"Feminism ends in the book"- GIFT AMUKOYO

Gift Foraine Amukoyo,hails from Delta state; born on April 23, 1991 in Lagos, Nigeria. A literatus embodied with creative enthusiasm, an Avant garde poetess, novelist and Journalist/blogger. She studied English and literary studies at Delta state university, and mass communications at Nigerian institute of Journalism.

WALK THE TALK: for the purpose of our readers,who is Gift beyond the profile?
GIFT FORAINE AMUKOYO:  Foremost, Gift Foraine Amukoyo is a liberal lady.

WTT:  When did you venture into the arts and at what point did you start writing?
GIFT: I've always been in the arts, humans are collections of a supreme artist, with the Almighty skill. However, I started writing from the day I could put letters to words and pronounce them. Like i said, scribbling letters is an act of writing. I started with poetry. Whenever I read books in general, what struck is to make skeletal notes of my critical reasoning or rather critical lens, because poetry is powerful and spontaneous.

WTT: Writing as a profession- How did it begin for you?
GIFT:Writing as a profession began when I started a course in journalism, in 2014, precisely. There, I met course mates from different practice, line of business and vocations. I shared my poetry with some of them, and they were like 'girl you're a writer o'. I write poetry for the leisure it brings to my mind and heart after penning. Just for the fun and impact it has on my readers. I was encouraged to do more. Get paid for my writing and gain some publicity in the media. I penned on; articles, short stories, book reviews, news e.t.c... Which were published in national newspapers and news media platforms.

WTT: With the new crop of writers and the trend in technology: the internet, How would you describe the current state of publishing in Nigeria?
GIFT: it's amazing,a thrilling tool for new writers is what technology has achieved so far. Technology has made self-publishing easily attainable, durable and profitable, unlike the scramble for traditional publishing that made self-published authors feel like nothingness.

WTT: of recent, you published you debut novel EFEMENA under Rextun Publishing Co. Tell us, what was the whole experience like?
GIFT: the experience was worth it; hill climbed, crossing bridges, straigthening crooked paths, I mean; getting the manuscript together and ready for publication. Unlike news reportage. Literary texts are never put to bed; its subjected to reawakening. This is a new edition from my publisher.

WTT:what is the central theme of the novel and what message does it pass across to society?
GIFT:the central theme is culture. Efemena is quite rooted in Southern Nigerian traditions and values that would rock its readers to perharps, discover their heritage. Despite western exposure (ideologies, lifestyle, norms and values), 'it's obvious some people cannot break away from culture; being very conscious of its values' as late Chinua Achebe of blessed memory would say.

WTT:culture is a vital part of Nationhood. At times like these, when many are fast losing their roots to western ideals. What would you say is the place of culture in contemporary society?
GIFT:'we lived at the crossroads of culture,we still do today...' we shouldn't deem our cultures and beliefs as inferior. Our forefathers were not savages,if we say they were, then we have nothing to be proud of as a people. We must hold something when every other thing is fleeting. And that's our African heritage. We mustn't let the languages go to dust,we may never retriever it from the wind. If all mothers are not more, then society would be unproductive. A mother as best, can tell who a child's father is, therefore the 'mothers tongue' should not be cut off. It has the power of identity.

WTT: Deviod of what it used to be, writing in Africa is taking a new route in terms of style and focus. In your view, what does this imply of literature on the continent?
GIFT: The future of literature in Africa and the global village at large can be potential enough, when we talk more of our cultures; our own story. You cannot give what you do not have. We should give some bits of home, as the western world proudly does in it's literature. They cannot so much tell us our own story. That task is a duty to African Writers.

Gift Foraine Amukoyo is a liberal lady.

WTT: Alot is being said about female participation in literature in Africa. As a female writer, what are those peculiar challanges you face?
GIFT:women are being empowered in all walks of life, female participation in their various societies are coming in full swings. We have female presidents and prime ministers don't we?

WTT: yes we do, now more than ever
GIFT: life itself is a challange. If you stay out of its way, it comes in circles to bounce you around. One's will, determination, passion, goals, principles and optimism can break all blockages, except the struggle is not from the heart. It's not restricted to females but males as well. There are no specifics. In EFEMENA a male character said 'feminism ends in the book'

WTT: on a total of ten. Help us score the participation of female writers on the Nigerian literary scene.
GIFT: I score 4, we need our voices to be heard.

WTT:who are those you may want to acknowledge for your career as as a writer?
GIFT: I'll appriciate the creator of the universe, and society for giving me what to write about. Literature mirrors society, and inspiration to weave words into paragraphs is God, in supreme grace. I can never appreciate my family enough for their support and understanding; that literary art is part air i breath. And my publisher 'REXTUN PUBLISHING CO' for seeking young writers to promote their creativity. Mentors and readers who tell me to set the sky as my foot-stool for greater heights, I say a wondrous Thank You.

WTT:where can we order copies of your book?
GIFT: you can get EFEMENA on Amazon; kindle format. Print versions will be out soonest. Click here to view my book on Amazon .

WTT: any other words..
GIFT: Everyone needs to read Efemena, it's numerous themes are enshrined in society, love, festival, myths, betrayals. E.t.c.. Informative, entertaining and thrilling are words to describe the novel.

WTT: It's a pleasure talking to you. I hope you would open your door to us when next we knock?
GIFT: its great to have been on your platform. Thanks so much and absolutely..you can call any time.

The WALK THE TALK interview series, features on NELOC BLOG and is anchored by Neloc Blog columnist, Akor Emmanuel Oche. Akor Emmanuel Oche is a Nigerian poet, critic, essayist and thinker. He is the host of WALK THE TALK, a series of interviews geared at promoting personal brands and platforms. Send him an email via akor, emmaoche@gmail.com

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