In this edition of Personality of The Month, we had a chat with an August visitor, a lover and supporter of Arts in Northern Nigeria and Nigeria as a whole.
Read our interview with Sada Malumfashi here:

PW: Who is Sada Malumfashi?
Sada: Sada Malumfashi is a writer, an art curator, a journalist, and a wanderer with words.

PW: Please tell us your journey and purpose of writing.
Sada: I believe writing is a calling. But it’s also a calling that you have to nurture. My voyage as a writer has been the most fulfilling part of my life so far. It’s about being adventurous, it’s about the ecstasy, the rejections that come with writing, and the pleasure of seeing your works in the lips and minds of readers.

PW: Being a recipient of many prizes and awards, would you describe them as your biggest motivators?
Sada: Definitely not. I see them as validation of my work. If prizes and awards were to be my motivators, I would not have written anything. It is always reaffirming though to realize that your work has been valued and is worthy of recognition.

PW: As the founder of a literary organization, Open Arts, and the Program Officer of YELF, how would you describe the importance of literary organizations to young people and budding writers?
Sada: I believe these platforms are very important in providing spaces and opportunities for literary creativity. Writers and creatives need spaces to develop their craft, and they also need spaces to meet and be inspired by others. Without art spaces, we become islands without a connectivity bridge, but literary organizations serve as a perfect backdrop for engagement and productivity for writers.

PW: what can you say about Poetic Wednesdays?
Sada: I love that it serves as a niche platform for poetry, especially in the northern Nigerian sphere and even wider. We need spaces like Poetic Wednesdays and Poetic Wednesdays needs all the support we can provide to sustain it.

PW: Can you tell us a little about what you have been working on during your German residency?
Sada: I was working on a novel set in the 1960s in northern Nigeria with two women as the lead characters. That’s all you can get out of me for this.

PW: Coming back to language and translation, there has been a rise in writing Hausa literature mostly by women; evident in most Arewa communities. What can you say about that?
Sada: There has always been writing in Hausa by women from northern Nigeria. What is lacking is enough translations of this work. Hopefully, that sector will also develop in the coming years.

PW: Who are your favourite authors?
Sada: Abubakar Imam always. Woke Soyinka in English. Then Teju Cole and the late Binyavanga Wainana.

PW: What’s your best under-appreciated book?
Sada: Wow. I don’t think there are under-appreciated books. Maybe a certain section does not appreciate it, but also you will always find another segment wholly in love with the book.

PW: What is your say on the literary scene here in the north? And what good writers can you tell us to look out for from the region?
Sada: I will say we need to amplify our works, amplify our voices, and amplify our talents. We also need to put more effort and dedication into our craft. There are great talents in northern Nigeria, I can’t single out any. The only advice I always give is to put yourself out there: write, publish, and engage with a wider audience outside of your immediate circle. That is really important.

PW: This almost answers our next question on what your advice to young writers is.
Sada: Well that’s it basically: Put yourself out there!

Thank you for reading!

© PoeticWednesdays, 2023.

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