#WriterSpotlight – “With words you can build, you can give hope, you can ignite and you can destroy too.” Aderonke Moyinlorun

unnamed

She may be young but what she has achieved is incredible. Author of eight books, publisher and speaker, Aderonke  Moyinlorun is our guest on today’s #WriterSpotlight. Enjoy. 

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

My name is Aderonke Moyinlorun. I’m a writer, a publisher and a motivational speaker. I’m also the CEO of Starling Empire which birthed Starling Books and Starling Films.

At what point did you decide you wanted to become an author and why?

I knew I wanted to become an author since I was a child. I started writing short stories and poems when I was eight years old. I would write stories in all my school notebooks and I’d get in trouble with my teachers but it never stopped me. I’ve always known I wanted to write. I was born to do this.

You are a one-time best seller on Amazon. What book achieved this feat and how were you able to achieve this?

Yea, my book ‘When Love Hurts’ was an amazon eBook bestseller. I wish I could tell you exactly how I achieved this, but honestly, it was a bunch of different things that I did. The most important is that the story sold itself. It was my first attempt at romance story and if there’s anything reviewers say about my romance stories, it’s that they are emotionally intense, and heart wrenching. So I think the story sold itself as did every book I wrote after it.

Besides that, I did a lot of marketing. I gave out a lot of free copies. I approached well known book bloggers and asked them to read and review my book. And I did some few paid adverts. I also have the best and most supportive readers. I had a Ronke team on social media which consist of ten of my loyal readers  and their goal was to repost and share everything about the book. In exchange for their support, they are always the first to read my next book.

You have authored eight books! This is no mean feat. How were you able to achieve this?

By being disciplined, dedicated, persistence and patient. And also thanks to the fact that I never run out of stories to write. There’s always a story in my head all the time. But I do a lot of things and run a lot of businesses, I only have little time to write. If not, I would have more books than that.

Let’s talk about getting published. Why did you decide to float your independent publishing company Starling Book?

Honestly, there are more than one reasons why I chose to start Starling Books. First is I believe that my destiny is in my hands. That I can do just about anything if I put my mind to it. That I can be whoever I want to be if I work hard at it. That I can touch the skies if I’m willing to take the leap. More than anything else, this is why I like making things happen for me instead of relying on anybody else or any organisation. 

Second was that I had approached one or two publishing company and they rejected my manuscript because they thought I was too young and I didn’t have a lot of readers yet. They didn’t give me an opportunity, so I created the opportunity for myself. That was how I started Starling Books. I was barely 20 years old when I started.

What difficulties did you face in getting this company to start off and how were you able to overcome them?

I had a lot of difficulties. I was entering an unknown territory. I knew how to write but publishing was a whole different ball game entirely. I made a lot of mistakes. I did a lot of research and I had to learn on the job. One major difficulty that I faced was marketing. I was able to overcome this by always coming up with a new idea to market. And I realized that marketing is a continuous process. You are never done. But really, I’m glad I was able to get better at this publishing thing. 

unnamed (1)

There is a common belief that getting a book published is expensive because of the different elements it involves. Is this really the reality?

I would say Yes and No. Maybe in the past, it was expensive. But presently, things keep getting better and I know they will continue to get better. We can publish a book as an e-book and people can read on phones and laptops. Last time I checked it cost zero Naira to publish an e-book, both on Amazon and Okadabooks. And e-book sales are really encouraging.

Getting a book in print used to be very expensive because you are required to have hundreds of thousands of Naira to print one thousand copies. But these days, there are print-on-demand printing companies everywhere. If you need to distribute fifty copies and fifty copies is all you have money to print, you can order the fifty copies. If you have money for another ten copies, you can order again at another time.

So, really, in my opinion, things are getting better. You just have to know where to look and have access to the right information.

unnamed (2)

What advice do you have for a writer who really wants to get published but is low on funds?

Start with eBooks. It is completely free to publish an eBook. Don’t stop trying to get your books in print either. Work hard. Save. Approach people for sponsorship if you have to. Contact publishers. Good publishers don’t ask you for money to publish your books. They pay you to publish your books. Just keep trying. It will happen for you.

Can you tell us what you love most about being an author?

What I love most most about being an author is the opportunity to touch people’s lives and make a difference. I’m amazed by the number of people that send me messages everyday about how my books touch them. I find a sense of fulfillment in that.

