“Every Writer Attains Bliss of Contentment after Birthing a Book” INTERVIEW WITH AISHA MURTALA
By Haneefah AbdulRahman (Literature Voices)
(Aisha Murtala Musa developed her ardour for literature at the early age of 14 during her Junior Secondary School, where she wrote her first poem “The Iroko Man” at FOMWAN. She further attended Police Secondary School to complete her First School Leaving Certificate. Aisha’s love for the arts ignited her purpose for creating Arewa Writers’ Forum, a literary forum which aims at uniting critical minds. She holds a Bsc. in Biochemistry from the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. She is from Kano State Nigeria but currently lives in Minna, where she writes and practices her profession. Aisha is an avid reader and a passionate writer.)
Haneefah: Good day Ma’am. My name is HANEEFAH ABDULRAHMAN, it is a great pleasure to have you here with us at LitVo (Literature Voices). Give us the honour of a literary introduction of yourself.
Aisha: My name is Aisha Murtala Musa. I have fervour for literature since the early age of 13, when I wrote my first poem “The Iroko Man” at the Junior Secondary School and since then I have been in Love with arts and those in it. Writing has paved way for me to find solace in the spoken words, Poetry and totally makes me fall in love with the stage.
Haneefah: There are so many views about the literary world which has even triggered arguments among philosophers—thus, their publications of treatise. What is your overall view of the literary world and what’s your philosophy of it, especially if you were to write about it? What title would you give to your treatise?
Aisha: I see this whole literary world as a go ticket to loving your life and leaving a reprint of your legacy. This is because the best moments of one’s life comes after life but that’s until and unless you leave something worth reading or something worth writing about. I am not sure I want to write a treatise and if I am to write one then it’s going to be a treatise of equity or justice.
Haneefah: That’s very true indeed. In Nigeria, there have been issues about segregation when it comes to appreciating literature. Zainab Alkali is one of the few Northern Nigerian feminists who have carved out a niche in the literary world. What can you say about appreciating literature, women, Northern Nigerian women and Northerners?
Aisha: As I said earlier, literature paved way to the stage for me. It gives me lots of confidence and zeal. The accommodation I get from people is a complete chill and being a northern woman is a different privilege. Seeing lots and lots of Arewa Women making waves through writing is a reflection to the next generations to come.
Haneefah: Behind every creation is an inspiration and a reason. You are the founder of AREWA WRITERS’ FORUM, what was the force behind your forum? Have you been able to fulfil the whole motive behind its creation?
Aisha: Arewa Writers’ Forum was built on the idea of uniting critical thinkers, giving them opportunity to showcase their talents and voice toward positive impacts and funding their projects and lots. AWF will ring a bell to every pen and every voice dwelling in the north and beyond soon.
Haneefah: We will fervently look forward to that. From the name, AREWA WRITERS’ FORUM, one could sense that it is a forum for Northerners. Do you not think other Nigerians in the North will feel some form of apartness?
Aisha: I doubt if they will because I am sure such platforms exist in other parts of the country; more so the art will unite us all Nigerians someday, for it has been doing so.
Haneefah: And art is nothing if it does not exceed boundaries. Speaking on that, Women like Buchi Emecheta started writing as a form of therapy, an instance is her book entitled JOYS OF MOTHERHOOD. How do you explain writing as a form of therapy?
Aisha: Writing as a form of therapy is a way of easing her emotional distress and she finds comfort doing that Every writer attains a bliss of contentment and joy after birthing a book or anything, but then it’s not Therapy to me; it’s just another passion I love aside from my profession.
Haneefah: In your words: ‘I haven’t ideally published my book but I have technically published my book entitled EVERYTHING AND NOTHING MATTERS. Now, the title of the book is awesomely provoking, it compels one to immediately want to start devouring the unseen book. What is the idea behind this title?
Aisha: (Laughter). It’s a collection that depicts the desire of the woman for freedom from encumbrance imposed on her by the society using metaphors to crave for freedom against sexual molestation among other vices used as weapons against her, (this is what one of my readers has to say).
Haneefah: Hmm! I sense a feminist vibe to it. Tell us a bit about your book EVERYTHING AND NOTHING MATTERS which is coming soon.
Aisha: I am super excited; so, I wouldn’t mind saying nothing (Laughter).
Haneefah: Ambience is a very important part of inspiration to writers. Tell us a mini story about your ambience and writing?
Aisha: You know this inspiration of a thing works strictly with your mindset. If I am very excited, I write absolutely better than being moody or distressed. Sometimes in a neutral mood I still write. When it comes to ambience, I am a 2am person, I am a nocturnal.
Haneefah: Orature and literature are two worlds that can’t do without each other. Tell us the relationship between these worlds in relationship to you and the place of orature in the ethical evolution of the society in Northern Nigeria?
Aisha: I do both, it just depends on why I decided to do Orature. It’s a process but I think they are beginning to accept its positivity towards voicing for Arts.
Haneefah: In a few words, explain what the Nigerian literary scene stands for you?
Aisha: Nigerian literary scene is the art written by Nigerians, for Nigerians and speaks out for Nigerian issues.
Haneefah: What is the nature of Arewa Writers’ Forum like? I am talking about membership and activities.
Aisha: Averagely encouraging, activities temporarily unavailable because of Covid 19. We are planning to collect poems for an anthology to be published by the forum from poets in Northern Nigeria.
Haneefah: Thank you.
Aisha: My pleasure.
Haneefah AbdulRahman is a spoken word artiste, poet, writer, interviewer and social entrepreneur. She has published some of her articles, short stories and poems in different journals including the Nigeria Review. She is the Financial Secretary and Editor I of Creative Writers’ Club, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where she studies Literature. She is from Kogi State, Nigeria and lives in Kaduna. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, IG: neefahwords, BLOG: trendyneefah.blogspot.com, Twitter: neefahwords_, Facebook: Haneefah Abdulrahman, YouTube: Hanifah Abdulrahman.