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Friday, February 26, 2021

Adiitu's life story inspire 'Inulayewa' says Fagunwa - ITREALMS

Books@ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!

On Saturday 27th of February, Ibadan Book Club in conjunction with the Race Course Amphitheatre will be hosting Diipo Fagunwa, the surviving Son of Late D.O Fagunwa inside the Adamasingba Stadium in Ibadan as Guest Writer for the month of February. In this interview with Wole Adedoyin, he unveils details about his writing career and his latest book titled 'Inúlayéwà'.


WA: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START WRITING?

DF: My parents. My father was a writer and my mother wanted me to continue in the same vein.

WA: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?

DF: About thirty five years

WA: WHEN DID YOU START WRITING?

DF: I started writing as an academic in 1982. My first publication was in 1985. It was reprinted in 1986.

WA: HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A WRITER?

DF: Yes. I have been encouraged to explore writing by people and the goodwill they have always shown towards my father who was a writer. My late mother was also very enthusiastic about me being a writer.

WA: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A NEW WRITER, SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT?

DF: Give it a go. You never know the lump of charcoal you have, it may be diamond.

WA: HOW DO YOU HANDLE WRITER’S BLOCK?

DF: I have found them useful for sharing experiences.

WA: HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN?

DF: Four, although only One has been published. I have two books of short stories completed and a compilation of my tributes and requiems posted on social media. I am also writing my second novel ‘Ẹ̀míọlá’.

WA
WA: WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHARACTER?

DF: I really do not have a favourite character. I have always wound my stories round the narrator and narratives

WA: DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CHARACTER THAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN? IF SO, WHO? AND WHAT MAKES THEM SO SPECIAL.

DF: Inúlayéwà. His odyssey is what makes him special.

WA: WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION?

DF: Everywhere and anywhere; life is full of inspiration. My late mother was quite inspirational. She inspired me in a lot of ways. She was a great communicator with loads of intelligence and experience. I also get inspiration from my father’s stories and novels. For instance my novel ‘Ìfẹ́wùmí’ is a kind of continuation of Adiitu Olódùmarè (my father’s last published novel). Adiitu’s life story inspired the story of Inúlayéwà’s sojourn in me.

I always get a lot of inspiration from my friends and acquaintances. I have always kept friends with great sense of humour and warmth and what they say many times spontaneously inspire. One also gets inspired by the social groups one keeps as well as the streets etc. For instance what you hear from bus drivers, conductors, touts, traders, churches, mosques, meetings, gatherings and ordinary persons on the streets go a lot of ways to inspire creativity in a writer and sometimes create a background for storytelling. Above all I get a lot of inspiration from the Kegites, Palmwine Drinkard Club where I am an old Chief or former President and a Member of the Board of Trustees. Kegites’ language is fecund with inspiration, intelligence, wise cracks and sayings and their philosophies very rich and overwhelming.

WA: WHERE CAN READERS PURCHASE YOUR BOOKS?

DF: Bookshops and online with Amazon and some other outlets

WA: WHERE CAN READERS FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BOOKS?

DF: They can find out more about me from academic communities where I have kept many worthwhile friends. I can be traced on the internet especially with regards to some of my academic publications. I am a member of the D O Fágúnwà Foundation and very available with them. I have a bit of presence on the social media (Facebook) and some of my stories have been peddled around on WhatsApp. I went to some great schools especially Christ’s School, Adό Èkìtì where I have kept my network very active and it has been enriching. I also have many other friends and well-wishers who have access to me and of course my publisher (International Publishers) is helpful

WA: HAVE ANY OF YOUR BOOKS BEEN MADE INTO AUDIOBOOKS?

DF: No

WA: IF SO, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES IN PRODUCING AN AUDIO BOOK?

DF: I have not made any attempt to turn my books to audio yet hence I cannot be sure of challenges that may be attached. However my experience with my Father’s novels shows that there is a problem with copyright infringements. There are some of his works on audio being advertised and sold without permission.

