#WriterSpotlight – “Writing is amazing, it’s electric, and I am the conductor.” Ajikobi Ololade

What a great privilege i had, thanks to sparkle writers hub once again, first interview of the year, great.

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Hello Sparkle Writers. It’s the beginning of the year and we are excited to feature our very first writer for the year. Whoop! His name is Ajikobi Ololade and although he’s a young writer, he has achieved a whole lot.

This is his interview with us. Enjoy!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Ajikobi Ololade Emmanuel. I was born into a Christian home, and I’m the fourth child out of seven children. I grew up and had all my early education in the metropolitan city of Lagos. I’m currently studying ‘Pure and Applied Chemistry’ at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.

How did your journey as a writer begin?

Growing up as a kid with so much emotional imbalance, I had so many things trigger my feelings, my thoughts and my emotions, ranging from society to friends and to family. I searched and craved for…

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scAVENGERS!!!

I vividly remember the very first time I and my roommate scavenged for food at a wedding reception as students, that’ll be one of the most awkward and memorable day of our lives. We stood at a distance and carefully scrutinized the character of the woman dishing the food, was she approachable? Would she embarrass us? Would she understand our plight? The decision was hard to make.

Jide(my roommate) held tightly to his rumbling stomach and said to me “Guy, this hunger don dey pass normal ooo, make we summon courage go meet this woman now“. I took a deep sigh and gave the possible outcome of this our mission a second thought, was it worth it? I placed my hand around his shoulder and said to him “O boy, I’ve not done this before ooo, wetin I go tell the woman, me I no fit come face any embarrassment for here ooo“. You really need to see the look of utmost disappointment written all over Jide’s face, without any warning I slowly took my hand of his shoulder.

I was as hungry as he was, maybe even more, but I just couldn’t come to the fact I’m about to ‘beg for food‘, I can’t do this, I don’t know if I was just being a wimp or just egocentric. Jide kept giving me a nudge every time someone takes a plate of food past us, “Malo, this food go finish ooo” Jide inveigh. It was funny how I had a protruding belly when in fact it was as empty as Ajimobi’s threat, I began to feel the pressure more, I could see Jide fidgeting, I just stood there salivating. I was bigger, bolder, and more audible than Jide, that’s to no surprise why he kept putting me at the lead.

It was a Saturday, obviously, and my old man won’t be able to send money till Monday since his phone isn’t capable of doing mobile transfer and neither can he transfer through the automated teller machine, the thought of this just brought some kind of chakra upon me, courage, aura, confidence, boldness, guts, determination, call it whatever you like, I just felt that strong push from within(Lol,  that’s obviously hunger). I look Jide in the eyes, no words exchanged, but he got the drift.

I approached the woman with my face looking indifferent, no smile, no frown, Jide following me from behind like a puppet, I could tell he faked the smile on his face it looked more like he was smirking. Then the magical happened, you ever felt that “miracle feeling” like you just hit a jackpot, that “did that just happened” feeling, euphoria, elated, ecstatic, exultant, gay, triumphant, what I felt at that point can’t be expressed by words, it’s ineffable. Before I even got to present to the woman the meticulously crafted speech I already made in my head while Jide was fidgeting, she asked “What would you like to eat Sir” Sweet Jesus!!! She just called me a ‘Sir‘. You need to see this wide, teeth/gingiva revealing grin on Jide’s face, the woman had no idea. Believe me as I say to you we ate for Saturday, we ate for Sunday and we ate for Monday morning literally, we ate till we were filled to the brim, I suppose, because by midnight i could feel my stomach rumbling, naaa i wasn’t about to purge, it was empty again.

At the point when I was disseminating the meat with precision, I took a minute to just laugh at myself for being such a wimp, I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if I had missed out on such a good gains. Jide on the other hand, still wearing that grin, gave is bulging belly a tender rub, he looked at me and smiled, I knew something was up, he then said to me “So I was thinking….” I did not even let him finish before I shush him, I was not ready to begin another pep talk to myself just to by a polythene bag to collect “takeaway” I did not even let the thought sink in. “Ogbeni, we have earned a level of respect here already let’s just leave honourably“, once again Jide felt disappointed.
But guys, this is something I could have condemned someone else for, you never really know what you’re capable of doing till you’re met with abject and severe hunger, you never know.

