Friday, January 2, 2015

The Author Speaks with Victor Olusanya

This is the third in a series of interviews featuring the seven OAU alumni who put together Sandstorms in June. You can download the anthology here.

Victor Olusanya was born and bred in Nigeria. He is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University. He enjoys reading, writing, drawing and web designing. His work has been published in Saraba Magazine, on Ynaija and elsewhere online.

Victor Olusanya
AA: Did you write 'Aluta Market' before or after the market was demolished? 
VO: Well, I actually wrote the poem before Aluta Market was demolished, but there was no avenue for me to really put it out there. Although, I initially posted a rough draft on my Facebook wall.

AA: What role has social media played in your development as a writer?
VO: Generally, social media has helped me grow as a writer. It has enabled me to showcase my work to the world and get responses from readers. When I signed on to facebook, I took advantage of it by posting stories and poems as facebook notes. I once put a whole story out there tweet by tweet.  I’ve also accessed the works of other writers via social media. So, basically, it has afforded me the opportunity to learn and to showcase my writing to the world. And the responses I get help me to improve as a writer.

AA: What relationship do you think exists now between the internet and publishing?
VO: Everything is being done online now. It is useful for authors to have blogs and websites that can make their work accessible to the world. Even conventionally published books need to be promoted online too, and this already happening. Most publishers now have facebook pages and twitter handles. The internet can reach people who may not even read printed books on a regular day, they are already online, and so they can read poems/stories on blogs, twitter or on facebook.

AA: Tell me about what inspired your anglo moz poem. Did you live in Angola?
VO: I did not live in Angola. I lived in Awo, the Castle of Great Men. Hmmm, Anglo Moz. My part one days in OAU were all about books, I did not really engage in any activity at Anglo Moz. I was a hostel-class-library-hostel student. But in part 2, it all changed, I had to chill a bit. So, the crux of the Anglo Moz experience was in my part two days. I was a regular customer there, LOL. So, I sat there one evening, waiting for someone. Before the person came, I observed certain things (SEALS LIPS)... So, my observations that evening inspired the poem "Anglo Moz".

AA: What does poetry mean to you?

VO: Poetry is like the love of an honest woman; special, subtle, sweet, splendid. It is life in its best form.

AA: What does OAU mean to you?
VO: OAU is a battlefield. Once you leave your room in the morning, you are definitely ready for war - in class, climbing stairs, getting food, submitting assignments. OAU is a citadel of learning and culture, and some intellectual Aluta.

  Victor Olusanya tweets via @lordhighway and blogs here.

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