‘Why I explored jury trials in my stories’
legal profession. These days a lawyer is required to be a better writer because every trial is a story. What the lawyer is supposed to do is tell the story in a way that will convince the judge. It’s about being able to harness your theme.
I have sat in courtrooms and realized that everything is a story, even from the pleadings. Writing your pleading is telling a story. Even the rules say one shouldn’t bring evidence, but rather, narrate. We see legal thrillers from America and read novels like John Grisham’s. We don’t seem to have such books. The first book I read that was a courtroom story by an indigenous author was when I was a child.
Your first book, published in 2003 is a novel titled ‘Treacherous Game’. It focused on cultism in the university and became so successful that it was adapted into a comic book. Why did you choose cultism as the story’s theme?
I have sat in courtrooms and realized that everything is a story, even from the pleadings. Writing your pleading is telling a story.
By then, a lot of people didn’t know what happened within cult groups. Several chapters were about the initiation and I had to carry out investigations. I wrote it during my final year in the university and so related with a lot of people involved in it. What I learned from them helped me build the story. It may look like an alluring organization, but the repercussions are horrid. I know many who were desperate to leave and regretted it. I had a friend who told me it was his mother’s prayers that kept him. So, I wanted to discourage others, especially those who are yet to get to that educational level.
The wrote last novel you was ‘Abiding
Dreams’, which tells the story of a father who wanted to live his dreams through his son. His son was art inclined, but he wanted him to become a medical doctor. What inspired it?
I had a very good friend who had a similar experience. So, it’s a fusion of his story and two others. Having gone through a tertiary institution, I saw cases where students were on the verge of suicide because they were frustrated. For example, if you are in a school like Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, you would see students who are terrified and doubt that they will graduate. I think in a school system more should be done in terms of guidance and counselling. It’s not true that what you read guarantees employment, and that is what ‘Abiding Dreams’ is all about.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a novel titled ‘Native Foreigners’, about two Nigerians who meet in the United Kingdom and fall in love.