Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Author Questions & Answers Session With Amira Abubakar Ibrahim

Khadijah: Good evening, Amira! Welcome to our space, and thank you for accepting our invitation. We are truly honoured to have you here among us, and our members are thrilled to learn and hear from you.

I have ten questions for you today, and I hope you’re as excited to answer them as we are to hear your responses.

Ameera: I am deeply honoured to be in your presence today. Thank you for inviting me.

 Khadijah: I hope you are as excited as I am! I trust it’s going to be a great evening with you ❤️

Amira: In sha Allah, it will be.

I’m excited, too.

Khadijah: So Amira, our first question is about your novel, “Destined Tears,” which is a captivating title. Can you delve into the name’s inspiration and significance in your writing? ‎

Amira: Sure

I named the novel after completing the writing and editing process. The title truly captures the essence of the book. 

The book narrates the story of a girl who always shies away from love, not because she doesn’t want to love but because she fears the pain that it could bring. However, one day, she woke up to find herself deeply and hopelessly in love with someone who initially seemed far from her fear, making her feel at peace. Unfortunately, it ended just the way she never wanted it to, with the pain of losing. 

Therefore, the book’s title suggests that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we cannot avoid our destiny. We can never outsmart it.

I believe in staying true to myself and writing about what I know and love. This gives my audience a better understanding of who I am and what I want to convey. About 80% of my writing reflects my true self, which is why many people relate to and admire my work.

Amira Abubakar Ibrahim

Khadijah: Impressive! The piece conveys a profound message about life that goes beyond its title. Your title is captivating, and I love it. Moving on to our second question, could you share your creative process? How do you approach writing a poem or a piece of writing?

Amira: When I feel inspired to write something, I usually write it all on paper or my phone without worrying too much about how it sounds or looks. 

After that, I leave my words alone and return to them later for editing. If I’m really into a poem, I’ll let it rest for a day or two before returning to it. 

Editing is the hardest part for me, not because it’s complicated, but because I struggle to find inspiration. It takes me a long time to edit my work. 

Once I’m done editing, I give my work a name. I almost always name it after I finish writing it.

Khadijah: I appreciate your dedication towards the writing process – from finding inspiration to writing and editing. Your organised approach towards writing is commendable, and it can inspire our members to incorporate some of these techniques in their work. Your focus on the content without worrying about the appearance is highly impressive.

Balancing personal expression in writing while connecting with a larger audience can be challenging for many. How do you manage to strike a balance between the two?

 Amira: I prioritise organisation. It comes naturally to me and is always at the top of my list of priorities. Thank you very much for understanding.

I believe in staying true to myself and writing about what I know and love. This gives my audience a better understanding of who I am and what I want to convey. About 80% of my writing reflects my true self, which is why many people relate to and admire my work.

In everything we do, we must know ourselves and be genuine. This makes everything much more accessible and leads to superior results.

Khadijah: It makes balancing easier when your personal life is intertwined with writing. This is amazing, for real. I love it! When you know yourself, you can easily handle many things.

Can you share a moment that has significantly shaped your outlook on the world and your writing, Amira?

 Amira: Indeed. My initial work comprised a collection of poems entitled “Dear Unknown.” During that period, I wrote regularly and expressed my thoughts on the characteristics of my imagined lover, particularly as the series progressed towards its conclusion.

I began a relationship that was as beautiful as the book “Destined Tears”. However, I became overly dependent on my partner. Though I still write, I now send my work to them for editing, suggestions, and even to help me choose a suitable name for my writing. I have become too reliant on them.

I ended a relationship just like in the book, and unfortunately, I have not been able to finish the books I started writing. Most of them only need a little editing, but I find it harder to do it alone since I was too dependent on someone. It exhausts me quickly, and maybe it’s because I became too relaxed and calm and lost interest in the things I love doing the most.

Despite my challenges, they helped me become a more robust and better person. I am grateful for the experiences that have allowed me to see the world in a different light. This interview has inspired me to read more and continue to grow.

Khadijah: Love is a powerful drive for your writings, I see. 

I hope that one day you will find the love within you to keep writing regardless cause the world loves your piece, Amira. May our love for your writings be the powerful drive for you to keep writing for us and, most importantly, for yourself.

It’s amazing

Moving on, are there specific authors or poets who have profoundly influenced your work? If so, how?

Amira: Thanks for the beautiful words ❤️

One thing to note about me is that I am a poet. However, I don’t read poems that much. Instead, I spend a lot of time reading books, with 90% of them being Islamic books that help me gain a better understanding of my religion. Some of the books I’ve read include “Sufism,” “For Men of Understanding,” and “When the Moon Split.” When I do read for pleasure, I gravitate towards thrillers. 

I can’t say that any particular work has influenced me, but I hope to find one that does someday. As of now, I haven’t explored enough to say that I’ve been influenced by anything. After all, it’s hard for an influence to exist if there’s nothing to affect.

Khadijah: I have understood your message. You mentioned earlier that you draw inspiration from within yourself, as you believe in the saying “Know yourself”. 

