STAYING ALIVE COMES FIRST, WRITING COMES SECOND – BURA-BARI NWILO.

Meet Bura-Bari Vincent Nwilo. A writer and a graduate of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, a vocal voice for the Nigerian youth, he uses his Facebook to pass across important messages coated with humour. Bura-Bari also does photography.

– Who is Bura-Bari Nwilo?
– – I am human. I am a dreamer, writer and lover of all things good. These are all I think I know about myself. I am also a bit sure that if you kept a bottle of Heineken in your refrigerator and left me alone in your house with a fine beer glass, I’d drink the beer and send you a sms to bring home another one.

– Where did your love of story-telling come from?
– -These things come from experimentation. I started with articles. Sometimes they never made sense. I later discovered poetry and gradually, I picked interest in short fiction. Maybe, someday, I may grow into a novelist. To answer your question, I can’t tell when it started but the love could have come from creating using materials found around me.

– How long have you been writing?
– -I have been writing since secondary school. I left there in 2006/07. That’s a while.

– Does your book relate to your personal life?
– -My non-fiction does. My fiction may be set around me but they do not usually have such elements of realness aside the settings. The actions are fictitious.

– How did you become involved with the themes around your new book A TINY PLACE CALLED HAPPINESS?
– -Ehmmm, I have been experimenting with some philosophies. One of such is happiness and what makes happiness. And then while we may have universal benchmarks, happiness is pretty much individualistic. The book captured this. Tragedy could be happiness for some people but it is not in the place of the writer to judge them, the characters but to tell their stories. That’s it.

– What were your goals and intentions when writing the book?
– -I wanted to tell stories and I guess I did that. I wasn’t going to right some wrongs. I wanted to just tell stories.
Do you think you are achieving them?
Yeah. It is a process. I’d be here for a while and I guess I’d achieve it.

– Can you share your experiences when writing the book?
– -It is a collection. Many of the stories were written years ago. Some were added. The experience has been that of observation. I guess I had to pay more attention to the things around me to paint something close to realism.

– Is any of your character based on any real life person?
– -Some of them are named after people I know but they are not modelled after them. They are unique.


– What was the hardest part of writing your recent book?
– -The thought of an audience for it gave me sleepless nights. And I had to edit out some terms that some people found uncomfortable. Those were uneasy.

– Was there writer’s block?
– -It is a slim book. No. There was no such block.

– How were you able to figure your way out?
– -I am crazy and crazy folks pretty much get their stuffs figured out with time.

– References to Ogoni tribe is pronounced in your works, why is it so?
– -I am Ogoni.

– Which moments do you cherish most when writing this book?
– -Making the characters funny and mischievous. I didn’t enjoy creating the sad ones.

– One of the stories in the book IN THE DARK has a subtle theme of homosexuality to it, are you sympathetic towards their cause?
– -Their cause sounds more like it is a distant thing. Our cause is more like it. Yes, I think adults should live their lives.

– What misconceptions do people have about your book?
– -That it is a book of motivations.

– Is Rotten English your own peculiar kind of English?
– -Nah. It is a blend. I did not invent it.

– What inspires you?
– -Everything does. Life. Water. Drinks, laughter. Everything does.

– Who are your favourite authors?
– -Everyone who writes beautifully inspire me.

– How did they influence your writing?
– -I read them and fell in love.

– Are you a full-time writer?
– -I guess I am. But I do other things to stay alive.

– If yes, do you think it is profitable?
– -It is uneasy but it is achievable.

– If no, what are your career goals?
– -To live and be happy. I am not so much of a career person. I want to be happy.

– How do you feel about ebooks?
– -They are alive.

– Should we expect PDF versions of your book soon?
– -We have such.

– You won WAW 100 flash fiction contest recently, do you think winning writing contest shows how good a writer is?
– -It shows that you could be disciplined and keep to rules. It does help you though. It is cool but I don’t like it. I hate contests.

– What is the future of reading and writing in Nigeria?
– -It is enormous. I am optimistic. But again, life is biting.

– How often do you write?
– -These days, staying alive comes first. Writing comes second. But I try to write something daily or weekly.

– Which books are currently on your reading list?
– -So many of them. Non-Nigerian books.

– What are you currently working on?
– -Nothing at the moment. I have thoughts in my head thought but they are too young to be shared.

With my own pages of happiness

Thank you Bura-Bari Nwilo for your time. You can get his new book A Tiny Place Called Happiness on Konga https://www.konga.com/catalog/product/view/id/3064003

Fairchild Morgan on Facebook, AMAB publishers. You can also find some of his works on Okada books.
You can follow Bura-Bari Nwilo on Facebook @Bura-Bari Nwilo
Instagram @Burabarinwilo
His show @The Bura-Bari Nwilo show.

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