#WriterSpotlight – “Share the message. If you err, try again.” Tomilade Olugbemi

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Today on Writer Spotlight, we have the prolific poet, Tomilade Olugbemi. In our interview with him, he talks to us about how he developed the passion for writing and where he gets his inspiration from.

Enjoy.

Hello Tomilade. Can you please describe yourself in a few words?

Writer. Rewriter. Poet. Shy.

When did you discover that you had a passion for writing and why did you decide to follow this passion?

I was twelve or thirteen. I fell in love with poetry somewhere between rap music and writing a poem for an English Language assignment. Why follow it? I’m really not sure. I guess I followed my instincts.

Can you tell us what you love most about being a writer?

It can be exhilarating when it is not frustrating. The potential of creating stuff with words gets my blood flowing. It is the only uncertainty that doesn’t constantly torment me: a place for my other uncertainties. I also like that the work inspires, tickles, heals and sometimes, terrifies people.

Why did you decide to put your poems together into ‘Love is not a tempest?’

It wasn’t exactly a putting-together of poems. Most of the poems were written specifically for the chapbook. I spend an inordinate amount of time in my mind, battling doubt, anxiety and all their friends. I was in a place where I needed to transfer all that angst into something. A chapbook seemed like a good idea so I started writing the poems on a whim.

Since you released the book what has the reaction been like?

I have a limited sample size but it’s been well received. A handful of people relate to many of the poems and that makes me happy. We write for ourselves, and I certainly did that, but we also write for others. It’s always such a joy when anyone reads my work. I don’t take it for granted.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am inspired by a great number of things: a nagging need to write, people and their lives, music, other people’s work, etc. There is, however, no greater inspiration than one’s own worldview and experiences.

What is the most important lesson writing has taught you? 

Nothing consequential comes to mind. It has probably made me more curious and taught me a lesson or two in patience.

Which author (dead or alive) would love to spend a day with if given a chance?

Only one? Sylvia Plath

What advice do you have for people who know that they have a message to share but fear keeps holding them back?

I think writing, at least my writing, is mostly trial and error. It’s a cliché but I’ll advise them to just do it. Share the message. Try. If you err, try again. I dislike some of my work in retrospect. But without them, I’d have no barometer for progress or lack thereof.

 

 

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#WriterSpotlight – “The depth of poetry isn’t necessarily in big words but in the mastery of stringing words together to make art.” Femi Peters

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Hello Femi Peters, please introduce yourself

I’m a man of many parts but a single core, Jesus. I’m a writer, blogger, author, and an entrepreneur. I value relationships. I am married and a serial father.

When and why did you start writing?

I started writing way back in secondary school. I remember helping classmates and friends draft love letters to their crushes and girlfriends. Then I wrote a couple of short stories in the university. I took a shine to it when I started blogging in 2007. I write because I believe a have a message to communicate.

Permit us if we are wrong but you recently entered the writing scene with the introduction of your book ‘Notes to My God’. How has the reaction been?

The reactions started with my first blog that has the same name as my debut book. It pointed that I was solving problems, that my poems were needed. The reactions from the book has been astounding, humbling and has spurred me to write more.

We hear it took 10 years to put this book together. Why did it take you so long?

Well most of the poems came between 2006-2009 but other factors came into play. I had to overcome self doubt and other people’s opinions. I had to journey from getting a publisher to self publish amongst other factors.

We know you are a blogger, when did you start blogging and what’s the biggest lesson blogging has taught you?

I started blogging in 2007. I learnt a lot of lessons, the biggest of them is that I am a solution to someone’s need. Consistent writing betters your gift. Blogging opens you up to a wider audience for a myriad of purposes of which critiquing is one.

Poetry can be therapeutic. Has it been that to you?

Poetry is beautiful in many ways. It is therapeutic for me in the sense that birthing a poem sometimes stems from a prevailing thought and I could start as a quest and end with result.

What’s your take on writing poetry that is becoming relatable as opposed to what poetry used to be? Words many people couldn’t understand because it was too ‘deep’

There are different types of poetry, different kinds of expression. The depth of poetry isn’t necessarily in big words but in the mastery of stringing words together to make art, art that convey a message.

