After a crazy, whacky, quiet week filled with different range of emotions, I got up to some writing. It’s the international day of women and it’s so refreshing to write about someone as lovely as Eketi. Eketi, with a full head of hair like a pin up doll has this timeless beauty that makes me want to be a man and tell her “babe I love you, talk your own.”
When it comes to the amazing world of Nigerian writers, you can’t tell me nothing. Eketi is like on the list of my top 10 writers. She has an interesting way of writing that keeps you going back for more. Not only is her style of writing simple, it’s humorous. I remember when she started writing her Cinderella series, who would have thought Cinderella was a Nigerian girl who probably speaks Ibibio. Eketi writes just like her infectious and beautiful smile.
When I think of Eketi, I remember Afang. Not in a bad way, but in such a way that it makes me smile from beneath my soul. She talks about making Afang so much that all I see is a bowl of Afang when I see her pictures. You think of Eketi, you think of Afang 🙂 In fact we know her as “the last afang bender.” There should be a show with her name on it with her as the main character.
I remember when I wanted to make some Edikang Ikong soup, she was the one I ran to for a recipe. Since I had one for Afang, I knew she was going to give me a heart warming recipe; which I cannot deny is one of my favorite Efik recipes.
One of the things that endears me to Eketi are her stories about her parents. The way she talks about their love makes you want to fall in love and stay in love forever. Her stories give you an insight on how it was to love decades ago. I don’t think we know how to love anymore. Love is very difficult, it isn’t all roses but when you truly love, you never stop loving; even when the person no longer is in your life…except you never meant it :)…When it comes to love, I give it my soul. I put in my all, I am never half way, I stay loyal and it’s never easy for me to let go. But when I do…there’s a strong reason.
“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect, you love them in spite of the fact that they are not.” And that’s it about that old kind of love 🙂
With Eketi, she’s very much an old soul; every bit of her. She fights for abused girls and women. She campaigns for women to stay chaste and her love for children is in everyway beautiful.
Her impeccable flare for writing speaks for itself through her writing classes. Yes she offers writing classes for people who want to learn how to write or fine tune their skills. What better teacher can one have?
Without boring you with too much talk, here is the interview I did with her…
Nlc: You’re a writer and teacher of writing in Nigeria. Where are you from in Nigeria?
Eketi: “I am from Akwa Ibom state.”
Nlc: Are you a foodie?
Eketi: “Yes, a very dedicated Foodie.”
Nlc: As a foodie, What’s your favorite food and how often do you get to cook/eat it?
Eketi: “Afang soup and eba. I eat it every week, and depending on my location, sometimes two or three times a week.”
Nlc: How did you start writing as a profession?
Eketi: “Sometime in 2011, I met someone on 2go and we exchanged Facebook handles. After he went through my Facebook notes, he said I was “an incredible writer.”
I didn’t think I was, because until then I’d only been trying my hand at writing. He challenged me to write a story of 1,500 words. I did, and it’s the best thing that happened to me that year. Not long after, people began to pay me to write for their blogs, e-magazines and books. I haven’t looked back since then.”
Nlc: How do you impact the community around you with your work?
Eketi: “I’m not sure I can give a straight answer to this question. But I can say that for my online community, I use my gift to get people to talk about the things that are affecting us in society.
I entertain people when I read my stories at shows such as the Abuja Night of the Spoken Word. They laugh, relax and I’m happy.
I also use my gift for telling stories to raise money for the nonprofit that I and a few friends run. We use the money to help the most indigent in society.”
Nlc: What’s one cause you’re passionate about and how did you know it was something you were interested in?
Eketi: “I’m passionate about everything that concerns Nigerian women, but in particular gender equality and survivors of violence and abuse.
I knew I was passionate about these issues because I hate unfairness and violence. I’ve been at the receiving of it all my life and I believe that this generation can get it to reduce to the barest minimum, if we only try.”
Nlc: As a writer, where do you see yourself in the future?
Eketi: “Owning an umbrella media company which will have a radio station, a publishing house, a digital media management firm and a consultancy for people in the performing arts.”
Nlc: You write about food so well. What’s your inspiration?
Eketi: “Food! 🙂
I tell you, there’s a beautiful kind of contentment and happiness I get after every meal. If I especially enjoyed the food, you best believe my energy levels will skyrocket. I get hyper after I eat.
I also love sense of adventure in trying new dishes. I can’t really say no to any kind of food….well, maybe except oysters. I haven’t tried them before, but I don’t fancy eating raw seafood.
As long as it’s well-cooked and delicious, bring it on.”
Nlc: Please share with us one thing we don’t know about you.
Eketi: “That one thing you don’t know about me had better remain that way. For the sake of national security.” 🙂
Nlc: What advice will you give to budding writers and others pursuing their dreams?
Eketi: “You’ll never be an excellent writer if you don’t write, write, write. Every day, write at least a hundred words of your own. Your talent is good, but if you don’t practice, you’ll never be better than someone who has no talent but writes every day.
I’ll even chip in something for the road – the process is very important. Don’t run away from it. It’s taken me 6 years of consistent writing to get to where I am and I’ve got more years to go. Stay the course, pass through the process and you’ll be the better for it.”
Thank you Eketi
Pretty much, fire refines gold…