Poet Laureate Interviews 2020: Meet Esther Mbabie

Tell us more about you?

I am a final year student at the University of Ibadan. I am also a radio presenter for both English and Pidgin programs, a content creator, a creative writer, a Spoken word artist, and a passionate volunteer. I am passionate about God and people, especially children. I am the Executive Director of Chrysolite Foundation, an NGO aimed at advancing the welfare of future generations through empowerment and education. I am a big fan of the statement “live full, die empty“.

How long have you been writing for?

 Since I knew how to hold a pencil (at least so I was told) but I have been writing for as long as I can remember.

What was the first thing you thought of when you saw the ad for the contest?

 I read the word “SANKOFA” over and over and thought “I will like to see what new ideas my head will supply for this theme.”

What does Sankofa mean to you?

Just as it means in English, SANKOFA to me means accepting that there is a past, where good and bad things took place and all I can take from the past are lessons but thankfully there is also a future to work towards and that’s what matters.

Tell us about your entry

Although my entry speaks on the sacrifices a daughter has had to pay for her mother’s mistakes before eventually learning that she is in charge of her own story, the idea of the concept is to tell a story of how too many times we carry the mistakes from the past along with us until it begins to ruin every chance of a better future.

Did you have any challenges in writing your piece?

I had the first line almost immediately but it took a long time to figure out what story I wanted to build up to.

What is the future of literature in Africa?

I love being a tribesman. In the short time that I have been following the TVO tribe, I have loved every content that has been put out as they have all been constantly reminding me of the power of the pen.

What does being a tribesman mean to you, and how do you think being part of a community will influence African literature?

I think being part of a community will keep the African Literature spirit alive because we can always get inspired by the struggles and victories of the people in our community.

Sound bite, anyone?

They say writing a book is as easy as writing A-B-C but I am not sure anybody is willing to read 275 pages of ABC. So eventually, it’s never that simple.

Read Esther’s entry here now!

See how to vote here!

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