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What do you think in your own words make a good poem?

For me what makes a good poem is one that is fluid, rhythmic, memorable and stoking.

What has putting together Notes to My God book taught you?

It has taught me go after my dreams, that my gift was given to be shared and that God is waiting at the point of our use.

Are there plans to release another book soon?

Yes, I’m working on a couple of books actually and one of them should be ready for early 2018

What challenges did you think you were not prepared for in the process of putting this book together?

For one I was hoping I would remain behind the scene and churn out the work but I find that I have to be out there speaking for the book as we are Siamese twins of some sort.

Where can readers get your book?

It’s available at Glendora, Ikeja City Mall, Patabah bookstores, Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall,  Jumia.com.ng and the Kindle edition is available on Amazon.com

What’s your advice to writers who have been working on a project for long and are getting tired?

It’s never too late to put it out there, stop procrastinating. The world needs to hear your voice. Your book is the solution someone is waiting for.

 

#WriterSpotlight – “Your craft is your strongest voice in the midst of unending unrest.” Todimu Ikuyinminu

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Sparkle Writers, are you ready for today’s #WriterSpotlight? Our guest, Todimu Ikuyinminu. is a writer, poet, thespian and … a wack poet! Yeah, we asked him why he calls himself that. Find out why as you enjoy his interview with us. 

Hello please introduce yourself.

I am ‘Todimu George Ikuyinminu which is clipped as T. G. ‘Yinminu, a postgraduate degree holder of English from the English Department of the prestigious University of Ilorin. I am a professional creative, content developer and thespian who has led at different capacities and performed brilliantly well. However, I remain trainable and always open to knowledge acquisition.

Your IG handle is ‘The Wack Poet’ what inspired the title?

About theWACKpoet, erm… each time I am asked to explain why I chose this moniker, of all the more pleasant ones I could have adopted, I laugh at myself. The reason is because, in all honesty, I did not spend time to consider the choice of it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually thought about it but I am saying I did not realise that one day someone will ask me the rationale behind it. Well, there are two reasons for the choice of this moniker.

The first is the literal meaning of it, “the wack poet”. I have always been a shy fellow and it took a lot of time, and comments from readers, for me to be confident about my craft. Hence, I surmised that if I accept my own weakness(es) before the public spells them out to me, it will be easy for me to distance myself from the negative vibes that may come. However, ever since I summoned courage to exhibit my content, I have not received “bad feedback”. On the other axis, theWACKpoet is an acronym. It is a simple sentence, so to speak, it is simply saying: The Witty, Astute, Calm and Knowledgeable Poet. On a general note, I feel all creative writers must possess at  least one of the qualities coded in the meaning of “theWACKpoet”. A few people get this even without knowing what theWACKpoet means.

You are a creative writer, poet, public speaker, dramatist, artistic director, how do you combine all these?

First off, let me align myself with these words of the renowned poet of blessed memory, Maya Angelou who said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

I hope you will agree with me that all these ‘shades’ of my ventures listed above revolve round the humanities; which is my educational background. They all revolve around entertainment and creative output, therefore to me, if I am writing (a speech, a lecture, a poem, a play, a dialogue) for instance, I am also indirectly preparing content for the stage; the audience; the readers; the viewers; the participants, as the case may be. For me it is always like “using one stone to kill five birds”.

However, I am able to combine all these because I feel that man is best at whatever he is talented/skilled at and loves to do. It is like being a roadside mechanic in Nigeria. A roadside mechanic in Nigeria can repair a Renault car this minute and work on a Mercedes Benz car the next minute. I hope the analogy is clear. So, in short, every venture I am engaged in indirectly helps become better at the other ventures. For instance, acting on stage gives me more confidence to face the crowd when I’m speaking at an event. Being a creative writer gives me more insight into creative/artistic directing thus as I imagine and block scenarios, I represent them to the best of my knowledge on stage and with the actors.

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In your bio we see that you have a bias for poetry, why is this so?

