From the magazine: A chat with an ambitious writer

By Tokunbo Holloway

Tobenna Okoli is a writer, a blogger, a publisher and a businessman. This man is set to spread his wings

How many books have you written?
One is published: The Excellent Result. I’m writing a second book at the moment.

Tell us about the book?
It’s a tale of an ambitious writer who faces and surmounts challenges en route to becoming a successful author, businessman, and philanthropist. The book also underscores the importance of constant strategy perfection as a fundamental for success.

What inspires you to write?
The need to entertain, educate and inspire readers. Every author has the opportunity to create dreams out of thin air to delight readers. That need to ‘delight’ inspires me.

What do you like to write most about?
Basically, stories that underpin perseverance, innovative thought and action, humour, and contemporary issues. There’s no gainsaying that Nigerian novels of today are poorly appreciated by readers. I like writing stories that people will enjoy to read. I believe that the aforementioned themes can reignite the appetite of readers for Nigerian novels.

What piece have you written that is closest to your heart?
A short story titled “Good for Nothing”. It is an account of a middle-aged spinster who rues the self-imposed prudishness of her younger years. The story underscores the danger in sacrificing all of today’s enjoyments for the mistakenly-anticipated utopia of tomorrow. It also proffers balance, not austerity, as the key to true fulfillment and happiness.

Who are your favourite all time writers?
Cyprian Ekwensi for the digestibility of his stories. His stories are both simple and entertaining. Others are Sidney Sheldon for his proficiency and storytelling ability; Mark Caine for his brazen audacity; and James Holland for his engaging depiction of wartime fighting. Y!



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