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INSPIRATIONAL INTERVIEWS

An Interview with Onyeka Nwelue, the Writer with Witty Wits

 He was known as the teenager with the steaming pen. He was born in Ezeo Nsu, Imo State in Nigeria and embodied everything literal growing up. Now he is a famous author, writing poetry and novels. I have followed Onyeka for a while now, trust me, he is the realest person I’ve known in Africa, and I know he loves Africa too much for his own good although he never admits. His way of challenging people in Africa do what is right is by being blunt. He has tested and tried a few religions, been hosted on many platforms in the world, and so of course, he has travelled wide. It is an honour to have this interview with an African son; Onyeka Nwelue.

ONYEKA NWELUE
ONYEKA NWELUE


AMOAFOWAA:

Onyeka, please tell us about growing up in Nigeria.

 

ONYEKA:

Growing up in Nigeria made me strong-willed. If you grew up in Nigeria, you would realize that life is extremely tough and that you, alone, can make yourself into what you want. People in Nigeria are easily deluded, believing that life there is normal. Life in Nigeria is something else, equally, something you read about fiction. There is no need to paint it so beautiful when it is not. I have been to Ghana, as well. In both countries, there are hardships that make me question the trueness of being an African. Almost all African and black countries have issues, from Haiti to Nigeria to Venezuela and to Colombia. Poverty seems to be a black man’s pride.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

How many works have you published so far?

 

ONYEKA:

I have published two books. I have another one, Hip-Hop is Only for Children coming out next month, January of 2015.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

Is writing a lucrative job in Africa?

 

ONYEKA:

No. Writers in Africa are poor.

 

AMOAFOWAA:
Who did you grow up reading from?

 

ONYEKA:

Different writers from the African Writers’ Series. I read lots of British writings, because they were forced on us in schools. I read lots of writers. Most of them were British. I was exposed to Indian writing later on when I travelled to India. My life changed completely.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

How did your life change?

ONYEKA:

It reflected in how I wrote my first novel, The Abyssinian Boy.

ONYEKA NWELUE
ONYEKA NWELUE

AMOAFOWAA:

Okay, so let all readers read the famous Abyssinian Boy and know what he is talking about. Onye, what do think of the African educational system?

 

ONYEKA:

Educational system in Africa is a complete sham. Someone would be wondering why I have nothing positive to say about Africa, but if we can be truthful to ourselves, we will be wise enough to know that Africa is gone, its economy, its education. People in the world, not only Africa are going to school because they want to have something to fall back on and not because they want to learn. People head to school for different reasons. Some do it as a revenge to the society that has tried to clamp them down. This is why the educational system is in a mess.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

What would be your ideal effective educational system?

ONYEKA:

Where students won’t be graded. Now they have to study because they want to get what they want. Not because a teacher says they are good.

AMOAFOWAA:

Please let me get this straight, a school without examinations?

ONYEKA:

Yes. A training or vocational centre where people will be taught and not tested. If they are coming in there, it is because it is their passion to get better. They should not be tested.

AMOAFOWAA:

If you were given a chance to choose your land of birth, would you choose to be born in Africa?

 

ONYEKA:

Not at all. I will not choose to be born in Africa. Anyone who is angry with me can find a knife to kill himself. There is something you will hate about Africa once you travel round the world and see how other continents are moving forward and forward and things getting easy. The same people who will condemn me for saying this give birth to their children abroad and their kids hold other countries passports. I still have a Nigerian passport.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

That shows you have embraced your African roots. Now let’s turn our attention to politics. If you are given the chance to be the president of Africa, and God gives you two choices; to stand to be democratically elected, or to be a military president, which will you choose and why?

 

ONYEKA:

Like I said, I am not interested in this Africa.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

Many African countries have been through many rough times but I know Nigeria has gone through way more, we are talking about Boko-Haram and many other headaches like the prosecution of gays. Is it the fault of the government in power or the citizens?

