‘By trying often, a monkey learns how to jump from tree to tree without falling’ – a teenage writer, Safiya says


Safiya, an impossibly witty teenager, currently writing a story, Child of Wisdom, speaks to us about her passion and her work in this interview. Her story, as an individual, is simply defying the determination of Boko Haram to rewrite the narrative of the North East and breaking down stereotypes…

Who is Sadiya? My name is Sadiya Yahaya, I am 16 years old and an SS3 student of Jibwis Science Secondary School, Gombe. I was born and brought up in Gombe. I am currently writing the book Child of Wisdom and it is about to be completed soon.

But well, you look young, what are your hobbies? Well, it is weird. I am a kind of so engrossed in imaginary world, I am like a daydreamer. I believe in the power of imagination. So, it is my hobby to think of the unthinkable, and sometimes even the impossible. Am a kind of person that enjoys daydream.

Surprising Safiya. This is rude, but what type of person are you? I am the type who really enjoys living alone, in fact, I wish to spend the rest of my life alone just to have enough time to enjoy my hobby.

When you say alone, do you mean you are not thinking of marriage? That is entirely different. It is not something to comment on right now.

You said you are writing a book, tell me what inspired you? I am sometimes surprised about my thoughts, like I said. Because I used to think about some things that are extremely unbelievable.

When I was about to finish SS2, my English teacher, Abdulaziz Mala, gave me an advice that I should start writing. It should be anything, either fiction or non-fiction—that way, he said my knowledge will broaden and intellect sharpen.

Without seeking for any one's advice, I decided to write a fictitious story—an entirely imaginary work.

My teacher, a magnanimous altruist, a man of integrity, was who taught me how to weather the storm. He is indeed helping a lot by giving me some necessary advices. He has always put me through by making sure that every chapter of my book is done professionally.

Dear Sadiya, you are an amazing girl, what is your Child of Wisdom about? It is a story of a boy who suffered a lot of hardship, hatred and oppression. His rights as a human were trampled upon by his own mother who considered, unusually, male children a curse and even useless. His sister was however treated directly opposite to his utter dismay. But by an unbelievable turn of events, he became an important personality in the society while the sister, because of the recklessness of the selfish mother, became the real curse.

Why do you name it Child of Wisdom of all names? Yes, I am writing about wise people and wise decisions!

Wow, when will this amazing book hit the bookshelf? I assure you, very soon. I am in the last lap.

Do you know Abubakar Adam Ibrahim? Yes. Season of Crimson Blossoms.

Wow, did you read it? No. But I am looking forward.

He won 100,000 dollars for writing that story, do you want to be like him? If he is the best, I want to. Everyone wants to be best in what he or she is doing. But you should know that I just like writing. I am not doing it to be or get anything.

There are girls like you who do not believe in themselves, their power of imagination, skills and what have you. What advice will you give them? I feel depressed on how some females put themselves behind in everything. One ought to try, because nobody is born perfect. A popular adage said ‘by trying often, a monkey learns how to jump from tree to tree without falling’. So, I will say, start something and keep trying.

Thank you.

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