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Thursday, February 10, 2011

AN EXERCISE IN INTROSPECTION (Pardon the length and read)

I’m not mad. You see, I was on the GQ site and stumbled on this bit where media impresario and GQ contributor, Piers Morgan interviewed himself. Yes, HE INTERVIEWED HIMSELF . Check out:  Piers Morgan Meets Piers Morgan .  I'm expecting you to think "Who the hell does this guy think he is? Always trying to be different. Fool". My answer "Those who danced were thought to be mad by those who couldn't hear the music.” Moreover, I've always wanted to grant an interview so who better to interview me than my other persona. I went about the interview by grabbing a drink, sat myself in front of the mirror, armed with tape recorder and decided to fire away. Find below excerpts of the conversation when M.I met Mayowa.
Hello Mayowa. What are you drinking?
Hi, uncle. I’ve got some Nutri C in my cup.

So you still drink that thing? I know you had quite a reputation for always having it in Corona.
Yeah! I did. I ship it into the white man’s land. Laughs! The things I drink are pretty limited. Coca cola, Pina colada’s and Nutri C. When I’m cold, I get my Milo and Milk on though.

You see, this is what I don’t like. I asked you a question; you tell me what I didn’t ask for.
Laughs. Pardon me. I’m quite talkative. When talking to me, expect me to tell you twenty things that have no link whatsoever to the topic at hand. Being the son of a Journalist and Lawyer, it’s pretty understandable: Expressing myself is of great significance. Also, I’m a Gemini and I’ve read before that it’s one of our characteristics.


Okay, I understand. You mention being the son of a Journalist and Lawyer. I guess, as a child your growing up process was slicker than the average.
 Sure. As a child, all the pleasures I had hung on the coattails of some essay or book review. Once, my Dad didn’t let my brother and I travel for the summer because I failed to hand him a review of Charles Dickens ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. I wrote essays on my experiences for my Father’s pleasure so that helped me develop interest in Writing. My Mum’s a keen reader too. She’ll read anything. The Library is probably the most important part of our home. Out of boredom, I read a lot, books and newspapers… the whole lot. Every Christmas, my parents got me a collection of Enid Blyton books so I found my way around the English language pretty quick.

Who’s more of an influence on you, your Mum or Dad?
That’s a tough question. I’ll say I’m a hybrid. My Father’s writing inspires me in many ways. My Mum isn’t the writer but she’s the talker so I think I take after her in that regard. I love my parents a lot, because they’re quite understanding of the pressures I face as a young man and the biggest driving force for me is to make them proud. Also, my Dad influences me to think rationally, critically and outside the box while my Mum influences me to find fun in everything I do. She would make a joke out of anything and everything.

Who else do you regard as Influences?
I became an Arsenal fan because of my grandfather who’s a retired Judge. Seeing as I’m interested in Law as a career choice I try to take a lot in every time we talk. My aunty Keji who’s my ‘second Mum’ also influences me in the sense that she constantly goes out of her way to put a smile on my face. She's been through a lot so her happiness is another of my priorities in life. She's also one of the most stylish people I know. I’ll go as far as saying she’s my favourite female in the world besides my Mum. I call myself ‘Manye’ so it’s fair to say Kanye West ranks high on that list. In my eyes, he can do no wrong so I tend to rationalize everything he does and twist it to suit my path on Earth. Of recent, in the media realm Piers Morgan has become one. He is an Arsenal fan, has a good sense of humour and goes about his business unconventionally which are things I like to think I possess.

 
How did Blogging become your craft?
It wasn’t out of choice per se but as I alluded to, writing became my thing early on. By the time I was 16, I was trying to be Head Boy of Corona so I tried to take my writing to the more conscious side because I wanted people to see me as a visionary of some sorts. I didn’t get to be Head Boy but I honed my talent in that time and started writing on the internet via the Yahoo 360 format. My cousin and arguably the dopest person I know within my age group, Kayode educated me on the pro’s and con’s and advised me to look at something more viable like the Blogspot platform and that’s how my blog came to fruition.