 

ONYEKA:

It is a collective thing. The Government has no right to tell you who to fuck. The Government is a human being. There are some Senators who are gay themselves. Gay people all over the world sometimes persecute gay people. People are scared to see people who are like them. It is a natural thing. Homophobia is like any other sickness. It has come to stay. There is nothing you can do about it. No one has any right to tell you who to sleep with or do you think people have right to tell you to masturbate? By the way, about Boko Haram,  I think I don’t know much about them. I haven’t had time to focus on them, so I can’t comment on a group I sometimes feel is fictional. I am not that intelligent to wedge on terrorists.

 

AMOAFOWAA:
I know you did a little something in the movie industry, please tell us the grace and ills of Nollywood.

 

ONYEKA:

Nollywood we know is the greatest thing that happened to Africa. No ills. Not at all. Even you Ghanaians have benefitted so much from it. Nollywood is the true pride of Africa. With Nollywood, doors have opened for Africans everywhere. You can ask.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

I always think Africans copy too much and that has been our main flaw or failure. I know of Hollywood; the original, Nollywood, Ghalliwood, etc. Do you think the names of the African movies industries are appropriate?

 

ONYEKA:

Names don’t matter. Your name Cecilia is not a Ghanaian name, is it? It was borrowed from Europeans. I used to be called George and I removed it from my official documents, because I haven’t seen any Briton whose name is Onyeka. We must start from within. You can start this revolution by changing your name.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

Lol. Onyeka, what is a typical day for you like?

 

ONYEKA:

I don’t know, because I don’t plan. I am very spontaneous.

ONYEKA NWELUE
ONYEKA NWELUE

AMOAFOWAA:

Who can earn your respect?

 

ONYEKA:

People who have money. I am not a fan of poor people. I don’t respect poverty and those who have inherited it. It is their laziness and lack of taking risks that have made the world so difficult. They are also the ones with bigger problems.

 

AMOAFOWAA:
Are you married?

 

ONYEKA:

We can skip this. Thank you.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

Many say marriage is a beautiful thing. What are the things you look out for in your woman of choice?

 

ONYEKA:

Marriage is a prison yard. It can never be a beautiful thing.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

Is the girl child being given the right attention in Africa?

 

ONYEKA:

Girl child? My sister is stronger than most men I know. Girls who allow themselves to be suppressed should be ashamed of themselves. Girls who still want to go to restaurants and expect their boyfriends to pay for their food are stupid. No matter the agreement. When you show you are independent, men take you seriously and respect you. Girls who are very clingy will never have my respect.

 

AMOAFOWAA:
What is your take on women empowerment?

 

ONYEKA:

I think countries with Ministries of Women Affairs should shut them down. That women empowerment thing is a loud scam. Women don’t need any empowerment from any man. When you sit and expect a man to ‘empower’ you, you are giving him the right to enslave you. They should stop deceiving themselves. There are hard-working women in Ghana like Lydia Forson and Leila Djansi who don’t need the validation of men.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

If you were a member of the constitutional committee in Nigeria, and you decide to revise outmoded laws, which ones would you throw out as fast as you can and what would be your replacement?

 

ONYEKA:

All public officers’ children must study in Nigeria first. We will start with the educational sector.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

How do you deal with harsh criticisms?

 

ONYEKA:

I respond to harsh criticism with harsh responses. You can’t attack me and expect me to keep quiet. It is not possible.

ONYEKA NWELUE
ONYEKA NWELUE

AMOAFOWAA:

Now let’s move to music, which types of songs do you listen to?

 

ONYEKA:

I have different genres of music I listen to. From the oldies to the new ones, but music with soulful meaning. Meaning that can calm me down and heal my internal wound.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

Who are your favourite artists?

 

ONYEKA:

Celestine Ukwu, Orliam, Asa, Angelique Kidjo, Onyeka Onwenu, Celine Dion and the list is endless.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

In a world where sports refer to football and running, I’ll have to ask, are you a sports fan?

 

ONYEKA:

No, ma’am. Not interested in chasing leather.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

I know you’ve tested many waters in religion. Which religious sects have impressed you so far?