At a point in my growth, I never thought I was capable of writing poetry. My creative impulse started when I was in Junior Secondary School, and at that time I used to write short plays in a 60-leaves exercise book. I would give the books to a few of my classmates, mostly females, they would read and then recommend it to their friends. Then, I came about one of my neighbour’s poem, Dr. Gbenga Owojori (Ph.D a scientist) when I was in SS3. I took the poem and “edited” it. I enjoyed “editing” the poem so I decide to write one myself. It was an exciting experience. And that was how I started writing poems in exercise books hidden under my clothes in my wardrobe.

I recently got to know that writing poetry is hereditary for me because my late paternal grandmother used to write poems, and I also have a younger brother who has also been captured by the loving, soothing, and peacefully troublesome embrace of poetry.

The bias for poetry is inexplicable really, poetry is something I can do even under pressure. It is an attraction that is as easy as breathing in and out for me.

Your poetry house Aranbada hosts a poetry festival, please tell us more about it.

Let me say something brief about Aranbada Poetry House (APH) before I talk on Aranbada Poetry Festival as it will shed light on the question asked. Aranbada Poetry House is founded solely based on the need to create a platform that encourage creative arts, and creative writing, in the new generation of African (Nigerian) writers/artistes. The youth of today face many silent problems, these border on the scarcity of genuine art materials that will inspire and guide their creative ability. Aranbada Poetry House, seeks to ignite the passion for art and creativity in this generation of youths who are lured by the fantasies of the modern world to the detriment of the arts, creativity and its tendencies.

Aranbada Poetry Festival is just one of the platforms APH is offering, others include Aranbada Poetry Series (Poetry Anthology), Aranbada Poetry Magazine (poetry events, poets features), Aranbada Poetry Tutors’ Campaign, and Aranbada Poetry 1/2Hour set to kick off soon. Aranbada Poetry Festival (APFest) is a biennial art event. APFest is open to all artists, and the only criteria to partake is for the person to be an artist. APFest is more of a breeding platform for artists to interact with one another and meet mentors. Interestingly, the coming edition will, as planned, have great artistes like Professor Femi Osofisan, Professor Olu Obafemi, Professor Tanure Ojaide, Olulu and other established artists in attendance.

With the right funding, the vision of APFest is to be a national art event.

How was the reaction to the first edition?

The first edition was a huge success. It had many emerging artists in attendance and an audience strength of about 160. The first edition was held in honour of Professsor Olu Obafemi, my mentor and the President of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, thus it received widespread acceptance from scholars in the academia so much that some lecturers in the host university partook as performers at the event.

You are quite outspoken on social media how has this helped improve your writing skill?

Social media, a place where anybody can be somebody. Unfortunately, I am not really as outspoken on social media as I am in person. However, one cannot underestimate the power of the social media in the 21st century clime, my presence on social media has affected my writing immensely. As a budding writer, there was a time I could not summarise my thoughts, I would write poems and I won’t stop until I literally left no room to probe the creative interpretation of the reader but when I got exposed to the social media, I had to start compacting my writing hence I got better at the use of stylistic poetic devices.

Social media also affords one the opportunity of freely accessing the works of other writers. For instance, recently, I decided to study the works of @desolape on Instagram and soon enough I composed a poem in the same fascination she has, but not in the same style she employs though.

Also there is the role of poetry prompts that circulate on social media. This at least challenges one to practice more.

Many believe writing is not financially rewarding what’s your take on this

Without mincing words, writing is not a venture that one should expect much reward from, which is quite discouraging for many emerging writers. When you sit to analyse the rate at which young people dabble into the entertainment industry just because of the fame and perceived fortune that comes with it nowadays, one would want to almost conclude that there will not be young creative writers in the nearest future, and same applies to the sciences. All the impressionable minds are running to the entertainment industry to make watery music which further destroys all sanity and decorum that the typical African society treasures.

