SEGUN NOSA OKE just wrote his debut novel, “Call Me Joke.” NEWISSUES George Onmonya Daniel caught up with him in this brief interview.
NEWISSUES: You are a banker and a writer, I will come back to that, but first, tell us about yourself.
Segun: I studied Biological Science for my first degree. I have other post Graduate degree in Business Administration,Management and Psychology. Am in my late 30’s. I grew up in Benin City and growing up had its own bitter sweet times
NEWISSUES: I understand you just wrote a book. What’s the name and what is it about?
Segun: It’s titled call me Ajoke. It’s a novel
Segun: The Protagonist is a woman who was born by default into a very sad situation and some challenges also followed her growing up. Yes its literary. I have been writing short stories since I was 12 years old. Reading came very early for me in Primary School. At a point I was quite introverted and was very shy,out of loneliness I started reading books.
NEWISSUES: What is thematic preoccupation of the novel?
Segun: In Africa there is an unsaid connotation about a child whose mother will die while giving birth to him or her. This sets the tone about the theme of the story
My female cousins had plenty of romance novels to give me to read. The child birth has come with a loss of life. So there is a problem already.
NEWISSUES: Have you read any reviews about Ajoke? How is it being received by the reading public?
Segun: The Guardian said Call me Ajoke is the celebration of the triumph of the human spirit. The source Margarine says Oke is a writer to watch with the debut of Call me Ajoke
NEWISSUES: Most Nigerian writers have problems with publishing. Is yours self publishing or otherwise?
Segun: I got two publishing firms who read the manuscript and said they had a market for the story. So somewhat I was a little lucky there.
NEWISSUES: What are expecting in the future?
Segun: Well I expect to follow what Providence has in store for me,will continue to do what I know best and try to give back to the society with writing stories that might teach the reader a lesson or two.
NEWISSUES: How do you managed being a banker and a family man as I am guessing, to have time to write knowing your usual busy schedule all weeks in the bank?
Segun: Excellence is what I was brought up to appreciate in all I do. Banking has been fulfilling and I have grown to a level now that with proper time management I can play around things and still be able to achieve results.
NEWISSUES: Thank you Mr. Segun. Its been a pleasure.
Segun: Thanks and God bless