What is the most important lesson writing has taught you?

Writing has taught me that words are powerful. With words you can build, you can give hope, you can ignite and you can destroy too. So I’m extra careful how I use words.

What do you love about The Sparkle Writer’s Hub?

What I love most about The Sparkle Writer’s Hub is the blog posts, especially posts that revolves around creativity and getting inspiration to keep writing.

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

Aderonke Moyinlorun. Yea, I’m full of myself like that. LOL

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

What you are afraid to do is a clear indication of what you need to do. Do it now.

Advertisements

#PickOfTheWeek – Candid truth from amazing writers

Medieval (2).jpg

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. 

farmto table.png

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! 

farmto table (1)

 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. 

farmto table (4)

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.

It is never too late to start blogging

Medieval.jpg

You really want to start your blog but you are afraid it’s too late. There are so many, probably too many, bloggers out there. “Why add to the number,” you keep thinking. We do not agree with you. 

Although we won’t deny that there are so many bloggers already in the blogspehere, this has absolutely nothing to do with your authentic and distinct belief that you have something to offer to an audience special to you. There is an infinity of niches that we doubt there will ever be a time when there will be no more opportunities for a new blogger. 

Are you worried that everything’s already been done? Well, people have been afraid of that for decades, and it doesn’t stop new blogs from emerging.  Every topic can be broken down into hundreds of sub-topics, and each of those subtopics can be broken down into potential target audiences.

You also need to realize that content audiences are consistently growing over time. More users are introduced to the internet, the internet becomes more and more accessible (such as with public Wi-Fi and mobile devices), and blogs become even more popular. The result is an ever-growing pool of potential readers that is currently showing no signs of slowing down.

We recently read a post from Christopher Foster a 79 years old man who recently  started blogging! You heard that right, he is 79  years old and he just started blogging, now tell us what is your excuse? 

#WriterSpotlight – “Start where you are, a small focus group, your social media pages, blog etc. Do not let fear hinder you.” Morenike Vincent

21294659_345086115945405_2862189592151326720_n

We are extremely honoured to feature the amazing Morenike Vincent on today’s edition of #WriterSpotlight. She’s an accountant, writer and first time author! If you are thinking of publishing your book soon, here’s yet another writer you can learn from. Her tips are so practical. Enjoy! 

Who is Morenike Vincent?

My name is Morenike, I am a lover of God and people, a wife,a sister, daughter, friend. I love to help people to be  awake to the lives they have been called of God to live. I am a Chartered Accountant currently working as an Auditor.

I am the founder of She’s Connected Family Life network, a platform for ladies who desire to establish God’s design for family here on earth, growing together to mirror the phenomenal woman in Proverbs 31.

I have a heart to prepare the next generation for life and living, an evangelist of academic and life excellence, hence the book and platform Academic Excellence.

Since you have a 9-5 and run a ministry, how do you find time to write?

Well for me, writing is not a hobby, it more like I must give expression to what God has put in my heart via writing. Some days words come to my heart and so I just write on my notepad or on my phone. But really and truly, you will create time for what is important to you.

Congratulations on the release of Academic Excellence. Take us through the journey of writing and publishing it.

Thank you. For me it is a huge honor God chose me to bring forth this book through, I was just the vessel. In 2016 May I felt in my heart that I should organise an online seminar for teenagers and young adults so I told my friend Raquel, we designed a flier and shared on social media for 5 days before the event and to my outermost surprise, over 170 teenagers and young adults, Edu consultants participated in the 3 hour WhatsApp seminar on Academic Excellence.  When we were almost done, I told them if they stayed on the group I will share for the next 30days (throughout the month of June) on Academic Excellence. It was a very demanding move for me because I really don’t remember ever doing anything consistently for 2weeks let alone 30days! But by God’s grace I did it. Some days I would be so tired from work and on one day, I didn’t post till a few minutes to midnight. It was truly a stretching experience for me and very fulfilling because the teenagers learnt a lot and were inspired. The daily posting on the WhatsApp group throughout June 2016 formed the core content for the Book.

So from June 2016 to the eventual release of the book May 28 (the anniversary of their first seminar) I updated the content of the days, I reached out to people to share their story, one of which was Bimbo Oyeyi, a lady who I had told in 2010 that I would write a book on academic excellence and share her story.

