Interview with Wuraola Kolejo

Putting pen to paper to write a book and taking the courage to publish, is not a feat attained by everyone in a lifetime. In this interview, the author takes us on a journey that started a decade ago. Her story is worth reading.

Can we meet you?

I am Wuraola Kolejo, I was born and raised in Lagos. I am the 6th child of my parents who were indigenes of Ijebu-Ode. I have a B-Tech degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. I worked both in the public sector briefly and in the private sector for ten years before deciding to focus on my writing. Now, I am a new blogger and literary writer. I am a single parent of a wonderful daughter.

When did you start writing?

Probably about 33years now. My writing journey began when I was twelve years old,  then I merely scribbled, describing characters of people around me in secret. Later on, writing became a major escape for me from turbulent times and in 2003, I penned the first draft of my first full story.

Since then, I have written stories and screenplays. In January 2020, I decided that it’s the year to go all the way, to begin publishing amongst other things.

How did you come about the title of your book “To Catch A Rainbow“?

To Catch A Rainbow is a metaphor for the modern human’s quest for wealth, position, and power which drives them into actions that have life-changing physical and supernatural consequences.

When I reviewed my life in January 2020, I decided this is the year to complete milestone projects I had abandoned. Successfully publishing To Catch A Rainbow is my first success story.

Did it really take you ten years?

I wrote the first draft of the story over three weeks in 2010 so, it’s been ten years.

Why did it take you that long?

Over the last ten years, I reviewed the story multiple times. Each time, I wasn’t convinced that I had successfully woven all the elements into the picture I was trying to present.

The Covid-19 lockdown provided a slow pace of time for me to pinpoint the missing elements that eventually communicate the depth of meaning of the story to me. I’m certain my readers will appreciate this depth too.

What can you say about Nigerian Literature?

Reading was my first passion in my early years.

After watching “Things Fall Apart” and   I read the book by Chinua Achebe, I got interested in Cultural literature and I read books from authors like D. O. Fagunwa,  Prof. Akinwunmi Ishola,  J.F. Odunjo, Cyprian Ekwensi, Wole Soyinka and others of that generation.

Apart from unlocking my imagination, their books gave me both moral and cultural foundation that formed the principles I live by. Much of contemporary Nigerian literature is not reflective of our cultural heritage. I wanted to give this generation of youths a cultural adventure through books to reconnect them to our cultural heritage as well as encourage reading amongst them.

What makes “To Catch a Rainbow” so unique?

To Catch A Rainbow is both educational and entertaining. It is targeted at parents especially mothers and prospective mothers, couples, youths, and leaders in any position no matter how seemingly insignificant. The book is also targeted at all lovers of culture.

To Catch A Rainbow is my socio-cultural picture of the Nigerian polity. Its decay right from the family- the smallest unit of society; recognizing failed parenting as the foundation of a generation of youths manifesting juvenile delinquent tendencies on steroids under the sponsorship of their parents. Supposed parents holding leadership positions but are consumed by the benefits rather than the responsibility of such offices; a people who hide in their comfort zones criticizing the system rather than offer solution ideas; a few patriotic men left but are schemed out of leadership positions while those that actually make it into leadership are sidelined hence are oblivious to what’s going on under their noses and are helpless.

 The book is a call to every Nigerian to realize that the change we all desire will neither happen overnight nor just because we changed leadership. We all must be willing to put Nigeria ahead of our individual gains and persevere for the change we desire.

What is your grand vision as an author?

My grand vision as an author is to reconnect the contemporary generation of readers across the world to the cultural wealth offered in the books of the Nigerian first-generation authors.

What do you do in your spare time?

When I am not writing I watch movies especially epics, action, drama, archeological and mythical adventures; I also research and work on my inventions; bead making, and cooking.

If you had all the power, fame, and wealth in the world, what three things will you change?

The three things I would change would be the global approach to human development,  global integration, and world peace. The family is the smallest unit of society; everyone in leadership positions whether good or bad came out of a family, if the family is good enough to produce healthy babies, it should be a held fully accountable for raising them into responsible members of society hence I would criminalize failed parenting.

Secondly, for global integration, I believe knowledge of other cultures will go a long way into influencing how people treat those different from themselves and eradicate racism, tribalism, etc. To achieve this, I would introduce fifteen years of cultural studies into all levels of education, formal or informal: nine local cultures and languages within a country will be studied in the first nine years of school; the next three years of senior high school will study three cultures and languages from three different regions of the same continent, then the first three years of university will inculcate studies of culture and languages from three other continents. It will help humans understand, appreciate, and respect one another.

Thirdly, I believe that world peace cannot be achieved with the current global parameters for power, influence, and wealth.  This is the foundation of most of the crises everywhere. Rather than Parameters such as economic, material net worth, military, or tech power I would redefine wealth and power. I.e. for individuals to be on the Forbes list of the most influential and richest globally, the parameter would be the number of people who can trace their success stories to each individual under assessment.

The influence and power of nations would be measured by the number of equal ratio or lower ratio bilateral relationships a nation has with other countries. i.e. equal ratio relationship defined as a relationship in which the trade between nations is equal (what a nation takes from another is equal to the absolute value of what it gives in return); a lower ratio relationship being a trade relationship in which an economically advantaged nation takes less value than what it gives in return to the lower economic viable nation.

With the author’s responses to this interview amazing responses here, it is obvious that our author is passionate about the art of writing. She is a fighter who never gives up. If you have dusty manuscripts, its time to bring them all out.

Let’s get you published NOW!

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