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(Left: Obe Keno, Right: Ms Torkwase)

Another one!!!. (In DJ Khaled’s voice)🎤

I, Obe Keno, am excited to welcome YOU to Episode 15 of the YOUNG AND BOOKED SERIES.

Here with me today, is our guest. Meet Ms Ikyernum Torkwase, author of the poetry book: “Pain Is Gender Neutral”. (Yes, a female advocating for male rights!)

She is going to answer a few insightful questions about herself, her journey and perspective as a young author in Nigeria for us, and I know you’ll enjoy it so please grab some popcorn/a friend if you can, stay tuned and ENJOY!.

Keno: (smiling brightly) Welcome to the YOUNG AND BOOKED Series Ms Torkwase , thank you for having this interview.

Ms Torkwase : (smiles) Thank you so much Keno, for seeing me as important enough to get a session with you I’m deeply honored!. I love what you’re doing on this blog!.

*pssst….Hey YOU reading this, thank you for joining us in promoting the Nigerian Book Industry!.

Keno: (smiles) You definitely are important enough. Alright, I’ll begin by spilling the first question we have for you today…..You are actually our first Poet on the series!. What made you decide to write Poetry/be a Poet?.

Ms Torkwase : (smiles) Aww, I’m glad to be your first interviewed poet. Poetry is beautiful, and like I always say the right words make everything better. I didn’t just decide to become a writer though(laughs), I hit a tough patch in my adult life in the year 2019, so writing was my outlet and it did wonders to my soul. Till today I don’t forget thank God for the day I picked up my pen and wrote my first poem!.

Keno: (nods) Writing is a wonderful outlet, I love that for you. Question 2, You tagged your book : “Pain is Gender Neutral” as a tribute to men. Reading about your book on Amazon was what first drew me into asking you for an interview. It’s quite unusual to find a female writing about the injustice males face. I mean we have our own feminist movement!. (Laughs) So why did you think it was important that you write this book?. Any personal experiences?. When was the moment you realized you had to write it?.

Ms Torkwase : (smiles) My moment of truth; when I realized I needed to write my book was when I, as a female, discovered that a lot of men experience painful emotions as they face life’s often hard situations, but are not given the freedom and safeness to be open about it. Not with their mothers, fathers, partners or even their own children.

Keno: (nods) Hmmm…. That is really deep. Your book is one I am definitely intrigued about!. So Question 3, I have to ask; What is your favorite line from your book?.

Ms Torkwase: (smiles) This line is my favorite and it’s from the third poem in the book titled: “VULNERABILITY”. Dear man, Vulnerability Is Not A Curse. It Is Love.

Keno: Wow, Just wow. That’s really beautiful. Question 4, Did you have any challenges writing this book as a female?. If yes, how did you overcome them?.

Ms Torkwase: Yes, I did encounter some challenges writing this book, because I had to put myself in the shoes of a man, I had to think like one, feel emotions like one and because I’m NOT a man, it was difficult. But all through the process.I had a male figure who made it possible: MY DAD. I love him so much and he actually inspired this book (smiles).

Keno: (nods) Amazing. Question 5, How long did it take you to complete your book?.

Ms Torkwase: A month!. The book is not large and it does not have that many poems in it. I just needed to pass a message to all the men out there to know that being emotionally vulnerable is not a curse and it is okay.

Keno: Wow, a month!. That’s pretty fast. Question 6, As a young Nigerian author, what has been your greatest struggle?.

Ms Torkwase: (shrugs) That has been to break through from my mind to deeply connect with my readers and whoever comes across my work. I don’t write just for myself, I write for my readers as well. I write to express what they cannot. I write to make them know they are heard. I write to help them live the lives they want to live . I’m Nigerian and so, there are a lot of barriers, but I hope to scale through all those someday.

Keno: (nods) Okay. Question 7, What is the MOST important thing you want readers to take away from your book?.

Ms Torkwase: I want readers to be true to themselves. Every other day, I wake up and I strive to being true to myself. In as much as I say men should be vulnerable, safe environments have not been created YET for that and that IS why many of them still hold back. But I need my readers to know that you must not show vulnerability only to others, you can be vulnerable with yourself too and be vulnerable to whoever you worship also.

Keno: (smiles & nods) Lovely words!. Question 8, Are you currently working on any new books?. Give us the teaaaaa!.

Ms Torkwase: (laughs) Oh my gosh, yes I am. I have been doing so since the ASUU strike of last year, I hope to finish it soon, even though it’s on hold right now and I can’t really say much about it.

Keno: (nods) Well, I’ll be looking forward to when you publish it!. Finally, Question 9, What is something special you’d like the readers of this interview to know about you?.

Ms Torkwase: I’d like my readers to know that I’m in the phase of my life where I need things to work out for me, I need the country to be better for my future, I need to make the choices I think are best for me now. It’s a tasking stage of my life and I’m saying to everyone out there who might be in the same stage that we will surely pass through it and emerge fine in the end.

Keno: (smiles) Awwww, that’s kind of you!…..It was really delightful having you with us, Ms Torkwase . Thank you for this interview and for being our guest on the YOUNG AND BOOKED Series.

Ms Torkwase: It was a pleasure to do this with you. Thanks for having me. Dear Readers, I would LOVE to connect with you on Instagram.

Keno: Also, this is your invitation to join our Instagram community @taleofthebook if you aren’t already with us!. And you might want to check out Ms Torkwase’s book “ PAIN IS GENDER NEUTRAL”. It is very affordable and you may enjoy it!.

I don’t only write just for myself. I write for my readers as well. I write to express what they cannot. I write to make them know they are heard. I write to help them live the lives they want to live.

-Author Torkwase

Did you like something? Did you learn something from reading this interview?. We’d love to hear it…Leave a comment below or SHARE with others (please do one of those)!. Sending you love as you do!♥️💐

Read about this book.

Thank you for reading YOUNG AND BOOKED Series 1: Episode 15. Each time you read, you are showing your support for the cause. See you on the next Episode!.

*If this is your first time visiting this blog, please read more about the YOUNG AND BOOKED SERIES here…..

Join the TOTB Instagram community to get notified about new blog posts. Stay updated on exciting book recommendations/reviews!.



Published by Obe Keno

Hi, I’m Keno🙋🏻‍♀️ ~ I’m a writer ~ I review/publicize books 📚 ~ I Interview YOUNG ADULTS in the 🇳🇬 Nigerian Book Industry ~ Currently studying psychology ~ Believer in Christ ♥️💐

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