Othuke Ominiabohs who just published his Novel Odufa was in Port Harcourt recently for a reading of the book hosted by the Port Harcourt Book Club and Franklyne Ikediasor caught up with him for a short interview for Pitakwatimes.com.
Do you agree with those who say Nigerians don’t read?
ANS: A lot of Nigerians read: newspapers, magazines, blogs, self-help/motivational books, and even novels. It can be argued that the percentage of non-readers is higher than those who read. I also think the taste of the average, avid Nigerian reader has become more exotic, refined even, than what most of the African Literature available in the market offer.
At what point did you decide to become a writer?
ANS: I have always loved the written word. I attempted my first novel at age 9, and at age 19, I knew I had to write.
If you weren’t a writer, what else would you be doing?
ANS: I would be a teacher in the Faculty of arts, any of the arts. I love the arts and in my opinion, I think life is meaningless without art. I still hope to teach someday.
I know this is not your first time in Port Harcourt, but I would love to know your impression of the city
ANS: Port Harcourt is a beautiful city by all means, more like a fine and subtle blend of Lagos and Abuja. The place has got a homely feel. The people, from my experiences, are friendly and welcoming. It’s a city I could settle in.
Invite 5 guests to a dinner party at your house and tell me why you chose each one of them
ANS: If I were to invite 5 guests to my party, the first on that list would be –
Henry Okelue: He is someone who makes friends easily, and I’m sure he’ll have a million ways to make the evening, fun. There’ll be no dull second with him on the table. He is also someone I trust never to steer me into a ditch as he so happens to also be my manager.
Robert Ludlum: This is one writer I love and respect. And if I could invite anyone, he’ll definitely be on that list. Talking about his stories with him would make my year.
Don Jazzy: This man is an icon. It fascinates me how he has been able to master the Nigerian music scene and now possess something close to the midas touch. I would love to learn from him over dinner, so I could use his principles and hope his magic works for the Nigerian Literary scene too.
Aliko Dangote: Having this great man on my table would mean the world, as I would then have the opportunity to convince him to invest in Nigerian art, especially literature and the falling standards now obtainable in our institutions of learning.
Uzezi Theresa Egware: Of course I can’t host such a dinner without my best friend being present. She’ll observe what I didn’t do or say right and she’ll correct me so I don’t make the same mistakes next time.
Franklyne Ikediasor lives in Port Harcourt, and has lived here for over ten years. He enjoys running, cycling and getting together with friends to share bouts of wine fuelled laughter. Find him on Twitter @FabulousGuy_
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