How Themes Push Your Story Forward
Habibat Aminu, aka Bybarh (Bee-barh), is the Author of Simi’s Resolve. The 26 years old is an unrepentant reader and writer, who was nominated for Nigerian Writers Award
Thanks For This Grand Opportunity. Some of our readers do not know anything about Mirror, can you tell us about it and your motivation?
Thanks for this opportunity too. Mirror is a book that talks about love and struggles of people with impairments. It touches on a whole bunch of atrocities though and there was even a time I entertained the thought of calling it Silent World. You probably would ask why that name. Before December 2016, I used to see people with impairments differently. I always thought they were in a way lesser. I mean it wasn’t in the forefront of my mind. I’m really ashamed to say this but I also blame the society I was raised in. Making people think that being deaf or dumb is actually a pitiable state. I have realized that these people are smarter than we the so called ‘normal’ people. Two years ago, I had the fortune of meeting a person with speech impairments. He wowed me because we had a conversation- or so I thought- for about five minutes before I even realized he was dumb. At that time, I had already written 2 novels and some short stories. I knew I had to write something about him too and I did. Hence, Mirror with the secret title.
You Used The First Person POV in Mirror, Did You Think It’ll be the best in portraying the main message of the story?
Yes. I knew they had to have a chance to tell their own stories, so, I gave them the chance.
When You Set Out To Write This Great Book, Did You Set Out To Preach Some Messages? What Were The Messages?
Yes! Yes! Yes! I hoped to let the world realize that they are out there and they are not stupid. They should always be given an ear and a voice and I hope I did.
Comparing The Theme In Your Other Novel ‘Stakes Change of Heart’, which is focused on forgiveness, How Can Writers Ensure They Are Not Fixated On One View About Life?
Hmm. Well, Stakes is more personal for me. There was a time I used to think that if someone deliberately hurt me, I would not forgive them. DELIBERATELY. Then, I thought of the unimaginable person that could hurt me and what they could do that would hurt me most. I decided to write the course down as I imagined it and it bore Stakes. I don’t think I mind if I’m fixated on one view of life if it keeps birthing good things. I don’t think anyone should be bothered too but if it’s diversity people want. Yes, there is a way and it’s simple. We are humans and there is always an issue or a struggle or even a good thing that we experience at one point or the other. We can always write about them.
When You Continued The Story, What Other Themes Did You Stumble Upon?
Molestation and Domestic violence. My short script on domestic violence (Why I Never Left) should be on YouTube or a bigger screen next year by God’s grace.
It Is No News That Abuses In Relationships Has Been Hammered Upon By Almost Everyone; Yet, Some Women Still Remain In Toxic Relationship Like Uzoduwa’s Own. What Will You Suggest Writers Do To Keep This Reminder Alive?
I ‘m going to take this up from another angle. I’m a romance writer, yeah? So, I can safely say I’ve read millions of romance novels. Yes, I have. Why do we portray our girls out there as the ‘weaker vessel’ that has to be tolerated and dependent? That’s the beginning. When ladies out there think that they have to be clingy and that they can’t do things on their own, then they tolerate bullshit. Permit my language as I can’t find any other word to describe it.
We think the bullshit is the norm. A lady whose husband bought her a Lamborghini is more applauded than the one who bought it herself. Well, in my own little way, I give my female protagonists an edge. A bit more independence as that’s how I want to raise my daughter.
If You Were To Consider Reading Any Book, How Deep Will You Want The Theme of The Story To Be?
Oh! Really deep. I want to think. I want to cry. I want to shout for joy. I want people around me to be worried. I want it to be so deep, I’m lost in it.
In Using The Theme of Any Story, What Can You Say Had Been Your Turn-off Especially In Beginners?
People want to write what other people are writing. People wanting to make their protagonists perfect.
Seeing This, What Will You Recommend These Writers Do To Become Better?
Don’t write what other people have written. My motto is if it doesn’t make me scared, I’m not writing it.
I don’t think I ever had a perfect protagonist. Tunmishe was overbearing, Simi was an over pampered spoilt brat, Feyi was gullible and trust me, Uzoduwa was selfish but the difference I tried to make was really in the fact that they outgrew these imperfections. In order words, let’s write really relatable stories.
Five Funny and Quirky Questions (F.F.A.Q.Q)
1. What’s The Smell of Joy?
2. Fried Fish or Sharwama?
3. If you were a rat, whose house will you invade?
4. If You Would Make Recommendations About Twitter, What Will It Be?
Use it wisely.
5. Which Of These Old Movies Having You Seen?
The Burning Training, Rambo, Aki Na Ukwa
Aki Na Ukwa
Books By Bybarh