Telling the African narrative is dear to Sade Adeniran’s heart as I listen to her on her podcasts and on radio interviews. She has an uncommon passion to promote African literature. In 2008, she won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book largely due to a tenacious campaign to get the right audiences to read her story Imagine this. She studied English and Media at the University and her dissertation which was a radio play was adapted and aired by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Other commissioned pieces have appeared on the BBC. Sade is also a film maker who hopes to win an award in the industry soon. She spoke to Tundun Adeyemo recently.
How can we help shift the remainder of the books under your bed?
I guess by recommending it to readers. If they live in the UK, they can buy it from my website, www.sades-world.com/shop, or from Amazon, although I have to admit I prefer people to buy direct from me because Amazon take 60% of the retail price which doesn’t leave me with much once I’ve paid the postage.
I heard your first edition of Sade’s world: it sounded like you had lots of fun interviewing Chinbundu Onuzo. When is the next podcast out?
I’ve just released the last podcast in this series, which featured a story by the amazing Ama Ata Aidoo. I’m not sure when the next set of podcasts will be produced. I have to do another round of fundraising, and then find the writers and actors. So a fair amount of work still needs to be done before the next set of podcasts hits the airwaves.
Where can people find information about your podcasts?
Sade’s World Short Story Podcasts (SWoSSP) can be found on iTunes, SoundCloud and Mixcloud. Or people can go to my website, www.sades-world.com/podcasts.
We live in an age where we’re spending more time at work and in front of the TV. A lot of people don’t have the time to sit down to read a book; they also can’t afford to spend their money on books. Add to that, the fact that in most African countries, libraries are practically non-existent. I figured we could solve some of these issues by providing FREE podcasts of short stories, which people can download or stream. They can listen on their way to work or while they’re cooking dinner or working out at the gym. Sade’s World Short Story Podcasts (SWoSSP) is vital to me as a Writer because telling our stories is important, it is a gift for future generations. We tell stories, not only to evolve and grow as people, but also to make a difference in the world and broaden the perspectives of all human beings.
What books are you reading now?
I’ve a pile of books to read at the moment and haven’t had a chance to read any of them. The only time I’ve got to read is on Tube journeys and I don’t have a lot of those because I tend to cycle to places. However after saying all that, the book that’s been in my bag for the last 3 months is How To Spell Naija by Chuma Nwokolo.
Have you read anything that changed your life in recent times? Can you share it with us?
Nothing I’ve read has changed my life, but I would say some of the books I’ve read that made an impact on my psyche are Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Zenzele: A letter for my Daughter by Nozipo Maraire. What I loved so much about these books is that they took me to a world I knew nothing about and taught me something new.
What is IT like being Sade? Why do you write fundamentally?
I’ve only ever experienced being Sade, so have nothing to compare it to. I write because it’s the way I express who I am as a person.
As a liberated woman, would you prefer to have been born white and male?
Being black and a woman has its challenges, but no; I would not want to be born a white or black man. I like who I am.
Are there occupational hazards attached to your job?
Yes RSI and one can go blind from staring too long at a computer screen. Okay I made that last bit up.
Who do you think you are?
I am me, Folasade Adeniran, the true daughter of my father as we like to say in Naija.
What would you tell budding authors?
Writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.