From editing, to book design, to deciding to self-publish, to printing runs, publicity, for a first time author it was truly an experience, but one I am grateful for and thank God I have a very supportive husband who is my major driver, he kept me on my toes especially with deadlines and milestones.

Since the book was released, what has been the reaction so far?

I am truly thankful as all the teenagers who came for my book launch got the book for free courtesy some generous people. The feedback from people who have read it have been heart-warming and fulfilling. You see my dream is to put the book in the hands of every teenager and young adult in Nigeria because I believe it will help, not just to improve academic performance, but also self-leadership and life in general.

21372396_1650769711613806_9201440237329317888_n.jpg

It took you about eight years to write, what kept the dream going?

GOD! See it was not by my might.  I was a 300 level student in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) and I was in the academic committee for my department fellowship. I used to write articles and counsel my class mates on academic excellence and mindsets toward academics generally. Then one day, as I was writing yet another article, I heard in my heart, “This will form pages of a devotional”. I got two notebooks to get started, but it just did not happen, till today, those two notebooks are still with me, they attest to the faithfulness of God. At every phase in my life, from graduation, to NYSC, to workplace, to marriage, I knew that one day I will write a book on Academic Excellence. Initially the title I had was “Ruling and reigning in the Academic domain”. There were many days I cried, because I felt I had let God down by not writing. But “in the fullness of time” the avenue was open to write and today we have the book. When I think about it all, I still am teary-eyed. It’s more than a book for me, it is a testament of the faithfulness of God. And yes! Your dreams are valid.

What lessons has writing this book taught you?

This experience taught me a number of things, one of which is to lean on God through every twist or turn, so make Him your source. Another is if you demand excellence, you will get it, so do not compromise. Then, deadlines and follow up, this is not a strong area for me, so my husband was so helpful here, helping me realize that once one deadline is not met, it affects other things. I learnt that many people are on the other side of my obedience and so I must be quick to obey God and do so completely. I picked many other life lessons on this journey.

Is there any chance of you leaving accounting to do writing full time?

Well I cannot say for now, as God leads, I follow. For now He’s given me the grace to do both, so why don’t I enjoy it and maximize it.

What do you love most about being a writer?

I usually tell people that I do not consider myself a writer, because it’s not for pleasure. I believe I must write, because God wants to reach people and my writing and speaking give Him expression.

There is this one time I can vividly remember, I wanted to do something, but then felt a block, I tried to fight it, but then I just picked my phone and words began to flow. It was like I felt the words form in my heart and I needed to give expression. So I obeyed, and I sent it out to my contacts on Blackberry Messenger. Immediately I received a message saying, “Oh God, Reni thank you, thank you so much. I so needed that.” For me this is fulfilling.

The book is loaded with special content: study plan, Q/A with a lecturer, academic excellence nuggets, devotional content, academic excellence stories. Why N1, 000? Don’t you plan to profit from its sales?

Yes it’s a loaded book, it’s 150 pages. I see the book as gift to the next generation. I decided to focus on value and not profit. My heart prays that it reaches the hands of the intended users (every teenager and young adult). I also needed to look at my target audience. Why will I write a book that my audience cannot afford to buy? It’s not to make a name as an author, but to impact lives. I believe the book will do that.

21297012_1896272520637069_7189317525954363392_n.jpg

What do you say to parents wondering why they should buy your book for their teenager?

“The greatest impact we can make is to invest in the lives of they to whom we will pass the life baton to. Think posterity.” You will have no regrets getting this book for your teenager. In fact, do not just stop there. Look for more teenagers around you, schools around you and even your Alma Mater, and put this book in the hands of every teenager in your sphere of influence. The book was written from my heart, and will transform your teenager, that I am sure.

What advice do you have for someone who has a story to tell but is afraid to write it in a book?

Well, you really do not need to write a book honestly, if you do not feel in your heart to do so. But by all means, just start. You really do not know how many lives are hinged to yours. One thing I know is God doesn’t waste pain, especially when you commit it all to Him. Start where you are, a small focus group, your social media pages, blog etc. Do not let fear hinder you.

How can readers get copies of this book?

The primary sales point is over my website.

And we deliver nationwide. The book is also available at

We are working to activate other bookstores and contact persons.

The book is also available in E-book version on

We are working on other online platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#PickOfTheWeek – A little bit of everything

Medieval.jpg

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. 

farmto table (2)  

 

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.