Malo Maverick – Adventure

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This room, this four walls filled with people; my weight seeming weightless as eyes pointed in my direction like lasers; and I wanted the earth to shield me below the ground, to gulp me in a second.

Even as I sat in the front row, I could still feel their eyes perched on me; isn’t this where all cliché stories end? The lights from the statue of Jesus beamed on my forehead, and I remembered…

I plunged into things that I normally wouldn’t do; and it is so easy for you to lose yourself in a community; I did things I’m not proud of, things that makes me thankful the present isn’t a constant… The present past, the past history… Going back to my home, I always thought my mum was annoying, but I never knew it was the rush, the rush of youth and the adrenaline, emotions, hormones at their prime, whispering to me, deceiving me, arrogance my false friend. I was never emotionally balanced and depression was something I could be without going to college;

Happiness was something I struggled for like a fish ashore. And I wanted to know, I wanted to know everything, what does this taste like? What does she feel like? How do they do this, why do they act this way, what happens when I do that?

I got a taste of everything I wanted; many I regret, a few I loved. Now I look back to those days and wonder what I was ever thinking; why did I crush on her, she was so cheap, why did I need their acceptance so badly? I could have outshined them all by staying unique.

Is there is one thing I’ve known… It’s Adventure

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Marriage {War In Disguise}. A fictional excerpt.

From the crack in his voice during his part of the vow I could tell I was doomed. I was getting into a war I was not prepared for, a war I had never fought before. Even before the war began I knew there wasn’t going to be a truce. Lips are kissed, the vows are sealed.

 
It was just a week into this war, the battlefield was intense already. He stood right before me with his gun aimed at me, I was scared and confused not knowing what to do. He did not even wait for the command to shoot, I tried to speak but he shot at his will. Pow! No, not with a pistol but with his mouth. The bullet did not even have to penetrate right through me before it destabilized my mind. I was hurt. I was broken.

 

It’s 18 months into this war already and at this point I was praying for a round table meeting because they say that’s were the war ends and not on the battlefield. But he would rather be at the dinning table making me feed him like a child, he has inscribed fear on then walls of my mind and put in captivity my free will. Just after the meal I saw him coupling his gun together, I already knew what was going to become of me that noon, but I was far away from my hiding place, I had no where to run to. He aimed his gun at me and fired at will. Pow! No, not with a pistol but with his mouth. The bullet did not even have to penetrate right through me before it destabilized my mind. I was wounded. I was helpless.

 
Scores of years have gone by and the war is still on. He has won every single battle. On one fateful night, he got back from work, came into the house and yelled my name. I was in my hiding place. I knew he had his gun cocked already and ready to fire. He came to my hiding place and aimed his gun at me. No, not his mouth but his ‘sex pistol’. I don’t want this, I was scared as hell. I looked back and realized I had nothing in my Arsenal. He shot me several times. My heart was beating in resonance with the sporadic gunfire. Finally he left me laying on the battlefield with white blood stains all over my thighs. I was raped by my enemy during a war. I was molested. I was batteredlly beaten. I was broken into pieces. I longed for suicide. I doubted my existence the next morning.

 
It’s the following morning after a night of molestation. The war was still on. I was still left laying on the battlefield when he walked up to me with his ‘sex pistol’ aimed at me again. Has he cocked and was about to shoot. I stood up with courage and held his ‘sex pistol’ by the trigger. Mr man, it’s my turn to shoot a shot. Pow! I shot him right in his balls. No, not with my mouth but with a real gun… The battle did not end on a round table afterall.

 

Now Mr jailer, can I go to jail in peace!!!
©Malo Maverick

#FlashFiction

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#Fiction
Poverty is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that can’t be fully defined by just one sentence or ideology I should say.

