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Review: “I learnt to kill” by Aisha Saludeen

Hello you cuties! Got my grandma cap on and my all seeing glasses and decided to check up on one of the writers I interviewed for LitiTalk (by the way, stay tuned for my new interview sessh!). I know Aisha personally and she told me that this story is based on true events (The Jos ethno-religious conflicts in 2001). First of all, I commend her for being brave enough to share her story. Second, I’m thankful that she survived and has not let such a terrible event define her. She’s a funny kid and you can tell by the way she chooses to write. Anyway, now that I’ve gotten sentimental, let’s rip this piece to shreds, shall we! 🙂

When I read the story, I fell in love with it. It’s a story that has the potential to become a great story. It’s real, told lightly and most of all, and doesn’t waste hundreds of pages on horribly written erotica (anti-fan of 50 shades, HOW did that book become a bestseller?!). So far she has written part one and two and they have been good.

I would have loved to see more detailed descriptions in there. What was the day like before the horrid event? Descriptions of her relationship with her best friend?… just details that will fill out the story and give me a better idea of the look and feel of what’s going on. That’s what this story needs to go from good to great. For anyone that’s skeptical of the use of humor in the story, I thought that it was a unique way of lightening the horrors of the story and for me that is the story’s gold.

Here are excerpts from Parts 1&2, read it yourself by clicking the quotes, share & give it a bunch of stars!

Part 1:

They trooped into my class, I was shaking, one animal placed an axe on my throat , he asked “kin iya hausa” (you understand hausa?) I couldn’t answer on time, I was too scared, he landed me a heavy slap that brought me straight back to reality, the slap was too good…I could feel the blood going to my head, I answered him as loud as I could. He gave me another hot slap, I fell “ki dinga mun hausa, Shegiya!” (Speak hausa to me, bastard). Lol lol omo the hausa just started flowing.

Part 2:

AGHHHHHH!! I was brought back to reality… I felt that sharp pain on my thigh, I fell to my knee, it hurt so much. I looked down at the knife in my thigh, I cried. “Kill me” I said, “shut up!” He replied. My blood was very red, I was scared, “dan iska” one of them said to me.
My brother was crying, he tried to help me up, BAM! I heard him fall, he had been hit too. They left…

POLICE…

I had never been so happy to see the Nigerian police in my life!!…. Okay seriously, they ran away. Police officers took over, the red cross… They were so many dead bodies… I felt worthless, nothing made sense at that moment. I was in so much pain, I cried throughout…I couldn’t even walk well.
My brother was busy cursing and biting his nails, worst day ever for him.

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LitiTalk: An interview with artists

Hello! This is my first interview session for my new interview series, LitiTalk! Tell your friends and neighbours! I have started this as my own way of supporting the arts and meeting other amateur and possibly professional writers and artists. If there’s anything more exciting than a creative work, it’s meeting the people behind them. In my first interview, I sat down with amateur writers. Aisha Saludeen and Aniyeloye Adekunle after reading the first part of a story they collaborated on titled “Deceit”. While Kunle did the writing, Aisha was there to lend a creative ear. It’s a simple story told vividly in a way that makes it relatable.

Aisha Saludeen is 19 years old from Lagos, Nigeria. She is currently a student at the University of Bradford and plans to to to graduate school to study either Economics or Mass Communications. She loves reading novels, talking (which is probably why she is currently an intern at Top Radio 90.9, Ikeja, Lagos) and watching movies. One of the people that inspires her includes Folorunsho Alajika, a Lagos business tycoon involved in the oil, fashion and printing industries and was ranked 24th on Forbes list of Africa’s 40’s richest with an estimated net worth of $600M.

Aniyeloye Adekunle is also 19 years old from Lagos, Nigeria. He will be 20 in October (but still not old enough to drink in the United States). He graduated from Covenant University today (7/26/2013). Congratulations! His hobbies include writing, music and thinking (a David Hume perhaps!). He is inspired by Warren Buffet and  Bishop David Oyedepo, his chancellor and according to Forbes, “Nigeria’s Wealthiest Preacher” with an estimated net worth of $150M. According to Kunle, the Bishop’s teachings have been a ‘blessing‘ to him.

N.B. This interview has been slightly edited for clarity and cohesiveness. K refers to Kunle and A refers to Aisha.

Me: What exactly would you say that your story is about?

K: Okay, lol. Well, it’s basically non-fiction; about a family… more like newlyweds. Years later, the husband ends up cheating. Got the wife wondering, confused, sad… but she sucked it all up and pretends that nothing happened. (the story) talks about lies, deceit, cheating and all the ills of “being in love”

Me: In the story, although Foluke (the wife) is more vocal, the reader gets to know more about what’s going on inside Daniel’s head. In essence, the reader gets a male perspective on cheating (at least in this part). Is there any reason for this?