I noticed that you have a mixed heritage of Hausa and Fulani, and I would like to know if you could share more about the cultural influences from both heritages that shape your literary work. I apologise for sounding too excited about asking this question; I am interested in learning about different cultures.

Amira: My parents share stories about the Hausa and Fulani cultures with us. They tell us about their childhood, how life used to be, and the stories they heard from their parents. My dad even takes us out to show us buildings and markets and how they looked before. He is also the kind of person who sends us videos and video calls when he travels abroad so we can learn new things.

I love listening to these stories because they are so beautiful and vivid that I can picture them. I am very sentimental and respectful of my culture and always try to preserve it.

As a writer, my cultural background is crucial in shaping my work. I am thrilled to share that the unique perspective that it brings helps me create content that is both authentic and relatable.

Khadijah: This is lovely! I appreciate how you incorporate your parents and culture into your writing, highlighting parents’ vital role in shaping their children’s future. Your parents must be amazing. Culture is indeed an essential part of life.

Moving on, Amira, how has your academic pursuit in sociology influenced your perspective on human interactions and societal dynamics, and how has it impacted your writing?

Amira: I can’t express enough how much I cherish sociology – it’s my passion! Sadly, society often underrates this field, and it breaks my heart to see people question my intelligence for studying it. But to me, sociology is the study of reality – it’s what we live in, and it’s what we can improve.

This course has transformed my perspective on how we exist, how we ought to live, how we shouldn’t exist, and how we can advance our lives, among other things. It’s given me a more profound understanding of myself, society, and how to initiate change.

Speaking of change, I’m eager to make a difference using my writing. The book I’m crafting is a story brewing in my mind for ages. I was motivated to pen it down after a lecture and always carry a notebook to jot down ideas.

That’s why everything I do, from my studies to my hobbies, is intertwined. They all complement each other in one way or another. And may I add that I’m ecstatic to have the best support system in my corner – my loved ones! Whenever I say “Alhamdulillah,” it’s with gratitude for having them in my life. ❤️🥰

Khadijah: “Course shaming” has become a common trend today. One time, I took sociology as a borrowed course, which turned out to be one of my favourite subjects. Your perspective on things is quite exciting and impressive. It’s heartening to see that you are using your understanding of society to initiate positive change through your writing. 

Challenges are an essential aspect of our personal growth. What challenges have you encountered as a young writer, and how have you overcome them?

Amira: The most significant challenge for me is from myself. As I mentioned earlier, I find it difficult to edit my work because I set high standards. I want my work to be perfect, so most pieces have yet to see the light of day. I need help managing and lowering my standards to make room for other work. It’s a constant challenge I have yet to overcome, but I hope to do so In Sha Allah.

Khadijah: It is common for writers to struggle with the desire for perfection. However, as Su’eddie V Agema once said, “No piece of art is ever complete; we just have to let it go at some point.” The true perfection lies in being able to let go. I hope that you will overcome this feeling soon. We have faith in you!

Now, towards the end, our question is, as an artist, how do you use your platform to contribute to essential conversations or address societal issues through your writing?

Amira: I haven’t started working on it yet, but I plan to do it. So far, I’ve only discussed my ideas with friends, family, and small groups. However, it would be a good idea to start writing about them. Writing will help me succeed, so I’ve started working on it.

Khadijah: From the small circles to the big ones, we look forward to seeing you address societal issues on a larger stage soon. 

Now, Amira, for our final question before we end our conversation, please share a favourite piece of literature or poetry that you believe everyone should read. And why do you think it is important?

Amira: This:

Khadijah: This is beautiful , it has a nice rhyming pattern.

I believe this will be an excellent souvenir for our members🤭😁❤️

Amira: It’s one of my favourites

And everyone should read it, perhaps because I wrote it or because I love it, I feel it’s worth it.

Khadijah: Yes, it is.

We had a great session with you, Amira. We hope to see you again soon! This session gave our members insight into the writing journey. Thank you again for such a fantastic session with us!

Amira: Thank you for having me as your guest tonight. I had a wonderful time chatting with you. I appreciated the opportunity you gave me to share my thoughts and experiences with your audience. I feel far more motivated and inspired after our conversation. Thank you so much for your hospitality. May you continue to soar higher with a brighter light.

Khadijah: We are grateful you had a wonderful time with us. Thank you, and have a fantastic night!

Amira Abubakar Ibrahim was born in Kano state on the 31st of March. She has her origins from Katina state, and is a mixture of Hausa and Fulani by tribe. She attended Fountain basic school for her primary to junior secondary school education, and then moved on to Al-azhar School in Kano for her secondary school education, where she was an Art Student. She is a writer, a poet, and author of  “Destined tears”. She love to read books, exercise, write, travel and learn new things. Amira finds peace in nature, and is driven by her curiosity of humans and their interaction with the environment. Perhaps this led her to take up Sociology as a course of study in Bayero University Kano (BUK). She is a 300 level student, and writes under the pen name ‘heenderhpoetry’. 

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