‘Why I ex­plored jury tri­als in my sto­ries’

Sunday Trust - - ARTS & IDEAS -

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.

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