K: Lol, no reason at all. I never expected it to turn out that way. I only did that writing in respect to the normal way cheating is portrayed. It wasn’t something I planned, more like a ‘freelance’.

Me: What do you mean by the normal way cheating is portrayed?

K: To everyone, ‘men’ are portrayed as “alpha males” when it comes to cheating…like men cheat the most and females are seen as the “everly faithful ones”…which is not so…

Me: Since we’re still waiting for the second part of the story, is there any chance that we’ll see a deviation from this conventional view of cheating as a type of “male dominated sport”?

K: Definitely… to me, not only males cheat, all men cheat.

Me: So what inspired you to write about cheating? And not just cheating but cheating specifically in a marriage?

K: Well, I would say that it is more of a personal thing. Most of what I write is based on experience. If you read my blog, you would see that most of the things I post are either about being hut, or lied to or something. I sometimes just go through y timeline of twitter and see so many stories around and I try to pick up something and write about it. The story is basically inspired by personal experience. It has nothing to do with cheating in marriage. I just woke up one morning and sent Aisha a message. I was like ‘let’s write something about lies, deceit and cheating’. And she was like “oh, no problem”. I had what I wanted to write about, so it was easy. I only twisted it a little.

Me: Wow. That’s great that you are able to take something personal and write a universal story.

K: Lol, thank you.

Me:  Who do you relate better with in the story? Daniel or Foluke?

K: Lol, that is actually a personal question you know, but anyway it’s Foluke. I don’t want to go into details.

Me: Thanks for sharing that. So Aisha, you read the story and put it on your blog, which is actually how I read the story, what did you think about it.

A: yeah, Kunle’s really good and creative. I could understand and relate to what was going on in the lives of the couple.

Me: So did you think Foluke was right to forgive Daniel?

A: I think she was just trying to save her marriage, or she’s just so much in love with him.

Me: So what writers inspire you both?

A: Chimamanda Adiche inspires me a lot! She’s Nigerian and has gone far, her stories are captivating! Her novels make me want to be a professional writer.

(We share a little joke about the arts)

K: Mark Twain inspires me. My literature teacher made me love Mark Twain. I love the way he uses diction and figures of speech to create something amazing. Anyway, much of the credit goes to my Literature teacher. He made me realize my zeal for writing.

A: Mark Twain lomo (joke)

Me: Lol! So what other stories should we expect from both of you?

A: I’m working on a new story. I’ll upload it soon, so till then…

K: I’m also working on a write up too called “Faded Memories”.

Me: Any chance I can get the scoop on what the stories are about?

A: Lol, well, it’s about friendship and trust. That’s all I’m giving out. It should be put in two weeks.

K: A scoop on faded memories… err okay, it’s actually a random thought. It’s about letting go of memories that you consider happy memories because you’ve been betrayed by the person you shared those memories with.

Here is an excerpt from Deceit:

” You cheated on me? You were cheating on me! ” foluke’s voice rose into a shrill. Disbelief contorting her face.
Daniel was curled up into a ball lying on bed while Foluke towered over him. He felt lifeless shrinking inside himself after letting go of the secret that was poisoning his soul.
” And why did you have to tell me huh? So you can ease your conscience and dumped the misery on me! How can you be so selfish?” Tears cascading down her cheeks but on her expression was rage.
” You think I didn’t know. Do you think I did not felt it? Why tell me? Why not leave me with a benefit of doubt? I knew you never loved me but why be so vicious? Why confirm my fears? How are we going to live together now? You knew our families would never let us separate. Why did you have to destroy all my illusions? “
Foluke was sobbing now. Her anger spent. Daniel was not paying attention to any of her outbursts. He continued to retreat inside his shell.
Foluke sat on the foot of the bed. Grief racked her body. Both hands covering her face.
” I also know love. I also loved. Once. I was in love with someone before I married you.”She said softly now. Only pain echoed in her voice….Daniel surrendered to despair and resignation. The horizon seemed depressing but he knew he would be compelled to plod on as many others like him did.

There you have it! Check out the story “Deceit” here:

http://memoirsoflostsouls.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/deceit/

http://ayeshaistwisted.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/deceit/

Follow them on twitter:  @Aishurr & @_kunle_A

Also Follow their Blogs: 

http://memoirsoflostsouls.wordpress.com/

http://storyofananonymousoutcast.blogspot.com/

http://ayeshaistwisted.wordpress.com/