As much as I am of the opinion that writing should not be about the financial reward but be a purgative enterprise that seeks to help shape our society better through the codification of reasonable heartfelt expressions and perceptions that will inspire the reader(s), I am not against getting some financial reward for it. It is quite disheartening that the Nigerian system has no established structure to boost the intellectual industry, thus many intellectuals lose focus and are made to diversify. I have come to the conclusion that indeed there are many creative artists in Nigeria that can mentor and raise more for the future but the mentors do not have time to do so because even the mentors are busy chasing their daily bread not to mention the fate of the mentee.

What’s the one thing you wish every creative could hear

Your craft is your strongest voice in the midst of unending unrest. Stand by it, guard it, groom it and most of all, use it. Stay true to it, it will set you free even if the world is not ready for freedom. Mind you, the leaders of today are those who have stayed true to their voice, the future already started the very day you were matured enough to think about your future.

What’s your ultimate dream as a writer?

I am sure every writer’s dream will be to be successful and renowned, yes we all want that, probably win a Laurette, or a prize. However, my ultimate dream as a writer has always been to be a writer that inspires emerging writers. It is like being a pastor who has raised many “spiritual sons”, or a Commandant who has raised many combatants ready to take on the battle field and conquer the world.

The ultimate dream is to sit in the nearest future, look back and count my blessings; the many writers that would have picked the ultimate pen because “if T. G. ‘Yinminu can do it, I can do it too”.

 

 

 

#PickOfTheWeek – Life is what you make out of it

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Good writers are not easy to come by but on The Sparkle Writers Hub, we make it our duty to find them and encourage them. On today’s #PickOfTheWeek we have four spectacular writers. 

Let us know which pick resonated more with you. We’d let you know ours too.

The first is by Dorathy and she gives us her take on time and wounds. Unlike the common saying that ‘time heals everthing’ Dorathy thinks otherwise. Instead of healing she believes it only gives us memories, something we can definetly hold on to. 

 brunch (2).pngWe saw this post and we knew we just had to share. Sometimes we complain that we have too little not realizing that even with so little, we could do a whole lot. Start with that little talent, gift and ability, it will grow.  Thank you Layoladedayo Alonge for this. 

brunch (4)This right here is the truth. There’s no point jumping into another relationship with a broken heart. It brings terrible consequences to both parties. If you haven’t recovered from one relationship, don’t go into another. brunch (3)Too many times we imagine ourselves better, more successful and more acomplished but we never really take it serious because we don’t believe we can make it happen. This in actual fact is not true. The success we all dream about it is right inside us and all we have to do is bring it on! 

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#PickOfTheWeek – Challeging the status quo, a letter to love

Medieval (1).jpgWriters are challenging the status quo with each post and we love it. Today we have a writer who wrote a letter to love and giving us tips about style. 

We hope you love this #PickOfTheWeek  

Our first pick is from Jumoke Ipinlaye. She speaks the truth in this peice and we all should take note. No matter how much it hirts we must learn not to hide our wounds. It is better to deal with them. 

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   Our next pick is a peice by China Tori and she’s asking a question. One a number of us would have asked a number of times. We are still asking though. brunch (2)  Another peice we love is the one from Muhamed Gbolahan. In a world there is so much rejection and segreaation its great to hear the truth in simple but clear words. We have to learn to accomodate every one’s indiviaulity 

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The last and definetly not the least of the posts we loved from our writers on instagram is by Richard Dappa and it’s a letter to love. Do you think anyone deserves this kind of treatment? Let us know your thoughts. brunch

#PickOfTheWeek – The story of trust and love turned sour

 

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One great thing about the #PickOfTheWeek is that it helps us find new writers. There are so many of them. Today we feature three new writers ( new because we’ve not featured them before.)

We know you’d love their pieces. The first is by Tolulope Olulola. Love is such a beautiful thing so many writers lend their voice every week to this sibject.. This is Tolulope’s peice on love and we love it!

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The next is by Bolu Sanwo . This is a perfect description of love turned sour.  Those things that used to mean a lot will suddenly mean so little to you. brunch (10)Osi hit the nail on the head with this one. Apart from making sure you let creativity and art be, the next best thing you can do to them is do it excellently. Don’t compromise on your standards.

brunch (9)Beauty is powerful and those who know this use it well. Adesuyi Ifeoluwa has helped to  expalin just how powerful it can be. It can truly change people’s opinion in an instant!

