This week, we interviewed Jadesola Ajao, winner of the Tell! Award in the best campus writer category
1) How would you describe yourself to the public?
My name is Jadesola Ajao, a 300L student of the Veterinary Medicine in the University of Ibadan. I am an avid reader of novels as well as a writer, a feminist, and a mental health advocate.
2) Where did you grow up and What was growing up like for you?
I grew up in Mainland Lagos. My parents were busy almost all the time so I basically grew up with my five siblings and my grandmother. My childhood was interesting; playing with my sisters and dolls and going to the house next door to exchange storybooks; but quite cliché
3) When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was in primary school I used to tear out my school notes and write on them. When my parents found out I almost got a spanking
4)Can you tell us 7things most people don’t know about you?
1. I started writing stories since I was little and used to sell them to fellow primary school students for five naira
2. I am relatively antisocial, and could probably stay in an isolated area for days.
3. I go back to read my favorite books/ watch my favorite series overtime
4. I am terrible at even the smallest sewing chores, but I can crotchet
5. I strive towards learning at least one new word everyday.
6. Except in very few cases, I hate being called or calling
7. I was published in the Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative Anthology, an Anthology by the only Mental Health Awareness Organization in Nigeria with a view to destigmatizing mental health.
5) What’s your biggest inspiration for writing?
I’m not sure I really have one. But various things inspire me to pick up my pen when I’ve not been writing for a while, like reading someone else’s wonderful story, having a bad day or even a very good one, being complimented for a former writing job, and so on.
6)How did it feel to have emerged winner of the Tell! Awards in the Best Campus writer category?
Well, it feels good. I wasn’t expecting any nominations from any organization in the University till graduation, so I was surprised when I first learnt of it. I also feel grateful to my friends, coursemates and faculty mates, without whose support I wouldn’t have won.
7)Where do you see yourself in the next 5years?
I see myself as a Veterinary Medical doctor pursuing further degrees. I see myself having written a couple of books and winning other awards. I see myself contributing to ending the mental health stigma in our community. I see myself being, as always, the best possible version of myself.
8) Can you tell us about the book you are currently working on?
Okay… It’s my first real novel – I’ve written other books while in secondary school that I’ve discarded – and I hope to get it published. I’ve been working on it for more than one year now. I’ve published Part 1 of the same book on Okadabooks under the title “Five Plus One Equals Done”. I’m sure I would be done writing the whole book before the end of next month however. It’s a teenage secondary school novel partly based on my experiences from secondary school.
9)Thank you for your time. Any final remarks/inspirational quotes for the public?
I believe in hardwork and self-motivation. Motivation, not inspiration. I believe that people who go around searching for inspiration among others would do better to sit and find it within themselves. If we could all reach inside ourselves for that thing that would keep us pushing, we would surpass even our highest potential. I thrive on the quote, ‘There are many reasons for failure, but not a single excuse’
Would you like to see any of your favourite personalities get Interviewed? Click here to nominate an Interviewee for Tell!’s weekly interviews