Download the Afriwowri Ebook, ‘The different shades of a Feminine Mind’

Afriwowri (African Women Writers) Literary Project Team, in collaboration with Writivism, The Sparkle Writer’s Hub, The Radioactive Blog and Africa Matters is excited to announce the official release of the anthology, ‘The Different Shades of a Feminine Mind’.

‘The Different Shades of a Feminine Mind’ (A daybook of the African woman’s narrative) is an anthology of short stories which explores diverse feminine themes from a woman’s perspective. The purpose of this project was to curate fresh, unique and startling voices telling a holistic collection of daily African experiences which appreciates the nuances in each story.

This book features stories from writers from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, Eastern Cape, and the United States.

The book is only available as an electronic book (pdf – digital book), and is also available as a free download from different sites such ISSUU and datafilehost.

Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva, writer, poet and founder of the Babishai Niwe (BN) Poetry Foundation praised the short stories;

“I deeply appreciate that the narratives sway from the usual and hold their own, in unapologetic, melodramatic and confident poise. The characters are people we know, they are a mirror of whom we purport to be, of our urban and rural communities.”

Use these links to download your copy of the book:

http://www.datafilehost.com/d/4b184ed0

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzuIDV337byBLS1FMHJMTW9velU/view?usp=drivesdk

https://issuu.com/radioactiveblog/docs/the_different_shades_of_a_feminine_

Enjoy the read!

#WriterSpotlight – “I am a silent type, I talk, but not serious talk. My writing speaks for me.” Bankole Wright

DSCN7185

Welcome to another #WriterSpotlight on The Sparkle Writer’s Hub. Bankole Wright is a writer and editor and we are glad to feature him today. We hope you learn a thing or two from his interview. 

Hello Bankole. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

Hello. Ok I am Bankole Wright, a graduate of Lagos State University where I studied English, majored in Literature. I am a writer, a book editor and a growing academic. I have a deep passion for teaching and writing. I love talking literature and creative writing, I love the fact that I create stories, both those that exist and those that don’t.

How did your journey as a writer begin?

Writing started at age 14, then I used to write juvenile love poems which usually ended in dustbins. I wrote songs as well. I just wrote because that was where I found fulfillment and joy. Growing up, I became conscious of my ability to create stories, and the fulfillment I derived from writing. Then I took writing more seriously, I began to write poems for several poetry sites such as Poetrysoup. I also wrote stories and articles at naija stories. I wrote at Pulse Ng where I was a blogger, then I started writing for OYA magazine till now.

What do you love most about writing?

Writing makes me feel like a god, genius and immortal. I am a silent type, I talk oh, but not serious talk, so my writing speaks for me.

In what ways has your writing grown since you stated writing?

For me, my writing  has really improved as a result of the frequent writing engagements I have had over time. They have pushed me to study deeply and I practice all I read to the letter.

Where do you get inspiration from when you want to write a story?

I derive inspiration from everything around me, both tangible and intangible. I observe tinniest details.

There are people who believe that writing can never be financially rewarding. What are your thoughts about this?

(Smiles), concerning finance, writing rewards. You need to create a niche for yourself to the point that you alone will be preferred and patronized. As a writer, if you work hard, you will be richly rewarded.

What lessons have you learnt since you started managing Oya magazine?

Hard Work, oh I have really learnt hard work. Also I learnt commitment and dedication, loyalty and consistency. OYA magazine has really built me and is still building me.

IMG_20170806_084040

What is your ultimate dream as a writer?

My ultimate dream as a writer is to be an influential one whose works are reputable and internationally acknowledged.

Do you think you will ever retire from writing?

(laughs). Writing is my life, retiring is like dying.

It’s one thing to write and another to help others edit books, how did you upgrade your skill?

I simply schooled myself in it. I got books on editing, I studied and I practiced and then I started helping friends for free, with time I was getting paid.              

Aside from writing, what are your other hobbies?

Aside writing, I read. I love reading a lot, like a real lot. I read anything and everything. I actually have a boring life to some people, but believe me, this is the life I choose.

Any advice for other writers out there?

Writing isserious business and it is a venture of the intelligent and disciplined. Also, don’t get caught up in trying to impress, just love what you do and do it with excellence.

 

Meet the writers for the Afriwowri Literary Project E- book!

