TRUE LOVE

Photo source: Pinterest

Let’s fall together

into that deep pit 

called love

and when we do

it’ll be just us alone

helping each other 

clean up and treat the

injuries and wounds 

 that we sustained 

as a result of the fall

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” Never sit on your hands in lazy judgement and criticism of your ability, because if everyone did so, you wouldn’t be reading any text today.”_ Cherif.

It’s been a long time since we had a guest on the blog. But luckily, we found Ogundele Sherif Opeyemi and when we asked for an interview, we were really happy he agreed to the offer. Sherif is a budding writer in his early twenties. He’s also a Medical Laboratory Science student at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). But his immense passion for the arts is what makes us find him interesting, and this why we’ve invited him to the blog; to share a bit of himself, his experiences and some of his opinions as a young writer. 

You’re welcome to Elitzone…

Thank you very much.

So why writing, why does it attract you so much?

Um, let me say here that my head’s a Mecca of ideas and I have an ecosystem to channel my epiphanies. So I can choose to do abstract art sometimes, a collage or whatever zany mechanism pops up. Writing happens to be the most comfortable pick of the pack. Einstein once said ‘creativity is imagination having fun’. So I’ll say writing is self-seduction to me; a way of seeing how much I can ‘wow’ myself. I guess that’s why it attracts me coupled with the fact that I have an uncontrollable need to express myself.

How old were you when you started writing?

I have always been a writer, I just started calling myself one ( thanks to a Jeff Coins article I read). But I started scribbling on sheets for storage at the age of 18/19. Now I’m 21.

How would you describe your style and pattern of writing, and would you say it has worked for you?

On close inspection, you may find a thematic pattern in my writing, but when it comes to style, I am formless. I have a grave-low threshold for boredom in myself and other people, so I constantly challenge myself to self-annihilate my previous works, a style I borrowed from Paul Sloane’s book,The leader’s guide to lateral thinking when he discussed the philosophy of Gillete.

Interesting. From all you’ve said, one thing is quite obvious and that is you’re not just a writer but an avid reader. I especially like the fact that, you don’t rely solely on your own reasoning when it comes to your work. So about authors, do you have any favourite and why?

I don’t think I have a favourite author. Probably because I haven’t read books as much as I would love to (but I do read a lot of articles from psychcentral, psychology today, 99u and others from my email feed). Nonetheless, I do have some favourite writers. Starting from Thomas Carlyle, Lenore Thompson, Elnathan John, B. Dani West, Saul Williams,and I musn’t fail to mention Maria Popova, she happens to be one of my literary obsessions. She’s breathtakingly brilliant and refreshing. The beautiful rest my clumsy brain can’t permit me to mention at the moment

I also noticed you have an inclination towards foreign authors? Is this deliberate?

No. My preferences aren’t dictated by colour or the  belief the whites are better off. I simply have a high standard for quality and I really don’t care where it comes from. Besides, I mentioned Elnathan John, he is Nigerian and I am pretty sure there are others out there like him too who can depict a story in a most visceral and human manner. I must say, I really felt BORN ON A TUESDAY

Do you think foreign opinions count when it comes to writing?

I think all opinions deserve to be respected and inspected. Preference shouldn’t be given to opinions… Writing just as with music and other forms of art is a universal thing and everyone surely has his or her take. What matters is rigorous analysis by means of critical thinking as opposed to passive acceptance and mindless regurgitation.

Going through your Instagram feed@the_anonymous_cherif, you have lots of poetry on there, did you choose this genre?

Well, I also write opinion pieces, argumentative essays, book reviews, social analysis, character analysis all with psychological themes on my blog, theanonymouscherifblog. Instagram is just a literary bubble for me where you can see my heart. If you want a look at my brain, then my blog has that. Besides, poetry is reductive in most parts and that gives me a lot of headache because I prefer to pour the paint on the canvas rather use deliberate brush strokes.

I found this really relatable…


Do you consider writing a profession, if so, when this hit you?
Writing started out in a magical way. I remember those first two weeks when I wrote uncontrollably like it were to signify my ripened time as a kind of messenger. Then school happened, and  writing went from compulsion to therapy, journalising and then was when my philosophical bent notched up a bit. It advanced to a profession recently when I discovered I could actually live my life in the trifecta of writing; a Maria Popova kind of living.

 

Are you saying there’s a possibility of your giving up Medical Laboratory Science completely for writing?

Not really, I plan on pursuing both, but overtime, I suspect my love for one( writing) is titling the other off the scales…

We have it that you’re currently working on a book, can we talk about that please, Could you give us a brief insight into this new project? What do we hope to expect from it? Who’s the intended audience? 

*Smiles* My current book in the works was borne simply out of a wish to see my works in the best possible form. But subsequent ones would be carefully calculated.