‘Poor’ simply means lacking in something.

And while rummaging down its etymology I don’t recall finding it attached to money alone.

This is Adamu a native of Kakuri, Kaduna state in the northern part of Nigeria. He was born into a middle class family, having two younger sisters only. Adamu had everything he needed at his disposal unlike his friend, Musa, who was born into a lower third-class family. But yet, Adamu was poor, he was poor in morality, poor in knowledge, poor in wisdom, poor in spirituality and lacks a strong-will. He let his youthful exuberance cloud his goals and visions in life, veering him away from the true essence of life. He fell to the pressure from friend and foes umpteenth times, venturing into the abnormals of life. He lost all conscience and did the abominable. After several puffs of weed, the soot went straight to his sinus and instantly he became a puppet in the hands of the devil. Why he had to rape his sister was a thought that never left his mothers mind, giving insanity a upper hand in her life. After such atrocious act, Adamu had to flee his hometown going on an self-imposed exile. How could someone have so much wanton disregard towards his future. Here in Lagos, I was driving by when I saw a face I knew too well not to recognize, Adamu, looking so gaunt and half dead. I wanted to zoom off but I couldn’t help not saying hi. “Heyyyy, Adamu, it’s me Musa.” Yes, Musa, Adamu’s friend born into a lower third-class family now turned the presidents official photographer. After so much camaraderie, I took musa home and decided to do this short documentary on someone I always wanted to be like.
©Malo Maverick

The Cart.

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Everybody has a story to tell… I am still living mine.”  They say Life is not fair. I say life is fair because it’s unfair to all.”  My father tried all he could, he avoided the advances of Life, but he got raped by Life. At a tender age my father knew what it felt like to be molested by Life, he lived with that shame all his life. He lost his self-confidence because Life was everywhere laughing at his failure.He was mocked and his esteem depleted. But father had to move on, he survived on crumbs and scavenged the streets. He took up energy draining jobs with little pay. My father spent most of his years engrossed in his thought wishing he never met Life. Now my father wants all that years back, but sadly he can’t.

My father has spent a lot of years with Life and has known all her tricks and gimmicks, now my father knows how to manipulate Life. Every morning he will charge us(his seven children) with a speech ending it with “Life Will Not Get You” …believe me I have no iota of understanding what he really meant.

As a kid I had no worries, no responsibilities just living life as its served. But now as I get older I can sense the advances of Life. She’s everywhere waiting for fatigue to set in so she can take advantage of me. She wants me to live the fate of my father. But father already taught me how to go about Life when she puts a road block before me… Now I understand what all those unnecessary heavy knocks were for,those unnecessary yelling from father, those grounding, those gruesome drilling, those denials of my wants. Father understands my every reason for steps I took but he choses to misunderstand me, unknown to me he’s teaching me how to go about life when she grips me by the throat.

Six years ago(2010) father introduced another means of preparing us for a battle against life, “The Cart” I swinged into a state of melancholia when he presented it and wondered how this was a weapon against life. We can’t do this its a dirty job I and my siblings wept.
Without any preparation we hit the street and began to use this weapon. In the first few months the cart did more harm than good, I lost friends who wouldn’t want to be identified with a cart pusher, I lost my dignity and respect, I lost my reputation of being a lowly guy and people had wrong perceptions about me. I was discriminated, I was stigmatized, I was belittled, those are the worse that could ever happen. Tick-tock says the clock, it’s six years gone the block. Several wars fought, with life winning but a few. The cart still intact like a newly coupled car. Father is proud of his warriors. The cart was able to generate enough income to buy I and my siblings a private education, to guarantee us a three square meal, and our basic physiological needs, something my father never had. I never had all I wanted but I had all I needed, the love, the care, the support, the advice, the time and commitment from father and family. I am going somewhere, the paths might be bushy and steep but the destination is glaring. I’ve grown too big and strong for life to maneuver like a puppet, father and the cart already prepared me for this day and I won’t fail either of them. The camera is still rolling, I’m still living my story the type with a happy ending