Today we talk about Apiti, a book by Iwu Finian published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Iwu Finian to get to know him better, what is the message he wants to send out with his book Apiti, as well as how he chose the title of his book.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- What is the moment that brought you to the writing of your debut book?
I wrote Apiti in 2020 during the Covid 19 pandemic. There was lock down in Nigeria like every other country did then and there was plenty of time to do something one has always wanted to do. Everyone stayed indoors hoping that there would be a solution to the pandemic so that people could go back to their normal lives. I decided to preoccupy my mind and thoughts with something to help me go through that terrible time when there was so much uncertainty the world over. It was right at the middle of it all that I decided to put in my time and energy into writing Apiti. It was quite challenging but I kept going because I had always wanted to be a writer but had never had the time to do so. The lock down period afforded me the opportunity and time to write Apiti.
- What is the message you want to communicate to your readers?
In the course of writing Apiti, I became emotionally attached to it. I discovered I had begun writing a story that seemed bigger than I had envisaged. I would wake up with new ideas every morning that would make me delete and rewrite the story as I progressed to make sure that the message I was putting down was how I felt it in my heart. I have lived in Nigeria all my life and the only time the entire country had celebrated together and still does irrespective of the religious, ethnic and cultural diversities that exist in the country is when the national football teams are playing football. Everyone would put aside these differences that have created so much division in our society. I wanted to create a picture and push out a narrative that our diversity should have been our collective strength and strongest point. We are a religious people and we attach so much emotions to ethnicity and religion which unfortunately has become the determining factor of the kind of leadership we have enthroned in our country. This trend has repeatedly provided opportunity for the worst among us to lead the rest of us and the devastating effect is often demonstrated in frightening dimensions when there is either a religious or politically motivated riots where religion and ethnicity are the only factors that determines your safety. I was also of the opinion that ours may not be an isolated case but a global challenge that societies experience all over the world. So the message the book is passing across is that we could all easily live together and help one another irrespective of our religious affiliations and cultural differences. That the world can be a better place if we love each other which should be demonstrated through our actions.
- How did you choose the title of your book and what does it mean?
Apiti is an Igbo word meaning wet mud and wet mud slips if you step on it. It took me like forever to come up with the title. The storyline in Apiti is one which takes a young man through the journey of life with numerous challenges as well as beautiful moments. Life is a journey that everyone embarks on naturally and the people you meet along the way determines the outcome which could either be pleasant or hurtful and these experiences could be likened to someone treading on a slippery surface which has two known outcomes which is that you could either slip and fall or you are able to hold your balance. So Apiti was just a perfect caption. I also didn’t want to give it an English title because there’s this excitement and feelings of fulfilment one can gets when he envisages that a reader would be inquisitive to find out the meaning of the word “APITI” first of all and then would quickly go through the book to understand why I chose the caption. And quite frankly, Apiti pumps your adrenaline to keep reading till you get to the end.
- How did it feel to see your first literary work published?
To say I am excited is an understatement. It took quite some time to get the work published. I was almost feeling like it wasn’t going to happen because I had not published a book before so it was a challenge for me initially trying to get a publisher and I wanted traditional publishing where the publisher would bear the cost of publishing and pay me royalty especially during the pandemic when everyone was managing to survive. I am indeed glad it has been published and I hope that the general public would appreciate the work which has been described as a masterpiece by the publishers.
- Are you working on a new writing project you can tell us about?
Yes I am currently working on a new writing project which is almost 60% done. I started my second literary work in the last quarter of 2021 and am still on it. I have been pretty busy to complete it but am sure it would be ready for publishing by the end of 2023. I hope to improve on my writing skill after having successfully put out Apiti in the public space. What I am working on presently would be more voluminous than Apiti and quite captivating too. I am telling the African story through a fictional medium with interesting moments to make it an interesting read for the general public. I have been very careful in my choice of words so that different categories of readers would find my works very appealing and I did that in Apiti as well.
Europe Books thanks the author Iwu Finian once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book Apiti. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, I hope this book will make you reflect on diversity not as a weakness but as a collective strength; at the same time that it makes you reflect on the importance of love and sharing regardless of religious affiliations and cultural differences.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!