I have always loved meeting young people who are making waves in the society. Just recently, I met another young and enthusiastic writer who I believe has his place in the literary and movie industry in the days to come. Here are some extracts I got from him, read on…
For the intent of this interview, may you introduce yourself?
I am Okafor Benjamin Chiemelie, from Nri in Aniocha Local Government Area, Anambra State. I graduated from Regal Secondary School, Nri and presently an under-graduate of Federal Polytechnic Oko, department of Mass Communications. I am 20 years old and I'm also an actor.
What's your perception about writing and how many books have
Well, I must say that writing is my passion. I don't write for
writing sake. I started writing in my secondary school days, I sold some outright before I started publishing now. I have two published books, 'Igwe Onyenuche' written in Igbo and 'Agony of a couple'.
Currently, you are shooting a movie adaptation of your first novel, what inspired you to write the novel.
Ok, this book in question titled 'Igwe Onyenauche' was published during my SS2 days and it is my first novel. I always tell people that God is my inspiration. Nevertheless, anything can make me write but I wrote this novel because of the trend we have in our society about kings having numerous wives. I actually wanted to tell us that this dosen't really matter. But I must say that my inspiration comes from God.
Recently, African Magic Igbo, adopted your book into a full movie. What do you think is unique about this particular book?
Well, the book being adopted into movie by African Magic Igbo, I must say is the Lord's doing because it was not the only book nominated.
African Magic Igbo prompted the shooting of this movie. Are they also funding the production?
Hmm, no! The thing is, there is this anniversary they will hold in the middle of the year. They had young writers submit their works so they can be adapted. Fortunately, mine was among the top ten. They are not funding anything for me. The deal is, after the production, they buy it from you and promote you. This will also help in giving you bigger sales. They are also in the same way bringing to life our culture which is on its way to exile. They are not sponsoring me.
Seeing yourself in this early stage of life, making waves in the movie industry, where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
Some people would say that in years to come, they want to be like Late Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie, being in the UK and all that. Where I will be in next ten years doesn't really matter as far as God is with me. What really matters to me is the impact of my books on the society, for my aim of writing is to correct the ills of the society.
What are your challenges so far?
One of them is fund. We have many young writers in the society right now and they are all seeking for help in publishing their works. I don't have anybody that I can count on for help. Lack of fund really wanted to deter my works but I kept moving. Selling is another challenge. After writing, where is your book going? That is the question. Even when your books are out there, how are you going to control it? We need to start reading. It is said that if one would want to hide anything from Nigerians especially Igbos, pen it down. We have poor reading culture in this country and this makes it difficult for writers to sell their works.Sometimes, I feel like giving up on my books but I'll still find courage knowing full well that God is with me. I really faced many challenges but I don't want to talk about them now. But my main challenge is fund.
Having come this far, what are your advice to other young writers and the youths of the country at large.
Some of us really think that writing must bring money. If there is no money there will be no writing. No, it is not done that way. My advice is that they should continue putting in their best and remove the mindset of writing because of money. Some of us are the people that will replace Late. Prof. Chinua Achebe but their dreams are being deterred because they do not have anybody to sponsor them. But I must tell them to keep on shinning. Even the Bible says that the gift of a man maketh a way for him and added no sorrow. We should always put in our best in everything we do and the sky will be our limit. I must not also fail to tell the government and the world at large to look into writing and encourage writers. That's why the white men seem to be better than us because their young writers are being encouraged and supported. Their passion for writing is acknowledged and valued. They mustn't encourage us with money, there are other ways they can be of help like investments and adverts and a whole lot of others. We really need their help
Thanks for your time
Thanks, it's my pleasure
Ok,pals that was him. I also took time to ask some of the crew members about this promising chap, Benjamin. Hear them speak.
Don Biggy Nwachukwu: By the grace of God, I am the director of this movie written by Benjamin. I have worked in the movie industry for some couple of years now and have also met different caliber of persons. But Ben, is different. He is young, intelligent and hardworking. I decided to direct this movie because I believe that this boy has something to offer to the world. He is really doing great.
Nwofor Chinonso Patrick: I am the producer of this movie and I have also been a producer since 2014 when I produced my first movie. I love working with young people but not every young person, the ones that have something to offer. Actually, the name of this production is Young Master Movie Production, then the nick name of the writer of this movie is Young Author, this is quite good. This guy is just staring and he is this good. In years to come, I see him standing where giants stand. What actually made me to get involve in the production of his movie is his talent and his unique creation, I mean the way he writes.
Emeka Okoye (Emmy Great Production): I am the costumier of this movie. I accepted this job because I started little by little like this. Igbos will say “nwata adighi aputa a bu nna”, a child does not wake up to be a father. Ben is really a young guy and one will rarely find someone like him doing what he is doing. I pray that the Lord will give him more wisdom to carry on with his dreams in the nearest future.
That is it for Young Ben. This young guy really needs your help either in sponsorship, help, advert or partnership.
To contact Benjamin, call 08104894270