BackStory: Eight Questions with Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi

BackStory: Eight Questions with Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi
Author of This House

What inspired you to write ‘This House’?

The Ife/Modakeke crises in the south­-western part of Nigeria.

Were there any interesting facts, details, or turns of phrase that didn’t quite make the final piece?

The prominent detail about the crises was that there was burning of houses and that is the main part of the history that triggers the writing of the story. However, details like what caused the crises was not mentioned in the story. But, the story is written for humanity so as to feel the absurd effect the crises had on those affected.

How much research did you do while writing and editing this piece? Did you discover anything that surprised you?

I’ve heard about the crises since I was at a very tender age and he burning of houses part pull something out of me. What surprised me was what caused the crises and I struggled so hard to get it reflected in the story but was impossible. I was stunned to realise that what caused the crises was objection of supremacy of Ile-Ife over the people of Modakeke.

If you could live for one year in any historical period, when and where would it be, and why?

I would love to live the pre-colonial period of Nigeria and precisely the Eastern part because reading Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God, both written by Chinua Achebe, exposes me to the world-view of Nigerians as some people living a definitive life before colonial rules.

What, if anything, do you have in common with your main character?

Empathy, I think.

What do you like most about writing flash?

The joy of exploring a serious theme briefly without tampering the subject matter.

How important is historical accuracy to you in your own writing?

I would say it is very much important because history is to a nation what memory is to man. It is meant to juxtapose the present and project the future.

Ahmad Adedimeji Amobi is a penultimate student of English and Literary Studies at the University of Ilorin. He was shortlisted for the 2018 League of Wordsmiths, prose category and was long listed for the maiden Punocracy Prize for Satire. His works have appeared online and imprint on Ethel Zine, LitroUK, Kalahari Review, African Writer, Agbowo and others. He can be reached on Twitter and Instagram via @ahmad_adedimeji.