 

22220783_2374638559427391_3640175153490427904_n.jpg

We’re so excited to announce that the AfriWowWri E-Book edited by our Founder, Adedoyin Jaiyesimi will be released on Monday 9th October. While we await the release we want you to meet all the amazing women that contributed to this book from different countries of the world! We even have writers from The Sparkle Writers Hub contributing to this book. Isn’t that exciting? 

Nokwanda Zakiyyah Shabangu – Let Lovers Make Love

 

afrowri2

I am the single mother of a four-year-old named after the deepest river in the world. A performance poet and vocalist who has graced only a handful of stages because I spend my days contesting social ills. I’d like to think of myself as a humanitarian who places emphasis on grassroot activism. To mobilise notions of freedom using my writing, singing and very being. To summarise what you can find on LinkedIn… I am a Digital Content Editor (DiCE) for an organisation that supports small businesses, youth development and women’s empowerment with a focus on technology and innovation.

Kingwa Kamencu – An argument with my Landlord

afrowri10

Kingwa Kamencu is a writer based in Nairobi. She has written and published a novella To Grasp at a Star (East African Educational Publishers) and a childrens book, The Shy Girl (Oxford University Press). To Grasp at a Star has won numerous awards in Kenya. Kingwa’s poetry and short stories have been published in anthologies locally and internationally. Kingwa also wrote scripts for the highly acclaimed Kenyan TV series ‘Stay’ (season 2). She enjoys writing and reading humor and has been influenced by writers including Wahome Mutahi, Richmal Crompton, Frank Richards, Sophie Kinsella and Kate Getao. Kingwa holds an MSt. in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford (UK).

Hadiza Mohammed 

afrowri6

Hadiza Mohammed is a Nigerian. She lives and writes from Abuja. She is the author of the Children’s book My Life as an Almajiri. She has been published in Brittle Paper, Saraba Magazine, Praxismagonline and Kalahari Review

Holly Ajala – Skin Deep

afrowri22

Holly Ajala is a writer and storyteller with a fierce belief in the power of effective narrative to inspire empathy in the face of difference, to propel the reach of social justice and above all to challenge humans beings to be more human. To these ends, Holly has worked with the NYU Leadership Initiative, the ACLU Racial Justice Project , and the NYC Collaborative Writing Project to amplify the reach of marginalized voices, narratives, stories and communities. Holly currently writes for AYO Magazine, an online publication dedicated to honest and multifaceted portrayals of black women in search of joy. She is a recent NYU graduate with a B.A. in Politics and Africana Studies.

Natasha Omokhodion Kalulu Banda – Mirage

afrowri11

I am a 33-year-old woman from Zambia with a career in marketing and event management.  I feel as though my generation was found at the tail end of the pre-World Wide Web age.  What was referred to as modern history when we were teenagers, was only ninety years since Africa was being carved up and shared, fifty since the last World War and thirty years since most African countries gained independence.  Hence, I feel that we have a unique perspective, which, like a confluence, brings together the old and the new.  My prayer is that we share this with the world through our story-telling. I love Africa – its history, its present and mostly, its future. 

Charissa Cassels – We are Queens

afrowri19

 I am Coloured Woman, aged 21 and I am a Third year Journalism and Media Studies student and I major in Politics as well. I am an activist at heart and believe that we cannot rest and cannot allow us to ourselves to be tired while people are still oppressed and marginalized. It is our duty, not as citizens, but as human beings, to fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves and to speak for those who have lost their voices. We cannot lose faith and hope, we are fighters and we shall fight until the fight is won.

Ife Olujuyigbe – How to grab a Furnance

afrowri7

Ife Olujuyigbe is a writer and chemical engineer. Her literary works have appeared on Brittle Paper, The Naked Convos, Storried Nigeria, Akoma, WordsAreWork, Paragraph Planet, ShortSharpShort magazine to mention a few. She has also won literary competitions The Blackout (2016) and the SGNT Media Short Story Prize (2016). She is passionate about children, art,  scrabble, potato chips and chicken.

Victoria Naa Takia Nunoo – Laide

afrowri14

Victoria Naa Takia Nunoo is a Ghanaian writer, poet, and a reader with recent bias towards reading African Literature. Her work has appeared in The Kalahari Review and is forthcoming in other literary magazines. She currently lives in Greater Accra, Ghana. You can read more of her work on her blog or connect with her via Twitter or Instagram.

