By MUHAMMAD IBRAHIM
Ibrahim Saleh Mainah is the north east winner of an essay writing competition and 2nd position in poetry (Do Your Own Season). Mainah, was born on 28th April 2004 in Gombe, Gombe State and currently an SS 2 science student in Gombe High School. In this interview with Abuja Business Reports, he spoke on his literary successes.
When did you start writing?
I started writing short stories when I was in JSS 2. Later I stopped because I thought writing is not for doctors or engineers, but that didn’t stopped me from reading I always believed that readers are explorers, it’s through reading one can meet and visit places without moving a finger. I continued to write when I got to JSS 3 after reading a collection of poems written by a chemical engineer whose name I can’t remember. From his book, I learned that writing is not limited to a particular group of people and that also motivated me to start writing poetry.
You won WSICE competition, North East zone in 2019. Does winning the prize impact your writing?
Yeah, meeting Soyinka has been my dream. I write, not really to win prize. I write with hope that my readers will find therapy in my works. Back then my writings are only limited to me and my diary, whenever I write, I find kinda ease and therapy to myself I later though that “what if l can help others with my words like I do to myself” after giving it a deep thought, I came to conclusion that “my ink is made for humanity”
How do feel after winning WSICE essay competition 2019?
Of course I felt very happy. The kind of happiness that erupt in me whenever I remembered the moment when we shook hands with Kongi admist the flashes of camera.
You are a science student, yet you write. How do you manage to write?
Manage? it’s all about planning, being a science student and yet I do write is because of proper planning. So I guess I don’t manage to write.
Who are your favorite writers?
Sulaiman Addonia, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Prof Wole Soyinka.
Do you write to make money?
No, I don’t. I write because I believe that my writing can make a difference. And I said earlier whenever I write I kinda feel ease.
What are your challenges in writing?
So far, I got not much of challenges just at times feeling reluctant to write.