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Back Stage: My Journey Into Literary World ―By Peter Obidike


This is about the tenth year of “My Conversations,” a litany of my frustrations and excitements in this “obodo” Nigeria. 

Ten years, based on alternative facts if you consider my unpublished story in 2007 (brooding period) titled “this arrogance of OBJ’s daughter” or the story of my dad’s kidnap experience two years after in 2009. Actually that one got mentioned in PUNCH. 

The one on OBJ’s daughter was written January 2008 and you will be shocked at the expose of “NO LOSS TO THE GOVERNMENT BY IOB”.

I have elected to publish that as one of my series in the coming weeks but be sure to have the patience as it is a long one.

Things took a turn for the better in terms of my ability to pour out more of those “things around my stomach” when I relocated from Lagos in 2011. 

I had this theory that the Lagos life may actually be hampering intellectual ability given that one would hardly feel the urge to write after passing through the horrors of traffic from the office. 

I think I had even forgotten about writing until my dad wrote some articles he passed on to someone who happened to be our relative working with PUNCH. The article got published and that got me excited like a baby. 

I was really impressed in the richness of the experience he shared and I subsequently passed on my own “busy body” writings to PUNCH via the same channel and as God would have it, I “got mentioned” one day and that marked the beginning of my journey into continuous writing. 

You can imagine how it felt to be called by a friend (or family) informing you of your article he saw in the papers.

That romance continued as I suspected, as long as the king that knew Joseph was around in PUNCH. Of course, not all the writings were PUNCH worthy, but I was happy to contribute and I would always look forward to every day hoping to get mentioned. 

I cannot imagine how much I spent then buying the newspaper to enjoy the news and other stories and as well look out for my own. 

With frustrations from a dwindling mention, my friend Edo Rex, the Author of the Award winning book Digital Transformation, Evolving a digitally enabled Nigerian public service, came to the rescue.

He facilitated the opening up of the website www.peterobidike.com in a bid to ensure that my audience continued to get their feed without my having to wait for PUNCH and other media outlets. 

And by the way, Digital Transformation… is about to be launched in Nigeria and the relevant committees are working flat out to ensure a hitch free outing. The launch is scheduled for Thursday August 24th at Nicon Luxury Hotel Abuja so be sure to attend if you can.

With the debut of peterobidike dot com (and other channels including facebook and Yahoo mail groups) came the pressure of maintaining the writing feeds since it was a mono author site and remains one till today, having published only one other article from a colleague’s daughter about life in the middle east. 

The excitement I felt when my attention was drawn to any of my essays in PUCNH was the same with each and every “like” I got on facebook or a response or reply from my mail groups. 

“My Conversations” target was at least one response! Depending on the topic, sometimes it got many, sometimes few, some other times none, but it did not deter “My Conversations.”  

I knew they were being read but the time so short that people couldn’t possibly respond and sometimes, didn’t know the importance of their “like.” 

However, since the emergence of Trump’s presidency alongside alternative facts as a concept, “my conversations” can now comfortably boast of readership in thousands and millions!

Every essay starts first with the brooding stage when an observation is made of a particular phenomenon or issue around my environment. 

Consciously and unconsciously, the issue starts to take shape as complementing issues come to play and inter relationships develop between these ordinarily unconnected issues. 

Then Mother Nature takes her turn to mix all those thoughts in my dreams while I sleep and you will be surprised how nice a cook she is. 

This sleeping part is very essential and that was why I worried when Yar’dua was sick because I knew how important sleep and dreams were in shaping thoughts that can produce sustainable ideas necessary for quality leadership. 

Once Mother Nature was done cooking, it was time to serve the dish as I only then needed to sit down for about an hour or two to pour out the dish (an experience you would enjoy once you start) and hoped my audience would enjoy the meal.

On occasions when I do not go through this process, I do what I call manual mechanical writing; and trust me, it can be very frustrating as you struggle to put anything down just like my friend told me the other day. 

He jokingly said over dinner that he was jealous of me, knowing full well he was as intelligent, if not even more, but now sees me as more intelligent given my writings and because of that he spent about two hundred and fifty thousand naira to buy a reading and writing desk in order to start his own writing. 

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