Today we talk about Wings for the butterfly, The day my life newly began, a book by Ntailan Lolkoki published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Ntailan Lolkoki, to get to know her better, when she found the inspiration to write her book Wings for the butterfly, The day my life newly began, as well as what significant life experiences find expression in her book.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where and when did you find the inspiration to write your autobiographical book?
My inspiration to write my autobiographical book came after I got reconstructed. Prior to that it had been my desire to share my experience of female genital mutilation with other women with the same experience to help them admit to themselves that female genital mutilation is wrong and then start on the journey of healing and restoration. Through female genital mutilation I first had to go through the journey of healing myself which the writing of the book helped with me very much with as I had to go back to my past and confront myself with the actual experience. After reconstruction, I was in a meeting with a somali woman where we were supposed to speak about our experiences through mutilation. The women were very shy so, and after wondering, I bursted out taking the initiative to break the ice and tell it as it is and as soon as I did that the women felt free and started speaking without any shame or inhibitions. It was wonderful.
- What is the message you want to convey to your readers?
The most important message I would like to convey to my readers is that female genital mutilation is WRONG. The book is about people education and raising awareness against such injustices that oppresses femininity and robs us of the ability to be beautiful, powerful and sexy. The book is specially to help women to stand strong not only for themselves but also for their children, it’s about breaking the circle of tradition that are harmful to women and children with the aim of awakening courage to bring about a paradigm shift in the question of wrong tradition in their specific cultural settings.
- What significant life experiences find expression in your book?
The significant life experience that finds expression in the book is that of transformation. The book starts with a wonderful childhood growing up in contact with nature and with the tribe an experience that I am entirely grateful for in one way because it gave me my identity as a trible person ( An identity I am almost loosing ). I also write about going through female genital mutilation which my sisters and I went through at the age of twelve and about the effects and the repercussions of FGM in my life. The book is also about Love, I write about meeting Prince charming which was a defining factor that penetrated through the numbness I was going through at time, through Prince Charming, I sought out to get a reconstructive surgery so that I could sexually react to his physical love. (sadly, the relationship did not work out) In the end I ended with another Prince Charming in a strained relationship that did not support my feminine unfolding on the contrary. The man had homosexual tendencies for me as an African woman a tabu, his lover was our neighbour which brought about much strain in our relationship a turn off for my unfolding sensually. Glady we are still very good friend and he is very supportive to my cause as an activist. I am alone now, but I hope to recover myself back into being beautiful sexy and sensual woman and continue in the journey of healing as well as reaching out to heal others especially women and more importantly protecting children by raising awareness against FGM and other forms of abuse.
- What sensations did you feel by ‘reading’ your life on the pages of your book?
Delightful! You go through writing and all the work that go through creating a book and then you get it in your hands, like having a baby! My book projects are like my babies they grow and grow and then I finally get the baby in my hands! Of course, it’s a lot of work to write a book and its always like a never-ending project. You finish, then you have to look for a publisher and wait for them to say yes, we will publish your book, and then you go through editing. I am particularly very happy that Europe Books gave me a wonderful editor with whom I closely worked with. It’s helpful to have a good relationship when working on such a deep profound book or any book for that matter.
- Are you working on a new writing project, you can tell us about?
There is a book project that I started working on that I have not yet not finished, as soon as I am back to Africa for a visit, I will receive the inspiration I require to continue. In African I also intend to do reading tours in schools there personally raising awareness against FGM, zooming has not worked out well. Presently I am involved in marketing for the English version of the book Wings for the Butterfly the Day my Life began which came out in Aprill for which I travel around in Germany to different cities visiting different book shops, speaking with bookshop owners and raising awareness against FGM. It’s a lovely experience because I get to see Germany. In travelling I get to talk to different people in the trains, sometimes I do readings in English or in German it’s especially wonderful to talk openly to people about the subject an opportunity for spiritual awakening which could open doors for healing in questions of oppressed traumatic experiences.
Europe Books thanks the author, Ntailan Lolkoki, once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book Wings for the butterfly, The day my life newly began. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my readers, I wish this book let your reading time an enjoyable one, that you can really feel through the pages of this book the profound understanding of women’s suffering in relation to FGM. I truly believe it’s tremendously important raising the awareness among children, just like the author’s has been doing in Africa. She must be thanked for the work she has done so far and she will keep doing.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!