Catherine Shepherd – Forty-eight Hours

afrowri12.jpg

Catherine has a degree in journalism from Rhodes University. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including My Holiday Shorts, My Maths Teacher Hates Me, Imagine Africa 500 and the 2016 Writivism Anthology. Her latest project was the editing of a young writers anthology  ‘Misplaced and Other Stories’ under the supervision of author and editor Karina Szczurek and Rachel Zadok, founder of Short Story Day Africa. She lives in Cape Town, but has plans to build a writer’s retreat in the historic village of Suurbraak in the Langenberg mountains.

Ros Limbo – Landmines in my mind

afrowri18

Writer, blogger, yogi and lover of life.

http://memoirsofavirginprostitute.com

Maame Akua Tsetsewa Yawson – My Scars, your scars

Maame Akua Tsetsewa Yawson  is a 21 year old Ghanaian-based final year undergraduate student offering Architecture and a blogger (www.notesofakukieblog.wordpress.com). An avid reader herself, she loves to explore all forms of creative writing, especially poetry and story writing. Oh and yes! she loves chocolate and interactions on social media too

Wonuola Lawal – The Angels are upon us

 

afrowri3

Wonuola Lawal is a photographer and writer whose work focuses on exploring the identities and vulnerabilities of herself and others.

Ifunanya Adannaya Anih – How to Grab a Furnace

afrowri8

Ifunanya Adannaya Anih is an aspiring Nigerian author who is of Igbo descent. She graduated from the University of Nigeria Nsukka where she studied English and Literature. Her interests include matters surrounding Gender, Culture and Art.She lives everyday with the hope that through stories told by prose and poetry, she will reach out to the world and touch lives.

Oke Bamidele – My Dirty little secrets

afrowri16

My name is Oke Bamidele. I write under the pseudonym, Oke Peter. My first novel titled, ‘A Life Past Perfect’ was first published online in 2012 and then republished in 2015, both times by ComicBandit Press.I have worked as a teacher in a secondary school in Lagos state, Nigeria for 3 years, teaching the English language. I also have a 2-year experience working as a Content Writer with two prestigious media firms also in Lagos. Presently, I work as a Reading Tutor for primary school children

Sanyu Kiyimba-Kisaka – Operation : Mother’s bruises

afrowri4

Sanyu Kiyimba-Kisaka is a professional actress, a poet, playwright and dancer. After winning the BN poetry award in 2011, she commenced her acting career and has so far staged her own play, “Black”, at the Kampala International Theatre Festival while also appearing in several other stage plays and films such as “Silent Voices”,  “The Betrayal” and as lead actress in the film “Faithful”, to name a few. She hopes to continue on in her artistic journey and glorify God as she does so.

Beti Baiye – Hiding under the cloak of Indifference

afrowri20

Beti is a writer, an editor and a Child Rights Advocate. In her free time, she indulges in fiction writing and spoken word that explores human complexities. You can find her on Instagram betibaiye and twitter

@betihez; on Child Advocacy matters, you can email her on beti@childprotectionhub.org.

Pearl Mokgatlhane – Fortitude

afrowri17
Pearl Mokgatlhane is an avid reader and an upcoming writer born in Botswana .  She has no professional training as a writer , but aspires to be a well published writer. She is currently editing her first anthology.  She worked in the publishing and distributing industry for 5 years. Her favourite misqouted qoute reads “ never trust anyone with no books in their home nor coffee”

Francisca Ogechi Okwulehie – Escape

afrowri5

Francisca Ogechi Okwulehie is the Author of Tari’s Golden Fleece an African Fiction based Novella and a graduate of Philosophy from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

She worked as a radio presenter on the programme Girl’s timeout on Unilag (103.1)FM, and as a journalist has reported and contributed for feminine lifestyle magazines.

As a multipassionate individual, she is the founder of Smile-Africa Foundation a Nonprofit organization and is also the CEO of Moncoeur Global Concept and Moncoeur Proposals a marriage proposal and event planning company. She undertakes a Creative writing workshop for secondary school students once a year.

She is a recipient of the Educate a Girl (EAG) scholarship on the &Fundamentals of Journalism& funded by the Ladies Fund in conjunction with the Whole Woman Network of Canada and the Dawood Global Foundation of Pakistan.

She currently writes a Column on DRIVE an entrepreneurship Magazine. Her penchant for highlife music leaves her listening to it when she is not reading or writing.