The reader should look forward to a high degree of symbolic writing, social analysis and mushiness (yeah, I do a bit romanticism too) as well as radicalist/ conspiracist literature. It’s most surely not your everyday form of poetry.

The book is titled from a SNIPER’S PERSPECTIVE. It’s a poetry anthology that touches from the personal to the public and it’s more of a bullhorn for my very subjective self. I don’t  want to promise much, but a look at my body of work on IG could give a sneak peek into what you should be expecting.

So you’re trying to get a book published , how would you feel if a publisher condensed your work?

Dousing my body of work as a publisher isn’t in any way going to be feasible because I believe it takes out the writer’s soul from the manuscript and that’s surely something I think any writer/artist would strongly avoid, because if you can’t see yourself in your work, it automatically becomes bland. And it may go ahead to reduce the enthusiasm in promoting the book.

Very well said, but what if it was for the good of the book, such as having to cut out unnecessary parts..

I think what’s unnecessary is a function of convention in language and that’s something  I am aversive to. This isn’t to say I don’t pay attention to elegant reduction in my writings ( I apply Occam’s razor philosophy when writing) but once I’m satisfied with my work, it’s case closed, except of course, it’s a spelling error or something of sorts.

When then might we be seeing this work from you?

As much as I would have loved to give  a release date, I can’t because of the need to win the loyalty of fans both in Nigeria and abroad, but I can say in the not-too-distant-future.

Are your parents aware of this move, if this is so, what has been their reaction so far?

It’s still in the works and it’s ill-advised to throw them in the nebulous process…

Okay then, what would you say has been been the most difficult writing process in the course of your new career?

Writing is always difficult for me; when I really want to do a heck of a job and best my best, but, I somewhat find painting a literary portrait of ladies gruesomely difficult.

With a year of the writing experience( as stated recently on your IG) what’s the most important thing you’ve learnt so far?

If there’s anything experience has taught me as a scatterbrained person, it is the NIKE slogan; Just do it! Don’t worry how whack and laughable you may come across as that big jerk of a critic warns you. One line after another, one day after, one piece after another, little by little, you’re getting to that top you’ve always dreamed off.

Wow. Honestly I must admit I’ve gained so much just from this little discussion with you. Makes me look forward to reading your book. I wish this could go on, but for the sake of our readers and time, we just have to conclude … but before you leave, do you mind dropping any piece of advice you might have for ‘ wanna be writers’ out there?

*laughs* Advice really?  Well, as a writer, you should always strive for accuracy. Writing is a recycling of reality and that requires you to be a Sherlock Holmes kind of detective when it comes to observation. Write what you want to see, absorb as much as you can and of course, be a truthteller. Also remember to live in one-day literary apartments and have time to reflect on your progress, but NEVER sit on your hands in lazy judgement and criticism of your ability because if everyone did so, you won’t be reading any text today.

Thanks a lot for spending time with us on Elitzone, enjoyed every bit of it , we wish you success on your new book…

Thanks for hosting me.

My favourite piece from Cherif

 

That’s it guys. From this small talk , one can’t deny the fact that Cherif indeed is a gem of insights. We can only imagine what his pending book holds for us…

If you want to connect more with him or have more questions for him, you can do so via his IG @the_anonymous_cherif.

P.S.For anonimity sake, just as his pen name suggests, Cherif felt he should stick to that and so couldn’t provide us with a picture of himself.

 

Thanks for taking time to read through…

And once again this is wishing you a
Happy holidays💕
Remember to stay safe and out of trouble.

THE DOCTOR’S CHRISTMAS

TITLE: The Doctor’s Christmas

AUTHOR: Marta Perry

TYPE: Fiction

GENRE: Romance

PUBLISHER: Steeple Hill Books

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2003

FORMAT: Paper back

PAGE COUNT: 252

ISBN: 0-373-87242-9

 

Love met Christmas when Dr.Grant Hardesty met Maggie , at a time he was made to serve at the Button Gap residency as a volunteer doctor. Although at first, both see and believe that working together might be a tough choice and a force to reckon with, eventually, differences are set aside, especially after much realisation of truths between them. And with God’s intervention, Dr. Hardesty and Nurse Maggie learn to help each other by forgiving themselves and the past, while getting prepared for new and better beginnings.

 

Marta Perry’s Christmas tale is an evergreen one as it could be told countless times without losing its meaning and values. What’s more, reading this story helped to lift my Christmas spirits but mostly showed me the importance of the season; giving love.

RATING: 3.5/5

 

This is because in some areas of the book  I found myself predicting the next line of action before it occurred, and this didn’t give room for much suspense.

 

But in all, “The Doctor’s Christmas” was an interesting read. I don’t know if it was a deliberate act, but I loved that while reading this story you could find some giggles . Plus , the characters in their  mannerisms were very much real and relatable.Also, if you love a story that has villains and heroes in it, then this book is for you.