 

ONYEKA:

I believe all Africans should go and worship the rivers and streams. Stop worshipping Jesus. He is from Israel. It has never done anything for Africa. We need to understand that worshipping a foreigner makes us inferior.

ONYEKA NWELUE
ONYEKA NWELUE

AMOAFOWAA:

Lol. If you were the Christian Jesus, given the chance, which aspect of your life would you erase in history?

 

ONYEKA:

I would never be.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

If you are forced to choose between Christianity and Islam, which one would you choose?

 

 

ONYEKA:

I would be forced to die then.

AMOAFOWAA:

What is your take on the extended family system in Africa?

 

ONYEKA:

Recently, I have realized it is useless. It doesn’t mean anything, because my extended family has been a little bit useless to me. They are of no use to me. You can’t seek for help and find it, so no need. I don’t care how they feel at my response. They should go and rest.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

You are immersed in many controversies attracting name calling but many Africans love you anyway. Onyeka, are you cantankerous, crazy or truthful? You know you have to justify your answer.

 

ONYEKA:

I think I am just being myself. I am not rigid. I change a lot. Situations change my opinions.

 

AMOAFOWAA:
Now give us a prayer, in the form of poetry, for Africans. I know you believe in God, no religion attached.

 

ONYEKA:

May Africans keep being slaves

Since they have chosen to worship foreign gods

May they never find peace.

May they have more wars.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

Lol. My ribs hurt too much from laughter. Your advise to the dejected and hopeless.

 

ONYEKA:

No one is dejected and hopeless. You make yourself what you want. You have a choice to be happy.

 

AMOAFOWAA:

Thank you for your precious time.

 

ONYEKA:

 Thank you and I hope I don’t enrage your readers. Have a nice time.

AMOAFOWAA:

My readers are open minded and I’m sure they will have a great time reading this. Have a nice time too.

                                                                                       END OF INTERVIEW.

 His inspiration is inherent in this poem I wrote for him some time ago and decided to remodel for this interview:

FOR HIS ROYAL AFRICAN; ONYEKA NWELUE

His Royal Awesomeness
His royal handsomeness
Princely Prince of Princes
The only Black Baron of Paris
The only Prince who speaks his mind without intimidation from his elders
The Lazy Prince who outshone the hardworking Princes
The Wise Prince who mostly advises in sarcasm
Twisting the minds of fools in circles
The Kind gentleman who promises to kick asses only with his mouth
The Mad Prince of the unscrupulous in society
The Literary Guru who shows that talent is inbuilt
Na Ede Ede 1 of Ezeoke Nsu

The princely prince of Africa

The voice that resonates loudest mellowing the storms

You are the true son of the soil

The elders must listen

And follow your voice

For before the wise was born, there certainly lived the old

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014

By amoafowaa

Just a simple Ghanaian trying to find the best in our society. I may be fun, I may be interesting, I may be funny, I may even be foolish or intelligent, but it is all based on the mood in which you find yourself. I believe our minds make us who we are. Know that, pain, no matter its 'unbearability', is transient. Unburden or delight yourself for a while in my writings please. And all corrections, advice and opinions are welcome. Know that you are the king, queen or royal on this blog. :)

23 replies on “An Interview with Onyeka Nwelue, the Writer with Witty Wits”

Wonderful article…enjoyed this very much. I had to smile at his comment that writers are poor in Nigeria… I think that is for the most part universal. Loved this text!

Liked by 1 person

Fascinating interview. He is not afraid to speak his mind, and that is refreshing. I could resonate with his comments about education in Africa – I interviewed many African applicants for the medical school where I taught for many years. They had great determination, since they literally had to repeat all the levels of schooling they had achieved in their native countries in order to even think about medical school. I recently ran into a young man I had interviewed five years ago, from Ghana originally. I am very proud of all he has accomplished – he graduates this coming May.

Liked by 1 person

Great that you interview to give such great hope. Onyeka I know is a free thinker and says his mind with no care to whoever. He is one person you would love to interview. You don’t know what great insight you will get through his views about Africa. Thanks for visiting. Blessings.

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