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(Left: Obe Keno, Right: Ms Testimony)

You are welcome to Episode 16 of the YOUNG AND BOOKED SERIES.

Here with me today, is our guest. Meet Ms Testimony Odey, a budding, award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and author of the book “ULOMA”.

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 Testimony , thank you for having this interview.

Ms Testimony : (smiles) Thank you Keno, for having me as a guest on this amazing series, 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) Alright, I’ll begin by spilling the first question we have for you today…..You published your first book “Uloma” in 2022, how would you describe it in a sentence?.

Ms Testimony : (smiles) Writing “Uloma” was an exciting ride and if I was to describe it in one sentence, this would be it: Uloma is a novel set in a suburban Nigerian home with a mixture of all the trappings that make an average home – the daily grapple with poverty, the escape route of religious fanaticism, and a desperate mother’s attempt to make a life for herself and her family.

Keno: (nods) Nice summary. That sounds interesting. Question 2, When did you start writing and how would you describe what the concept of “writing” means to you as an individual?.

Ms Testimony : (smiles) At age 7, I started writing. I also fell deeply in love with the library; it was my safe space and one of my favorite places. As for what writing means to me as an individual, it is like opening a door and saying, “here, feel what I feel. Spread your palms on my chest and feel how hard my heart is beating, come into my little world of sadness and misery and cry with me, or join me on this boat of laughter and joy and forget all your troubles.” Countless times, I have been able to surge my emotions into words through a pen or the keys on my keyboard. Perhaps, it is one of the most potent things I can do as a writer, one of the most powerful things writing can do, which is to open the door for any person to feel what I feel.

Keno: Wow, I love that and I agree with it. Writing helps us express the unexplainable. So Question 3, Has writing and publishing a book changed the way you see yourself?.

Ms Testimony: (nods) Definitely!. It has given me purpose. I’ve realized I can influence people and the world positively, and having the ability to positively influence the world (through whatever form of art you choose) is a beautiful kind of superpower.

Keno: (nods )That is wonderful. I love that for you. Question 4, As a young author in Nigeria, what has been your greatest struggle?.

Ms Testimony: I’ve had a lot of struggles. One of them is when I was a little younger, a few of my classmates wouldn’t take me serious when they asked me what I wanted to become, and I said ‘a writer.’ They’d be like, ‘writer?‘ as though writing was nothing, as though it wasn’t a real job. A friend of mine who is a writer was telling me how people don’t take writers serious as long as they haven’t traditionally published a book. I think that there should be public awareness and enlightenment on that issue. At the same time, I have come to realize that some people hold on strongly to their beliefs, and would still take writing as a joke no matter what. It’s left for writers to just focus on their dreams, flee from negative energy and welcome positive energy.

Keno: (nods) That last part is very well said. Thanks for bring transparent with us on your struggles. Question 5, Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?.

Ms Testimony: When I was 7, I wrote because I had all these stories in me and I wanted to tell them, not because I was inspired by anyone to be a writer. My librarians, teachers and mum were so kind to me. Whenever I wrote, they would say something positive about my work and encourage me. So, I continued writing. My favorite writer when I was little was Jacqueline Wilson. As I grew older, I began reading wider range of books (when I was little, I once asked someone older than me who was reading a huge book, how he was able to read books without pictures…now, I know better). A few of the authors who inspire me include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Francine Rivers, Buchi Emecheta, Chinua Achebe, and Abi Daré.

Keno: (nods) Those are fantastic authors. Question 6, How long did it take you to write your book and what was the most difficult part of writing it?.

Ms Testimony: I think it took me about a year or less than one year to write Uloma, and the most difficult part was when I was in the middle of my first draft. It was like I was stuck in what seemed to be a writer’s block, but when I look at it now, all I needed was a break so that I could look at my work with a fresh perspective.

Keno: (nods) Okay. Question 7, Was there a particularly important message you wanted to share through your book?.

Ms Testimony: I don’t really think there was a particular message I wanted to share through my book when I started writing it. Eventually, during the process of writing, I realized I did have messages to share. But at the beginning, all I knew was that I had a story to share.

Keno: Interesting. Question 8, Who has been the biggest supporter of your writing?.

Ms Testimony : (laughs) Having supporters is something that has kept me going, and if I were to choose my biggest supporter, I’d say my mum. And God too, because He’s the Giver of Life. But there have been so many wonderful people who have encouraged me through kind words as well, for which I am grateful. Tatiany Carvalho, Bárbara Vilda, and Nayara Rodriguez, which were my librarians. Mr. BM Dzukogi, Mr. Makama Shekwo’aga, who has put in great effort to support young writers, and so many other good friends and relatives.

Keno: (nods) It’s lovely that you have a lot of support!. Finally, Question 9, What would you like us to look forward to from you? Any new books?.

Ms Testimony : Yes, I’ve got a new novel coming out this year called Feathered. I’m also working on other writing projects.

Keno: (smiles) Another book this year!. That is impressive and amazing!. I wish you good luck through the writing and publishing process!……It was really delightful having you with us, Ms Testimony. Thank you for this interview and for being our guest on the YOUNG AND BOOKED Series.

Ms Testimony: It was a pleasure to do this with you. Thanks for having me. Dear Readers, If you would like to connect with and keep up with me, here is a link to all my social media pages!.

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 Testimony’s book “ULOMA” It is very affordable and you will enjoy it!.

Countless times, I have been able to surge my emotions into words through a pen or the keys on my keyboard. Perhaps, it is one of the most potent things I can do as a writer, one of the most powerful things writing can do, which is to open the door for another person to feel what I feel.

-Author Testimony

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 16. Each time you read, you are showing your support for the cause. See you in 2 weeks 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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