Ogunmilade Abisinuola Jewel is a young poet in her late teens, the first child and only girl in a family of three kids. Jewel hails from Ekiti state. La Luce, as she is often called, is an extrovert, jovial and funny. She loves travelling, sketching, meeting people, reading and writing. Jewel hates to be taken for granted and is bothered when others are being cheated, which is why she wishes to be an activist and hopes to have a NGO sometime in future. She is presently in her first year in the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital School of Nursing, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
Here is an excerpt from her chat with WRR’s Sam De Poet …
What prompted you to begin writing poetry?
I’ve always loved writing all my life. I started since I was in primary school but poetry became my main focus in secondary school, though I can’t really figure what prompted me to but I just felt peace writing poems.
What inspires your writing?
Hmmm, God is my main inspiration. All I write comes from above. The environment around me also inspires me ’cause it goes a long way in affecting my moods.
I’m the emotional type of person and I just can’t help watch some things happen without me bringing out a story from it.
Let’s just say everything and everyone inspire me.
Do your poems have any predominant themes?
Not really. My poems have different messages they send across but most often they’re cantered on CHANGE. I’m also working on some LOVE poems presently but it still has some elements of change in it.
How important is poetry to you?
Poetry is my life. I find fulfillment in it and there’s this joy contained in every bit of poetry that keeps me moving. Writing brings me satisfaction; poetry brings me joy and peace.
Are there any poems or poets that have influenced your style?
I didn’t really have any opportunity of reading any poetry collection while growing, no one in particular can I say helped build me up, but I’ve always wanted to be like Shakespeare. Presently, I’ve got many people that I wish I can be like, even though they’re not big names in poetry world, I see them as the Stars about to shine. People like Kukogho Iruesiri Samson, Abegunde Olaoluwa Sunday, Erah Oalind, James Iredele Ademuyiwa, Kemjy Xtien, Moses Chibueze Opara, Ayomide Festus, Jeremiah Peters and some others are my bosses at the moment.
How much do you think life experiences influence our writing?
So far in my life I’ve experienced lots of challenges and breakthroughs, and this actually moved me to appreciate writing better. Most of the poems I’ve written are influenced by what I pass through at every moment and I really appreciate nature for helping me realise who I am.
How much of yourself do you inject into your poems
Sincerely speaking, all my words are straight from my heart. My muse is within me, it’s that feeling inside of me prompting me to pour out my thoughts, imaginations, fears, beliefs and ideas.
There’s no time I don’t have something to write, it’s there living in me and that’s why I said Poetry is my life.
Are there conditions in which you write better?
Actually, my moods go a long way in building my muse. There are times I’ve had to write on a particular topic but I just find myself ending up with something different.
I write much better when I see the unusual happen, there was a time I had to write on AFRICAN GIRL CHILD because I felt so bad about how they were being treated.
What is your position about traditional poetry written in local dialects?
I love culture a great deal and I love traditional poems. We can promote our culture with such poems and I appreciate those who write in such manner. Africans are much more respected because of the rich culture they’re blessed with and I believe poets can help develop Africa better with such works. I’m also working on one of such soon.
What is your goal in poetry? What are you aiming to achieve?
I wouldn’t say I’ve achieved anything yet but I’m still grateful to God who has helped me thus far. I’ve had many occasions where people tell me they’ve been blessed with my words. I’ve met a lot of people that I could never have had contact with and I’m still meeting more, all thanks to poetry. The greatest I’ve achieved so far is having four girls looking up to me as a mentor (it’s a big honor for me) and I’m still working on more. My words are focused on making a change in our society, bringing perfections to everything around the globe and impacting in many lives.
I’m passionate about building a world of Peace and Freedom for all and I hope to achieve that with poetry and God on my side. I see myself as the Light set to shine in my generation and Poetry is the weapon for my Victory
Do you have any message for young, aspiring poets such as yourself?
I don’t see myself as a poet yet and that’s what has kept me much better with my works. Humility pays a lot and helps to bring the best out of an individual.
Anyone who wants to achieve greatness in life must be ready to take to corrections, don’t lean on your own understanding, believe in yourself and don’t be scared of taking risks.
Work with achievers, learn from them and trust God for the best. I believe everyone is blessed with talents, develop yours and bless lives with it.
Facebook: Abisinuola La Luce Jewel