You are welcome to another highly inspirational and impactful interview on KonnectAfrica.Net, Africa’s No.1 Inspirational Platform for African Youths. My name is Arise Arizechi. How are you doing?
Today, we feature our interview with a young Nigerian Lawyer who is doing great things in the field of poetry. His works are simply amazing and his rich knowledge and passion shines through every word he pens down.
Without much ado, let me introduce to you, Mr Kelechi Nwosu. Relax and enjoy the interview.
Welcome to Konnect Africa! If you weren’t a writer, what else would you be doing?
Writing has always been part of me even though I am a lawyer by training. I never thought of commercializing my talent up until a friend gave me a challenge to write something in any genre of literature; be it poetry, prose or drama. I chose poetry because I believe that poetry is the most tasking and most sublime of the three.
In secondary school I came out tops in Literature in English in my classes and in my final year (In the prestigious Methodist College Uzuakoli Abia State) I emerged as the best graduating student for the year 1991. I was awarded a certificate of proficiency together with a book prize. I had good grades in my WAEC with an A in Literature in English.
Whatever it is that I write, people are always wowed by what they call my deepness of thoughts and my ability to use symbols and images. Some say that I am bound to rule the world with my creative abilities. Some are also impressed with what they call my abilities to push the boundaries of creativity with candour and objectivity. Some have described me as being sublime and kind with my imaginations.
Let’s get up, close and personal; Give us a bit of history and ethnicity.
My name is Kelechi C. Nwosu, I am a male Nigerian citizen, a private legal practitioner based in Abuja Nigeria. I am Igbo by tribe and hail from Umukabia in Ohuhu Umuahia Abia State Nigeria.
Education; Where and what did you study? Did you have to take any additional classes to hone your writing?
I studied Law at Abia State University and the Nigerian Law School. I was called to the Nigerian Bar in the year 2001.
I didn’t take any additional classes to hone my writing. However, as a child I read any and everything I saw: novels, newspapers magazines, text books, no matter what subjects they were as long as they were expressed in English language. Consciously or unconsciously, these things I read in the past all come back to me when I want to write. Back then also I wrote a lot of letters for a lot of people in my community. The recipients of these letters (usually sons and daughters living in the cities) would always accord me a lot of respect and would wonder at my clarity of thoughts and expressions as well as my large collection of vocabularies at such a young age. I wrote love letters too for myself and for friends and colleagues as well and enjoyed all the attendant commotions and hullabaloos from the opposite sex
Back then in secondary school, my teachers sought me out and I assisted with their assignments; those of them doing courses on Literature in English in the Universities. These exposed me to a lot of reading and writing and to many authors and their works of literature. Back then also I used to critique the works of some young and aspiring writers who are established authors today.
As a practicing lawyer today, judges, colleagues and clients usually appreciate my writings and my expressions. They say that I read and write in-between the lines and that I hear both the spoken and unspoken words of every given situation in addition to the fact that I usually choose words, phrase and sentences that are superlative in nature.
Did you or your folks ever imagine you would become a writer?
From childhood, family and community people usually saw me as one who is very expressive. They wondered at the kinds of questions I asked and the answers I sought. As a child, I was hired by both women and men meeting groups to record proceedings of meetings. Sometimes, some people were in awe of the things I wrote and the way I wrote them. But then, I did not see what they were seeing, so I wasn’t really motivated to start writing and publishing early enough.
What are your influences as a writer? What influences your writing?
I read the bible a lot and draw much inspiration from it. My preference is the King James Version of the scriptures because of its sublime renditions. I usually form pictures of whatever I read and I have a way of relating them to life and its variegated experiences. Every person I meet and every situation and encounter of mine usually holds something new and fresh for me. If I am challenged at any given time, I could come out with a literary piece that would wow my challenger(s).
I love the works of Shakespeare. The works of Achebe and Chimamanda thrill me. I want to be like them when I grow up.
I believe in humanity and all that God created. I look closely enough to discover something good and beautiful in everything and everyone I see. People say I am kind in all the ways that count and that it plays out hugely in my writings. Primarily, situations and circumstances of life influence my writings. Of influence also are my life’s ideals, experiences, encounters, interactions, personal philosophies and one particular vision that God has given me for Africa.
Kindly give a sneak peek into your new book.
The title of my book is SINUOUS WALK OF THE TIGER.
Sinuous Walk of the Tiger is an anthology of 104 poems that bestrides the strata of politics, relationships and lifestyles, projecting the realities of life in Nigeria, Africa and the World, from a broad reflection of the unique and subjective experiences of individuals and collectives. Full of influences and interplay of people living and loving, the myriad of their experiences with reality; the good, the bad and the ugly and portraying the fact that people not only make the world go round but whatever goes around comes around.
Some of the poems include: –
- The King and the Rainmakers
- The Irony of Nostalgia
- First Daughter of Africa
- Vivisection of Africa
- Good Men do not die
- MTN Nigeria
- Bretton Wood Twins
- Epic Personage
- The Largesse of my Uncle
- Uncommon Transformation
- Baby Oku (Hot Babe) etc
What were the challenges you encountered whilst writing and publishing the book?
The bulk of my challenges while crafting this book stemmed from the rigors of research that attended the entire enterprise. But in all of it, I can boldly say that God helped me.
For the less than one year that I spent researching and writing this 235 paged book embedded with very beautiful images, I had endless sleepless nights and troubled days. For me, writing is more spiritual than physical. When I am inspired to write, neither sleep nor any other force of nature can hold me back.