Ololade Ajekigbe – Beauty’s Curse

afrowri13

Ololade Ajekigbe is a Nigerian essayist, fiction, non-fiction and copywriter who blogs weekly at her online home http://www.lolosthoughts.com. Her articles have been published on several platforms, including Punch Newspapers, City People, YNaija.com, and Inflyt Magazine. Ololade describes herself as introspective, resilient and a rebel at heart. When she’s not reading or writing, you can catch her at the movies or enjoying a good dance. She is a huge fan of Manchester United Football Club, and lives with her family in Lagos.

Acan Innocent Immaculate –First Light

afrowri9

Acan Innocent Immaculate is a Ugandan writer currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery. She won the 2016 Writivism Short Story Prize and has been published by Omenana, Brittle Paper, and AFREADA.

 

#WriterSpotlight – “I hope that through my work, the world will understand love, practice kindness and experience peace.” Ibe Blessing

20170730_121303

With every writer, there is fresh insight, undiluted truth and wisdom for ages. Blessing’s interview is not any different. This is #WriterSpotlight. Enjoy! 

Hello Blessing, please introduce yourself.

I am Ibe Blessing Chiamaka, a medical student of Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state. I hail from Imo State.

How long have you been writing for and what have you learnt in these years?

I have always been writing since secondary school days although it was neither consistent nor fantastic. However, I actively picked up writing sometime last year and it peaked during the African Writers’ February steps. Before now, my major excuses for not writing were lack of time and things to write about. So far, I have come to an understanding that I have all the time I need only if I can spend less time on frivolities. Again and more importantly, I have learnt to see everything around me as a potential subject for my write-ups. Indeed, what to write about is everywhere around.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

While growing up, my mom bought us books pertaining to assorted areas of life. As the days rolled by, I discovered that my thoughts and ideologies formed on the basis of things I read about. Those words spurred in me desires, passions and hopes. The power in those words left me with no option than to propel myself towards who and what I  wanted to be.

Where do you get inspiration from?

I really can’t say my inspiration comes from anything specifically because most times any object, person or situation can quicken my emotions and intellect enough to make me write.

You seem to love sharing your work on Instagram, what inspired it?

My love for sharing my work on Instagram started during the February steps organised by African Writers. Prior to that time, I was not active on Instagram since I didn’t take lots of pictures but posting my work on Instagram exposed me to a novel idea of combining pictures with write ups. I loved the creativity and the audience it attracted.

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

I am greatly skilled in the act of procrastination and I am abysmally willing to give it up in order to be a better writer.

IMG-20170720-WA0001

Apart from writing, what are your other hobbies?

I enjoy crafts, cooking and reading.

Have you ever been rejected as a writer, if yes please tell us about it.

I  have not experienced much of rejections especially because I’ve not been submitting my write-up for publications but one experience that I can remember happened during my secondary school days. I was selected to participate in an essay competition. Truthfully, I gave my time and energy to writing it. I met several superiors to proofread it, I made corrections over and over again and I was certain to at least come out successful after all I had come out tops in more challenging ones that I least prepared for. But then, not only did I not come out tops, I got a ridiculous score that made me have an utmost dislike for those figures for a while. I could not fathom what mistake(s) I made that warranted such a sad score. I decided never to participate in other competitions and immediately concluded that I wasn’t just good enough for the whole ‘writing thing’. Fortunately, I did not wear the sad demeanour for as long  as I thought I would. The reason is simple. I was stuffed with encouragement from everyone and everything. Every word seemed to replace a unit of sadness with the extra words floating on the new happiness I had acquired.

What is your ultimate dream as a writer?

I hope that through my work, the world will understand love, practice kindness and experience peace.

How has your writing evolved over the years, did you do anything specific to make improvements? If yes, please share with us.

I think my writing has increased in dimensions, originality and creativity because I wrote more often, learnt from works of other writers and availed myself opportunities of joining groups where I could learn more about writing.

Do you Google yourself? Please tell us why?

Yes, I do that sometimes chiefly out of curiosity about what information the world has  about me.

If you could be anything in the world, what would that be?

I honestly would still love to be me.

If you know any writer who you feel should be featured on our #WriterSpotlight segment or you are that writer, please send an email to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com. 

 

 

#PickOfTheWeek – Writers and their incredible musings

Medieval (6).jpg

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.

farmto table

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

farmto table (3)

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

farmto table (2)

 

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.