Welcome everyone! Today, we are privileged to interview Oriel Nnena, the author of "Marriage" and "Nnena’s Okra soup."
Hello Oriel! Thanks for agreeing to have this interview. Tell us a little about yourself.
Oriel: I'm Oriel Nnenna, from Eastern part of Nigeria and I love to write.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Oriel: When I'm not writing, I read novels. I also watch movies, especially thrillers and horrors.
I see. When did you start writing?
Oriel: I started writing at the age of ten.
Wow. That’s pretty much very early. Some of us were playing video games at that age. Anyway, where do you get your ideas from?
Oriel: I get ideas when I'm alone, through meditation, yoga, or stories been told by my mother. I get these views from people and their lives. It sums up to my ideas, and then I write.
Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you in any way?
Oriel: When it comes to authors, I can't point out one person, but I believe there are several books that influenced me in diverse ways: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, In dependence by Sarah Ladipo Mayinka , The things around your neck by Chimamanda Adichie, William Shakespeare’s poem Shall I compare thee to a summer's day, etc.
Amazing. You’ve read a lot of books, I guess.
Your poem “Nnena’s Okra Soup” is really amazing. Can you tell our readers the meaning behind that poem?
Oriel: I'm not a lover of Okra soup at all. I see it disgusting. I always vomit when I see my family eating it. But you see… It was quite interesting to believe that I later enjoyed the soup. My best friend toasted me with it. She pressurized me to eat it and I was very hungry at that time. Since then, I loved it. I surprised my family by cooking it when I came back from school. Everyone ate and talked about this same Okra soup. It was my sister's story to a friend about my soup, that triggered me to write this poem.
Interesting. Can you tell us about the challenges you face as an author?
Oriel: Getting other authors to compliment my poems is a little challenge. I’d fancy the opportunity of meeting notable authors, but such meetings are hard to come by… That’s another challenge. My personal financial status is definitely one… I hope to change that soon.
Do you have any poem coming out soon?
Oriel: Yes I do, till then… No discussion on it for now.
What advice would you like to give to other aspiring authors like yourself?
Oriel: I find it interesting to write. I'm an ambivert, so I create large spaces withing my brain writing. Writing is an art of creativity. I move out to the street, market, listen to stories told to by my father, mother, friends and siblings. How I see the weather, music, people and relationship stories keeps me writing. So to other writers out there… Feel free to express yourself via writing. Create a large platform to widen your intuition.
I have learnt so much from you today. Thank you very much for taking out time to be part of this interview. I look forward to interviewing again. All the best in your career.
Just in case you haven’t read Oriel’s poems, kindly find below: