a new perspective to writing and we love it. Today we interviewed Kanyinsola Okafor. She became a published writer when she was 9 and her advice to other writers is simply beautiful!
Hello Kanyinsola. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Kanyinsola Okafor, I’m Yoruba-Igbo. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, grew up in Surulere and I graduated from the Federal College of Education (Technical) Akoka, Lagos State, with a Distinction; studying Integrated Science/Biology Education. I am a full time beauty consultant and professional makeup artist.
How did your journey as a writer begin?
My journey as a writer began a long time ago as a child. When I was much younger I used to think that I would travel the world gathering and reporting news; become a journalist. I loved reading (still do). Because I started reading at a young age I developed my creative and imaginative ability. My goal was to write my own stories and become a published writer at the age of 9.
What do you love most about writing?
That’s a deep one, I love everything about writing. But what I love the most is the “freedom of expression” that it gives. The ability to unleash my innermost thoughts without restrictions. When I write, there’s this peace and calm and happiness, fulfillment, that comes with every piece I write. Knowing that I have expressed words in emotions deep that others can’t help but feel.
You are very talented when it comes to writing short stories. How were you able to master this talent?
Hmmmn, I think I mastered it without realization. I write mostly poetry; poems & prose, but frequently I have tried to develop myself in writing long stories (novels). In the process of this development, I think I mastered the talent of writing short stories.
Where do you get inspiration from when you want to write a story?
I get inspiration from anything and everything. It’s really random for me. It might just be a word, a character, a scene or sound that sparks my interest…and thus a story is developed!
There are people who believe that writing can never be financially rewarding. What are your thoughts about this?
I think that in everything you do, “What you give, is What you get.” Most people are not willing to give all it takes to establish themselves in the field, yet they want to make money from it. I believe one can be very much rewarded financially if they consistently and strategically work towards it.
What is your ultimate dream as a writer?
My ultimate goal as a writer is to be recognized globally for my talents. To write mind blowing stories (novels) that get adapted as movies. To be categorized with the of likes Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Wole Soyinka.
Do you think you will ever retire from writing?
No, never. ‘Writing is a part of my Soul’. I could never let go of it. I’m very much addicted to writing, and sincerely, it’s an addiction I never want to be freed from.
Aside from writing, what are your other hobbies?
Asides from writing, I love to sing, act, dance, read, cook, draw, etc.
Any advice for other writers out there?
Yes. “Don’t Stop Writing“. Don’t be discouraged because the stories you wish to tell have already been told by someone else. There is only ONE YOU, and no one else can be YOU, or express your thoughts the way YOU can. So stop doubting yourself, “Write in a way ONLY YOU can, learn the rules and then create your own rules”. It’s not a competition with anyone else. You might not be so good at it right now, but if you continue to be consistent in it, you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll become.