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If you are a writer and you post your work on Instagram, don’t forget to forget to tag @thesparklewritershub for a chance to be featured on our Pick of the Week.

#PickOfTheWeek – Find out what tears and healing have in common

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The posts on today’s #PickOfTheWeek iwil stir something up insde of you! 

How else do we describe posts that encouraged healing, closure and the will to look over mistakes and dream again. 

Can we just go straight to these peices? 

Jummy Ipinlaye is on fire with this post. For those of us wo are still hiding our skills and abilites, this is for you. 

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If you have lost someone and still hurting China Tori’s words are encoraging. It may look imposible but you can heal. 

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Heart break can be terrible but one thing you can be sure of is that morning will come and the pain you feel today will not hurt so much. At least that’s what Knayinsola says but we agree with her . 

 

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The last and definetly not the least is by Eke – kola Vanessa.  Most of us see only our faults and condemn ourselves. Vanessa thinks iys time we start embracing our dopeness tWe agree. 

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If you are a writer and you post your work on Instagram, don’t forget to forget to tag @thesparklewritershub for a chance to be featured on our Pick of the Week.

#PickOfTheWeek – Candid truth from amazing writers

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It’s #PickOfTheWeek and we have four amazing writers today! We can’t wait for you to read from them. 

The first writer is Ugo Udoji we understand the place from which this comes from. Sometimes its so hard to forgive yourself when you make those silly mistakes but then we just have to. 

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Temilorun Adebiyi’s post is next. The way he describes love just makes us want to experience it from his perspective . Let us know what you think! 

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 Ipinlaye Mercy Olajumoke hits the nail on the head with this one. If everyone can take this stand the world would be a safer place to live in. 

farmto table (2)Ekene May’s charge to us is one that everyone needs to take seriously. We must ensure that we live our lives to the fullest. 

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If you are a writer and you post your work on Instagram, don’t forget to forget to tag @thesparklewritershub for a chance to be featured on our Pick of the Week.

#PickOfTheWeek – A little bit of everything

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Hey Sparkle Writers! It’s Tuesday and as you know on the hub time to feature amazing peices  from writers who tag us on instagram. 

Today’s posts are from a little bit of everything.  Ceejay Eze speaks on anger. We are not sure we agree with what he says here but then it’s his view and we want to know what you think. farmto table (1)

We love this one by Maryann Okoli. It doesn’t make sense to give up on who you want to be because some people can’t understand what you are doing or who you are trying to become. 

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Thank you Sensei Fawx for speaking the truth. Before we talk about our colour, race, tribe or religious affinity we are first human. If we remember that, we’d treat the next person to us much better. farmto table (3)    Muhamad Solati speaks the truth with this one! Until we connect our pen to heart our voice will just be an echo. farmto table (4).png 

If you would like to be featured on Pick of the Week, don’t forget to tag @thesparklewritershub on Instagram.

#PickOfTheWeek – Writers and their incredible musings

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We are loving our #PickOfTheWeek Segment. So many fun writers every week. Today we are featuring familiar and new writers with incredible musings. 

What we love about these pieces is their ability to help us think and question the status quo with a few words. Whoever said talk is cheap hasn’t seen these ones. 

If you have ever been tempted to quit Akinrulie Opeyemi Joshua tells you that you are not alone. In this piece, he reminds himself and perhaps you of why he/you mustn’t quit even when others have.

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Our second pick by Agbo Iyefu is for those people whose love was not reciprocated. We understand you. 

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Dorathy hit home with this one! Not everyone should see your pain, not everyone truly loves you.

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This is perhaps one of our best for the week, simply because it is the truth. Pain is not always bad. Thank you Okuwoga Temitope for this. farmto table (1)

If you are a writer and you post your work on Instagram, don’t forget to forget to tag @thesparklewritershub for a chance to be featured on our Pick of the Week.