In this conversation, Ibrahim Saleh Mainah, North-East winner of the essay writing competition and 2nd position in poetry (do your own season), told Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim about his literary successes.
Auwal: Can we know you more?
Ibrahim: I am Ibrahim Saleh Mainah, born on 28th April 2004 in Gombe, Gombe state. Currently an ss2 science student in Gombe High School.
Auwal: When did you start writing?
Ibrahim: I started writing short stories when I was in jss2. Later I stopped because I thought writing is not for doctors or engineers, but that didn’t stop 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 jss3 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.
Auwal: You won WSICE competition, North-East zone in 2019. Does winning the prize impact your writing?
Ibrahim: Yeah, meeting Soyinka has been my dream. I write, not really to win the prize. I write with the 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 thought that “what if l can help others with my words as I do to myself” after giving it a deep thought, I came to conclusion that “my ink is made for humanity”
Auwal: How do feel after winning WSICE essay competition 2019?
Ibrahim: 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 amidst the flashes of the camera.
Auwal: You are a science student, yet you write. How do you manage to write?
Ibrahim: 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.
Auwal: Who are your favorite writers?
Ibrahim: Sulaiman Addonia, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Prof Wole Soyinka.
Auwal: Do you write to make money?
Ibrahim: 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.
Auwal: What are your challenges in writing?
Ibrahim: So far, I got not much of challenges just at times feeling reluctant to write.