WA: WHICH OF YOUR BOOKS WERE THE MOST ENJOYABLE TO WRITE?

DF: The one I am currently writing – Ẹ̀míọlá

WA: TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST PUBLISHED BOOK?

DF: It is a surreal adventure that is a follow-up to Adiitu Olódùmarè which was my father’s last published novel.

WA: WHAT WAS THE JOURNEY LIKE?

DF: It was interesting, fulfilling and uplifting. It gave me a sense of pride that I was able to continue the Fágúnwà legacy

WA: WHAT, IN YOUR OPINION, ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?

DF: Style and creativity. A writer is always in a classroom where his students are not contiguous but dispersed. Thus a writer must write with passion, empathy, skills, presence and comprehension. The language of the writer must be very ordinary, simple and easy to discern.

WA: WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR OF ALL TIME?

DF: My father; Chief D.O. Fagunwa

WA: YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BY HIM?

DF: Igbó Olódùmarè

WA: ON YOUR LATEST BOOK TITLED “IFEWUMI, THE TRAVAILS OF INULAYEWA” CAN YOU SHARE WITH US SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOOK.

DF: It is an adventure story of a man whose wife was abducted by his lunatic friend and he travelled round the world searching for his lost lady. He found his wife after twenty five years of sojourn that exposed him to varying life experiences and taught him about large heartedness, peace of mind and spirit of forgiveness.

WA: ARE THERE ANY SECRETS FROM THE BOOK, YOU CAN SHARE WITH YOUR READERS?

DF: The novel is a dance round day to day experiences of life

WA: WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR THE STORY?

DF: I wanted to continue my father’s legacy.

WA: WHAT IS THE KEY THEME AND/OR MESSAGE IN THE BOOK?

DF: Lessons on the Spirit of Forgiveness

WA: WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR READERS TAKE AWAY FROM THIS BOOK?

DF: Morals about large heartedness and eschewing themselves from bitterness and life of wickedness.

WA: WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TITLE?

DF: Literally speaking ‘Ìfẹ́wùmí’ means ‘I like Love’. The storyline is about Love and the problems that can come with it

WA: HAS A BOOK EVER CHANGED YOUR LIFE?

DF: Yes. All my Father’s novels have influenced me. I love ‘Tales from the Arabian Nights’. They have very wonderful literary styles; they are surreal and are rich on lessons of life, morals and living a life of quality. I find Shakespeare’s works very inspirational too and full of wise sayings. I have also enjoyed Chinua Achebe’s works. His delivery is of the quality of the village story teller; indeed he was a cultural man with classic mastery of words and delivery.

WA: WHAT GENRES DO YOU LOVE?

DF: Surreal adventures

WA: ARE THERE ANY GENRES YOU DISLIKE?

DF: No

WA: WHAT AUTHOR (WHO IS STILL LIVING) WOULD YOU DEARLY LOVE TO MEET?

DF: None that I have not met at the moment

WA: DO YOU LIKE TO DISPLAY YOUR BOOKS ON A BOOKSHELF OR KEEP THEM IN A VIRTUAL LIBRARY?

DF: I always display my books on shelf and virtual library

WA: DO YOU PREFER FLASH FICTION, SHORT STORIES, NOVELLAS, OR NOVELS?

DF: I love short stories

WA: WHAT BOOK CAN YOU RECOMMEND TO ME?

DF: Many; especially the African Writers Series

WA: WHEN DID YOU LAST VISIT A LIBRARY?

DF: Last year in the UK. COVID 19 has not allowed current visits.

WA: HAVE YOU EVER HAD A CRUSH ON A BOOK CHARACTER?

DF: No

WA: HAS A BOOK EVER MADE YOU LAUGH OUT LOUD?

DF: Yes; many. The social media is very rife now with interesting creative writings.

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