An Interview with Augusta Aku: She published Twenty-Six books Within Eleven Months & Runs an Entrepreneurial School for Women

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On July 19th 2015, Augusta Aku presented twenty (20) books to the public, totalling the number of books published by her within a period of eleven [11] months to twenty-six. With more to come…

She serves as the President of the Association of Nigerian Female Authors (ANFA) Abia State Chapter , is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), and runs a Leadership and Entrepreneurial school for women whom she teaches  English language, Leadership studies, Entrepreneurial studies, Management and Business Administration.

In addition, she is set to embark on a scholarship scheme for pupils in pre-nursery and Nursery 1-3 in Mother Augusta Model Academy (MAMA).

In the course of our correspondence, she told me this:

“Have I told you that I teach the women with some of the extracts, interviews and blogs from Konnectafrica? I love you.”

Great way to start the week, isn’t it? Enjoy!

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KA: Welcome to Konnect Africa! If you weren’t a writer, what else would you be doing?

 I love writing; reading, talking to women and helping them fulfil their purpose. I am a teacher and a proprietor of a school. I am a Pastor and a Pastor’s’ wife. So, if I wasn’t a writer, I could have been all the above put together!

KA: Let’s get up, close and personal; Give us a bit of history and ethnicity.

I am from Ohafia in Abia State ,Nigeria. My parents are from Eziama Ikeduru in Imo State. I was born 45 years ago (28 August 1970). I retired from the Nigeria Postal Agency (NIPOST) years ago. I am the President of the Association of Nigerian Female Authors (ANFA) and a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). I live in the commercial city of Aba. I am married with children. I have written twenty-six books and have so many others to be published soon.

KA: Education; Where and what did you study? Did you have to take any additional classes to hone your writing?

 I read Mass Communication at the University of Nigeria Nsukka but unfortunately, I couldn’t complete the program (final year).  I am almost done with my NCE at a Federal College of Education. I also combined it with a degree program in another University. I have a teachers Grade 2 (TC 11) certificate. My background in Mass Communication has been an immense help to my writing career. My father was a newspaper columnist and I am married to a man who writes, holds a PhD in his field and has four other Diplomas in different fields.

KA: Did you or your folks ever imagine you would become a writer?

My mother has always believed in my ability. She believed that I took after her late husband, my father. I thought I was going to end up at the radio or television station but as God will have it, I had the encouragement that helped me to start writing.

KA: What are your influences as a writer? What influences your writing?

My influences are my father and my husband. My writing on the other hand is influenced by my environment.

KA: Kindly give a sneak peek/excerpt into your new book.

My latest work is an anthology of stories for the young and adult readers. They cover a wide range of issues. The objectives behind some of them are encapsulated in their titles. For instance “Chop I Chop” is a satire on the sharing of the national cake in Nigeria.” Bright Destiny” talks about a poor girl from a poor family who was helped by destiny to live her dream. “The Predators” is a war, an advocacy against violence especially violence against women. “My mother-in-law” is about a good and caring Mother in law.

Our society has been stereotyped to believe that all mother-in-laws are wicked but this book is about a caring and loving mother-in-law. It also emphasizes the need for intercultural and inter tribal marriages in order to encourage national integration.

“Trees are our friend” is a call against environmental degradation.” My Car is Bigger than Yours” is a call on all of us to eschew ostentation, greed and profligacy.  It encourages parents to send their daughters to school. I can go on and on.

These are the titles of my books:

  1. Who Cares? (A call for a paradigm shift and national rebirth.)

  2. God and His Women.

  3. The Beast ( an advocacy against domestic violence.)

  4. Patterns of Ministerial call.

  5. Human/Woman Right.

  6. The Dilemma of an African Wife.

  7. Bright Destiny.

  8. The Predators.

  9. What goes round…

  10. Ada the Modern Nightingale.

  11. Honesty is the best Policy.

  12. No condition is permanent

  13. Trees are friends.

  14. What you sow is what you reap.

  15. Omiko the Smart Guy.

  16. My Car is bigger than yours.

  17. The House Help.

  18. My Mother -in-law.

  19. Aminu the journey man.

  20. The Kind Angel.

  21. Stars don’t die.

  22. Words in our hands.

  23. The Tale of the four Girls.

  24. Chop I Chop.

  25. Ngozi the parboiled woman.

  26. The Amazon of Umuopara.

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KA: What were the challenges you encountered whilst writing and publishing these books?

My manuscripts were stolen and destroyed by my ex-husband. I have lost count of the number of books he destroyed. All that I am doing today are new works. Unfortunately for me I thought I had them until recently. At the beginning, I was afraid to start afresh but I have since overcome this challenge. There is also the challenge of financing my work.

KA: Do you see yourself as a ‘genre specific’ author?

No!

KA: Who are your favourite authors and what books have made the most impact on you?

My favorite authors are Chinua Achebe, Michelle Mckinney Hammond, Dave Balsiger, Chris Strong, Jack Canfield and Mark Hanson. I have received strength from Hammond’s “The Power of being a Woman”.

KA: Have you ever received a negative review of your book? What did you do about it?

When I give out my manuscripts to professors and doctors for editing, I find some of their comments discouraging but I sit back to ponder on what they have said. Often, they are right and I correct my works following their comments. They have been wonderful.

KA: How do you prod yourself to write on those awful days when it just seems so hard?

I don’t write except what I call “the anointing to write” is upon me. When it’s there, the words flow. Often I keep a pen and paper near because it can come unannounced. It also helps me to write down ideas and topics. Through this method, I’ve been able to collect over 160 titles from the supernatural.

KA: You are at a Writers Workshop; what do you tell the eager listeners who seek to better their skills?

“Read from the well of the masters!”

KA: What’s the best perk of being a writer?

The best perk of being a writer? I can speak to millions of people without meeting them physically! That means that I can send my message across and cause a paradigm shift from my reading table.

KA: Do you believe that writers can change the world?

Of course yes! Read about the Industrial revolution, the renaissance and the modern age inventions. They were all made possible by authors.

KA: Where can your books be purchased, online and offline?

Offline:

Aba: Dr Richyard Aku 131 Ehi Road Aba (+234 8063427113)

Abuja: Bar Agba (+2349096067040)

Port Harcourt: Mr Emma Agba (+234 80350 81356).

Lagos: Vivian (+ 2347036758880)

KA: Africa will rise when?

When 99 percent of our population start reading!

KA: Inspire an aspiring African writer in one sentence…

Keep writing, remain focused, someone somewhere is reading your work. You are making a difference and fulfilling the purpose for your creation.

© 2015, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya. All rights reserved.

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