Today, ZAINAB ABDULLAHI had the opportunity to host a poet, an entrepreneur and a mentor, Musa Jemilah, where she shared an enthralling conversation regarding her literary journey, poetic world and role models.
Musa Jemilah is a Northern Nigerian budding poet, studying at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai. She began writing in 2019 after discovering her talent through Poetic Wednesdays.
She is a member of Hill Top Creative Art Foundation and an Alumni of Alhanislam Spoken Word Class. She is passionate about phone photography and spoken word poetry. She writes from Minna or anywhere she finds herself. When she is not writing, you can find her reciting poems or surfing through the net to discover what’s discoverable.
Our discussion in a nutshell…
Q: Where was your first inspiration derived from, Was it extrinsic or intrinsic?
A: My first inspiration was derived from Junior Secondary School Days. So, it wasn’t natural. I discovered it along the line, while growing up.
Q: How were you able to discover your talent? Did you just sat down and felt like scribbling down words or something pushed you to?
A: My friends were actually the ones that propelled me to start writing. I read a lot from their Wednesdays submission. And fell in love with poetry through them. So on a certain day, one of them advised i give poetry a chance. So, I followed a theme for the week and scribbled down my thoughts. Could this be seen as being discovering poetry through friends?
Q: How do you feel when your poems are criticized? Do you think criticism is a necessity or a want?
A: Honestly. I hate criticism. It’s one reason I stopped sending my poems to known poets.
No, it’s really encouraging and it should be very necessary so one could know more about the flaws in his works. To know where to blend and spice. To understand more to add or omit. To cook the perfect devices in your poems. But lazy poets like myself feel it’s a want, so I avoid.
Q: What obstacles did you face while discovering your talent?
A: At an early stage. Where I knew nothing concerning poetry. The amount of laughs and insults my poems received almost had me quitting. But it’s just the world and its normalcy. So I joined classes and learn more on poetry. And bounce back like a new ball.
Q: Who are your mentors and what do you have to say about them?
A: I have a number of them. The first is Taher Danfodio Yonos Such a humble being. He never gets tired of number of rubbish I send to him. That guy would read, tell me where I went wrong and send me back to re-edit them. I remain indebted.
Y’all could tell from my profile. Alhanislam is another. Got the privilege to attend her online class on spoken words. She’s an extraordinary talented being.
Another is Shittu Fowora. Words ain’t enough to describe the good person he is.
And lots more I met along the way.
Q: Who do you look up to as your role model and why?
A: Alhanislam. She’s bold. She’s super good. And I just love every single thing about her.
Q: What is that one thing you think distinguish you from other writers?
A: I hate lies. And writers are liars. Well, good news, I don’t lie!! 😂
Q: What do you think every writer should bear in mind?
A: That they’re unique. And their write ups shouldn’t be saved in the archives. Push them out, people out there might relate. It could be a life saviour. They should bear it in mind, it’s their works but for the people.
Q: What is that writing experience you can never forget?
A: During Alhanislam Spoken Words Classes. On every poetic device lectured, we all would have to write a poem on it. Just imagine the stress of concentrating, relating and then writing. It was an amazingly funny experience I’d ever cherish, I cried at times, on how my poems were striped naked in front of people I thought I was way better than. It was a shameful beautiful experience 🥰😂
Q: To crown everything, what advice do you have for aspiring writers/poets?
A: My mentors always make emphasis with readings. Alright aspiring writers, readers are writers. Read more than you write. Only then you’d get a masterpiece.
Thank you Gem for honoring our invitation and sharing your literary experience with us.
We really appreciate and we look forward to more literary discussions.
Thank you once again.