When I got done with writing and was ready for publishing, I had difficulties in choosing my publishers. I spoke to a few publishers locally and internationally. Owing largely to the many positive reviews that my work received in its unpublished state, I decided to go for the publishers with the capacity to benchmark my anthology with the best works around the world. I chose Outskirts Press Parker in Colorado USA because of the Pole Position they occupy within the ranks of self-publishing companies around the world. I believe they have done a good job with the publishing of my literary work SINUOUS WALK OF THE TIGER. My publishers are equally set to help project, market and distribute my book around the world.
My challenge is in getting capable sponsorship for the promotion of the book in terms of Media Blitz, Press Conferences and official Launch/Book Presentations and Unveiling in Nigeria, across Africa, in the USA and around the world as well as the management of the stardom and economic successes potential with the book.
My publishers and the academia say that I have a fantastic writing style. They said that my collection is a wonderful piece of art work. They said that I have a knack for details. They said that my language is condensed and quite beautiful; that it affects emotions and thoughts on multiple levels through the use of symbols and imagery.
They said that I make it easy for readers to identify with my words. They acknowledge the quality of time, the amount of planning and preparation I put in, in the crafting of my works. My publishers in the USA believe that mine are excellent works that could be made into films fit for Hollywood and songs that Super Stars would die to sing.
Do you see yourself as a ‘genre specific’ author?
Though I started with poetry, I do not see myself as being genre specific. I can tell such stories that Achebe told, I can write such things I read of Chimamanda. When people read my anthology of poems, they ask for my prose and my drama. They do not believe that I am a debutant author.
Who are your favourite authors and what books have made the most impact on you
I love Shakespeare and all that he represents.
Francine Rivers inspires me with her works particularly her Lineage of Grace series. I love the works of Fanny Crosby of blessed memory- the American world renown blind Hymn Writer.
The works of late Professor Chinua Achebe, late Nadine Gordimer of South Africa and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie inspire me. Corrie Ten Boom of blessed memory is my mentor. When I survey the literary and spiritual works of these wonderful people, I am inspired to want to leave lasting legacies for this beautiful place called earth with all the gifts God has endowed me with.
If I have done well with poetry, I can do better with prose and drama.
Have you ever received a negative review of your book? What did you do about it?
Some friends complain of the loftiness of many of my poems in terms of language and expressions i.e. the high sounding words that I use. For me, I do not think I should do anything about it because I believe these are what give me colour and accord me distinction in the literary world of woods with particular reference to poetry.
How do you prod yourself to write on those awful days when it just seems so hard?
For me I believe that inspiration is divine and writing is more spiritual than physical. When I lack inspiration, I rest, I sleep, watch movies, read the scriptures and other books, browse the internet, go visiting with friend, hangout etc. But above all else I pray and call forth inspiration either personally or I call for prayers when I lack the zeal and power to pray; at church or fellowship levels, from my pastors, leaders and fellow brethren.
You are at a Writers Workshop; what do you tell the eager listeners who seek to better their skills?
My sincere counsel would be: Write whatever you are inspired to write and keep on at it. Read other peoples writings get inspired by them and not intimidated. Allow people who know to do honest critique on your work.
Look for literary societies where persons of like-passion converge for literary activities and join them. These places surely afford veritable opportunities for inspiration and grooming. Employ prayers for it works, if indeed you know the God that answers prayers.
What’s the best perk of being a writer?
Being a writer and particularly a published author imbues me with a high sense of accomplishment and boosts my desire to write more. Within a short time, it accorded me a pride of place in society. Friends and well-wishers as they get to know my intellectual worth call on me to come and do my thing whenever the need arises.
Presently, I am being called upon to do pieces of poetry on occasions for dignitaries for some honorarium. They wonder at how difficult it could be for me, but it is indeed the easiest thing because I write from my heart effortlessly as soon as I connect with whoever I am writing for. I believe with time more paper cowries will follow.
Do you believe that writers can change the world?
For me writers hold all the nine aces. The scripture says, “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry”.- Habakkuk 2:2-3.
Writers are prophets, for the now and for the future.
It was the “I HAVE A DREAM” treatises of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior (MLK) that clothed the emergence of President Barack Obama as the first black President of the United States of America with a sense of Déjà-vu. Mankind stood astonished at the certainty of MLK’s orations and the potency of his dreams. These celebrated orations were well documented and they changed the world forever, therefore for any worthwhile vision or idea to gain prominence, it must be captured in writing otherwise their usefulness and integrity may be lost with time. I believe and strongly too that writers can change the world.
Where can your books be purchased, online and offline?
My book could be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on several other platforms on the internet around the world. More particularly my book could be ordered directly from my publishers- Outskirts Press Parker Colorado USA through my web link: outskirtspress.com/sunnyboy.
There are the paperback version and the eBook version that could be downloaded on mobile devices, computers and laptops. I shall soon have a Nigerian edition.
Africa will rise when…
The time for Africa to arise is now, not tomorrow. There can be no better time. We have all that it takes.
Inspire an aspiring African writer in one sentence…
If you belong with us, do not give up no matter what the odds are. Carry on and make it work, for the land is green indeed.
Many thanks for sharing with us straight from your heart, Kelechi
You are welcome
Till we come your way with another highly inspirational interview, keep rising!