Parents Shouldn't Spoil Their Children


What is the message in The Unusual and Unexpected ?
The message I want to pass across to readers, especially parents, is the danger of  over-indulging children. No matter the circumstance of their birth, I believe  children should not be over pampered. They should have proper upbringing and be  disciplined.

Considering the circumstances of Akin’s birth (the major character), don’t you think  you were too hard on his parents (the Kolawoles)?
I wasn’t. I just want to hit the nail on the head. No matter the circumstances,  children shouldn’t be over pampered or else they will become a nuisance to the  society and the parents will be at the receiving end. If you read the book, you will  find out that there is no way the Kolawoles won’t end that way. They had the chance  to correct the mistakes they made in the past when Akin was deported to Nigeria but  none of them made amends.

How did you get the inspiration to write?
Actually, my dad makes time out on Saturday to give us comprehension lessons.  Somehow, any time he gave us assignments, I performed better than my sisters even  though they were older and in higher classes. So he believed I can write and  encouraged me to do so.

Why did you write on the  subject? Is it because you’re the only boy in your family  and must have experienced that?
No. It wasn’t. I just believe that through my writing, I can express my views and  concerns about life generally. When I decided to write, that was what came to my  mind.

You wrote the book when you were about 11 years old, how did you do it?
First, I believe am gifted. Writing comes to me naturally. It is like part of my  life. It would always be my second career. I read the dictionary a lot, to increase  my vocabulary and I read a lot. My dad’s chamber is filled with books, I  wonder  where he gets them from. I remember I used to beg my daddy to buy folk tales for me  when I was younger. I still do. l read  all kinds of books and I like the ones that  will keep me on the edge of my seat. I am curious and always want to know about my  environment; this increases my understanding of things around me. I also write  poetry.

So you already knew it would be published ?
Not really, but I wasn’t surprised when he decided to publish it

Is this your first attempt?
No, I have written three books, but this is the only one that was published. The  other ones will soon be published. One of them is a novel.

Was it difficult publishing this book, because a lot of young writers find it  difficult to take this major step?
Yeah, it was tough but interesting. My dad was my publisher which made it more  challenging. To ensure I meet the deadline he set for me, he monitored my activities  and raised eyebrows when I get distracted. Any time he got back from work and saw me  playing he would scold and advise me to be focused and not be distracted.

How long did it take you to publish it?
It took us three years, though there was a time my dad was busy and had to drop it.

Did you get along with him well as your publisher?
It was tough but I was happy at the end of the day. There were lot of challenges but  working with my daddy made it tougher. I had no excuse because he always monitored  my activities. It was sometimes frustrating. Sometimes he would reject a whole  chapter  or complain that it was too short or too long. These can be frustrating but  the moment I saw book I was too happy to remember those moments .

Did it affect your school work?
I ensured it did not affect my performance in school by creating time for both my  school work and writing.

What was the general response?
Encouraging. I got a lot of support from my family, friend and teachers. My daddy  and his friends always encourage me.  The experience has  redefined my perspective  in life. It makes me feel optimistic and confident. I feel  matured; in  control of  my emotion, my mind-set and how to interact with people. It allows me to understand  life better. I get more inquisitive and am ready to know more about what is  happening around me.

Does this make you a super star among your friends?
(laughs) Sort of,  but I don’t allow it get into my head.

You said you love reading, how many hours do you read in a day?
Actually when I was in junior class I read more for exams, but when I got to senior  class, I started reading extensively. I wake up around 4.a.m. to read and sometimes  2.a.m  during exams. I often study maths during the day because I realise maths is  something you must know even as an arts student. My sisters even nicknamed me  professor. That is what they call in school too.

How can students be encouraged to read?
They should know that reading is important. To get to where you are going, you have  to know where you are going and you can only know that through reading. So students  should see it as necessity. There should be competitions like debate to motivate  students to read

Do you have any role model in the literary world?
In Nigeria, the likes of Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka are some of the writers I  look up to. Though my dad is a lawyer, he is also my role model. He has also written  some books that have been published. But abroad, I don’t have a particular writer in  mind, I just read books that catch my interest.

What is your advice to aspiring young authors
They should be focused, determined and should not be distracted because writing  involves a lot of meditation and focus to flow. They should learn to read  extensively and be observant about the happenings around them.

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