Ebuka Obi-Uchendu interviews NLNG Prize winner, Chika Unigwe – Report from this week’s Rubbin’ Minds

by Akan Ido

Chika Unigwe, the winner of the 2012 NLNG $100,000 prize for literature was on Rubbin’ Minds on Sunday to talk about herself, her inspiration, and lots more.

The show, anchored as usual by Ebuka Obi-Uchendu was captivating as usual with Unigwe speaking her mind on so many issues.

She talked about the little time she has to write and be creative noting that she is a mother of four boys.

She also revealed the self-doubt which plagues her whenever she is trying to put out something new.

When asked if she suffers from any form of pressure, being an acclaimed writer, to match and supersede her achievements, Unigwe said, “The only pressure I feel is against my self. I’m a self doubting writer.

“I’m an idiot. I don’t let my lack of self confidence in my writing stop me,” she said.

She gave an insight into her personal life talking about her relatively early marriage saying, “You need a lot of time to write. I’ve got four boys to look after.

“I got married in my final year in the University.

“I write to make money as well… I can’t let my husband work alone, I have to contribute,” she added.

The Belgium-based writer also spoke on issues such as the theme of her last novel, ‘On Black Sisters’ Street’, which is based on Nigerian ladies, prostituting across Europe.

Unigwe also revealed her thoughts on the performance of the Goodluck Jonathan administration and her status as a social activist.

She said, “I’m very passionate about politics. As a writer, you have to be constantly true to who you are. I’m a social activist but I don’t have any NGO.”

On President Goodluck Jonathan, she said, “I don’t think he’s done a good job. Integrity is very important to me… We’ve also come to accept corruption as a way of life.

“If he gets his acts together between now and 2015, I’ll sure vote for him,” she concluded.

Chika Unigwe is a Ph.D. holder in Literature from the University of Leiden, Netherlands who in 2003, was was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing and 2004, won the BBC Short story Competition.


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