You remember the Flash: Trinity writing contest right? The one that featured Hymar David and Eketi Aime Ette right HERE on WAW … yes, the same one that was eventually won by the Queen of the Afang-gang, Eketi. Well, good news … we caught up with Eketi during the week and somehow (still don’t know how we managed it) we got her to sit for a rare WAW time-out. It’s a tad long but you KNOW you’ll love it. Because it is WAW, and because it is Eketi. #Nuffsaid … enjoy the juicy details of that interview below:
There might be a couple of cliché questions, so we might as well start out with one. Who is Eketi Ette?
I am many things—a writer, lawyer, entrepreneur, farmer and much more. I’m someone who loves to laugh, vivacious and outspoken. I’m still discovering new things about myself.
Some say there is a FEMINIST in there too. You did not bring her along?
Oh, she’s here—she’s me.
Have you always been a writer?
Yes, I have. I started writing from as young as four years—my mother helped me discover my talent. As soon as I could string letters together in a sentence, she had me writing letters and essays to her and my father. It was hard at first, but soon, I began to love it. And the most beautiful part of this is that a few years ago, I stumbled on a file in my father’s library, containing all those letters and articles my siblings and I wrote.
– How sweet!
Yeah. Makes me smile whenever I think of it. Anyway, I kept on writing in primary and secondary school, and my English and Literature teachers always encouraged me. You know that assignment after each holiday, where you write about how your long vacation went? Mine always came tops.
Oh, I know those. J So your parents are intellectuals?
Yes. My mother is a retired principal. My father is an engineer/entrepreneur. Both of them love books and passed on that love to me.
How nice. So what genres do you favour now? And do you have a muse?
Fiction for now, especially short stories. Also, many things inspire me. So, I can’t say I have a muse.
Now we’re talking about ‘The Flash: Trinity’. There was a lot of hype around it, a la ‘H-rated’ and the ‘Afang-gang’. How did it feel going in with all that hype?
Nervous. Really nervous! You know, there was a way I tried to trivialize the whole thing, reduce it to just a Facebook thing. But my mind wouldn’t stop making a big deal of it, because I love to win. And with that hype, I had to.
… And win, you did. Congratulations again!
Did that nervousness abate or worsen anytime during the competition?
It worsened, especially on the second round. I made the mistake of peeking at the comments a couple of hours after the stories were posted and I almost had a cardiac arrest. So I wisely advised myself to stay away until after the results were posted.
Yeah those second round stories were pretty close.
They were. I still have the hibbyjibbies at the thought!
Hahahha. Did you have a favourite among your three stories?
Yes. Love and Chance … the first story. I’m not one for conventional meeting places for love, the picture perfect kind on BellaNaija, because real life is always more interesting and sometimes, messier. Makes the love story sweeter.
True, Love and Chance won a lot of our hearts. It was mighty clear by the number of votes too. Tell us, was the errr … peculiar ‘messiness’ of Asandia’s situation inspired by perhaps, a true life experience …?
Yes. It was. But not my true life experience.
Aiyayaaa! How perfect it would have been if it were yours!
Tufiakwa! The funny thing is, I’ve been in messy situations like that before, but both guys are now my best buddies. Zero romance. Perhaps I shall turn the tables and ask one of them out.
Why not?! Already we know it would make a great story …
Don’t put ideas in my head, dude! We like it in the friend zone, thank you.
Consider it ruined! Hopefully.
But hey; as a love story, that one was waaay up there!
I talked to one guy and one girl, and they couldn’t see romance blooming from there.
Yeah, some folks are like that. They can’t get beyond the embarrassment. But life is often filled with the unexpected. And I’ve known worse to happen
Next question: some say you soft-pedalled in the last round … Aye or Nay?
I was travelling somewhere and had totally forgotten to write that story. So I had to do so on my phone. And that thing kills my inspiration in a big way.
The Flash Blackout is in January … will you be entering?
Definitely. How can I not make a pass at butting heads with some of the best writers I know? And the prize money is quite attractive 😀
Who do you think the top three contenders will be?
I dare not speculate. My years as an ardent Arsenal fan have taught me that anything can happen. Sometimes, the underdogs hit below the belt when it’s least expected.
Lol. Any favourite Facebook writers? First three.
This is hard, because they’re more than three. Chiedozie, Immanuel James Ibe-Anyanwu and Jessica Ijeoma Ohagwa. Let me sneak in a couple more: John Hannu and Sybbl Whyte.
2015 Caine prize winner Ms Serpell does not approve of pitting writers against each other in competitions. She thinks it’s very ‘awkward’ –
And yet she entered for and won the Caine Prize.
… that’s all you have to say on the matter?
Hahahha. Okay. Have you ever heard of the blog, Words Are Work?
Yeah. Subscribed to it.
J What do you think of it then?
I like it. Especially because it’s what I tried but failed to do with my blog. 😃
WAW, thanks. You have a blog?
You’re welcome. Yes. http://rachaelzheart.wordpress.com/
Well, have you given up on it?
Not at all. I’ve been working on new material and concepts for it. It’s being renovated and will be relaunched soon.
We’ll be watching out for you. One last cliché question: what does the future hold for Eketi?
A lot. I’m looking at having my own radio show, launching an NGO, starting a new job, etc. The future holds some promising and beautiful things.
Very beautiful indeed. That was the last cliché question. Now, two final pressing ones.
- What is with you and Afang soup?
I’m in love with it. I’m quite adventurous when it comes to food and can eat nearly anything. But no matter what soup I eat, my beloved Afang always comes topss. It’s taste, texture, aroma is….just heaven.
- Why did Asandia not use the toilet seat?
It was a public toilet. Most girls I know don’t squat over or sit on one because those things are rife with germs. So they do “shotput” and dump it in the toilet. Plus, she was expelling hot beans and plantain. Trust me, that’s not something you want to do while squatting over a public toilet. You’ll just splash stuff on your bum. Yuck!
Thank you for your time, Eketi
It was a pleasure.
By the way, how did you get the name Aimé? It’s my favourite of your names.
It’s the name God calls me. It means ‘Beloved’, the exact way I feel, having God as my Father. I write it as Aimé in French and Edima in Ibibio.
Words Are Work