 

I shouldn’t fail to take note of the fact that, this is one of the few books, if not the first book I’ve read that carries a personal note from the author herself. This made me feel even more connected to Marta Perry.

 

 

Interested readers can get a copy of this book…

 

This is wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New year ahead from the Elitzone family.

 

Cheers.🍻

 

 

MATURED FRUITS

Is that the one you want?

Then wait, just a little bit more

Don’t forcefully pull her out

Give her sometime to grow

Allow her mature and ripen fully

Only then will she fall easily 

Ready to be picked up

And taken home by you.

ON BECOMING

No one knows what you have been through or what your pretty little eyes have seen, but I can reassure you- whatever you have conquered, it shines through your mind.

                                              Nikki Rowe

Photo source: @rovingheights

TITLE: On Becoming

AUTHOR: Toke Makinwa

TYPE: Non-Fiction

GENRE: Memoir

PUBLISHER: Kachifo Limited

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2016

FORMAT: e-book

PAGE COUNT: 122

ISBN: 978-978-54604-0-7

SOURCE: Gift

On Becoming by Toke Makinwa is a book that tells a true life story of the author. It gives account of a rather tragic tale of how she (Toke) lost everything of value to her, from her parents to her long time boyfriend; later turned husband, to even herself. But through her loss (which was a life changing event for her) she learnt about herself and life. And this made her strive to become more and better than she had been in the past. It is for this reason Toke shares her story to serve as an aid and source of inspiration to those who might be going through or must have gone through similar pain.

Below are 11 lessons I put together as sourced from the book:

1.LIFE:

 Life would always take care of itself. Work hard, put in good effort in all that you do, but try not to get too caught up by what results may bring. Eliminate troubling thoughts about the future, because eventually things will fall into place.

2.FEAR:

The act of fear destroys. It destroys basically everything about our lives including ourselves. Unnecessary fear builds up insecurities, which if care isn’t taken might eat deep into our souls and in turn affect our personal functioning.

3.ADVICE:

 You’ll hear stories. People would give all sorts of advice. But it’s left to you to decide on which to take in and which to discard. Yes, they’re your friends, but not all of them have your best interests at heart. Some, especially those already damaged will do anything to destroy you as well. Remember. advice is cheap.

4.LET GO:

If it’s not doing you any good, then allow yourself break free. We shouldn’t hold onto things that stop us from living life to the fullest, be it a job, friend, lover or even thoughts. Learn to let go and watch yourself experience great freedom.

5.FLAWS: 

We all have them. No one is without a scar. Not all mishappenings are always as a result of the next person’s actions. Some of the faults might have come from your end. Examine yourself…

6.COMMUNICATION: 

Communication is essential in all our dealings with people. It’s important to keep an open mind and be willing to share our problems with others just as they do with us. Engaging in such discussions would help you discover a thing or two about yourself as well as your problem. Most importantly, communication builds trust.

7.OPINIONS: Everyone likes to give one, even when they aren’t so versed such areas. But unless it’s a constructive one, the opinions of others shouldn’t count. Most people, claim to know what’s best for others whereas such people are yet to figure out what’s good for them.

8.PAIN: Pain is an inevitable aspect of life. Yet so many try to avoid it by all means. It’s advisable to allow yourself experience pain once in a while. Truth is, most pain related experiences are usually life lessons, they come our way to prepare us for the next phase. And when we refuse to partake in such lessons, we miss out on important details. This leaves us uninformed and without any idea on how to go about the next stage. Thus, we remain in the same spot for a long time, not learning…not growing.

9.FAMILY: After all said and done, these are the people who end up having our backs the most. They are the ones who truly understand our weaknesses and honestly accept them. Sometimes when we are blind to it, they are the first ones to notice a budding problem and call our attention to it. But as certain mistakes are bound to occur, we put on deaf ears, before we know our little problem grows bigger and turns out mightier than we alone can handle. At this point, we notice people starting to withdraw, friends turning their backs. Eventually we are left with no one else to turn to but family.

10.BALANCE: As humans, we’ve been specially designed to be able to carry out numerous tasks. This is a unique gift to us.But then, we must ensure that in carrying out these tasks things are put in balance. Every area of our lives should receive equal treatment, one aspect shouldn’t be left to suffer and crumble just because we’ve decided to give more attention to another. Our lives can be likened to an organisation, if a section of the organisation isn’t performing as expected it affects other sections hence, leading to the fall of such an organisation. Balance gives room for us living steady lives.

11.PRAY: When all else fails, then find time to communicate with the one who has placed you here. Express yourself freely, pour it all out to Him. Pray and communicate in faith that He hears your voice and trust that He’ll give answers to your call.

 

Read the book On Becoming by Toke Makinwa and want to share your thoughts with us, please feel free to do so in the comment section provided below.