Besides Kayode, who do you regard as dope people within your age group?
I’ll have to say every one featured on the Cool/Power List because they command my respect and inspire me in so many different ways and that’s not an easy thing. Funfere Koroye’s pretty cool too. I’m not going to mention any names so it won’t look like I’m sucking up but I do see a couple of people in high light.

Why the hell do you say 'dope'? Mr I Must be different by force.
I spend a lot of my free time watching Kanye interviews and he says it a lot so it's infiltrated my speech code. It's different to ‘cool’ and all those other things you guys say so it gets a tick in my book.

I know someone who uses his blog to get girls by writing poems and claiming that the girls ‘inspired’ them. Why don’t you go down that line?
Laughs. When I find my Miss Right I’ll do that type of rubbish. For now, the blog is for serious stuff. Moreover, I take myself too serious to give people ammunition to insult me like that.

You’re so self obsessed.
There’s nothing wrong with that. The name OluwaMayowa Idowu must mean good to people. It must command respect, cool and panache. If that means I’m self obsessed, so be it. Secretly, I feel people don’t give me the respect I deserve and that I’m pretty underrated so I make noise so people sit up and take notice of the OluwaMayowa Idowu brand. 
 

In the process of getting to know about you, I sought people’s opinions on you. The common positive thing is that you tell the truth and you have a good sense of humour. The common negative- Arrogant and cocky.
To a large extent, I agree with those things. One of my friends, Feranmi called me Mr Outspoken once. I see where people come from when they say I’m cocky. I’ve tried to be humble and modest but that thing doesn’t work. Kanye West once said “You want me to be great but you don’t want me to say I’m great”. I say outrageous stuff that might sound like a joke on the surface but in reality, it’s really what I feel. Like when I say that God willing, at the pace I’m going I’ll be the greatest non fiction writer of my generation. I try and make the outrageous things sound funny so that I’ll take pressure off myself but every time I write, I keep that motive in mind. And I’ve come to understand that for things like that, if you don’t say it, no one would believe it. So when I say it, people start checking out the competition and are like “Damn. It’s actually true". I know my competition and keep my eyes on their every move.

Did you just give me a speech justifying arrogance?
Laughs. I think so.

The blog lets us into the things that go on in your head and the things you’re passionate about. Do you want to talk about them?
Sure. One of the things I’m most passionate about- Politics/ Current Affairs. I love Nigeria so much and I get disappointed seeing the snail speed pace at which things are going so I tried to use my blog as an avenue to express my displeasure at the state of affairs whilst informing the average person because I know a lot of people who are totally unconscious of what’s going on. It’s also my desire to be President one day (God willing, 2039) so my interest is borne out of that desire.  I’m also passionate about football and Music. I'm probably at my most irrational when arguing over them (As long as Arsenal or Mr West’s concerned). I just try to get inspired by all my dealings and take a message that’ll be of use to those who read my blog. The central theme to everything is to make people think and if possible, stimulate positivity and laughter because I think they’re essential to our general well being. Nothing would ever beat a happy, well meaning state of mind.  As you saw with the Cool/Power list I also believe in pushing the culture forward by exhibiting the talent of those I feel show promise and deserve praise for the things they do which they might not get regularly.

If you had to pick any work of yours that stood out, which would it be?
I’ll say The Search for Miss Right stands out because it represented me delving away from Politics for the first time. 'Be Careful'  is the perfect work as it was built on the foundations of an out of the box topic, making sense and a strong element of comic relief which are what I model my writing on.  I spent  about three months working on ‘Dear Child'  because I felt I had a standard to get it to and it’s one of my most admired pieces so that’s noteworthy. People also say 'For the Ladies' is inspiring.
 
What inspires you?
My writing mirrors my life. I gain inspiration from different things. From talking to people, I’ll get an idea and try and weave something around it. I really like that, as you’ll get a different perspective of the world from other people which aids my general understanding of things that garner attention. I also take lines and quotes from songs and great people because there’ll always be one that reflects my mood and feelings. Muhammad Ali, Kanye West and Mark Twain particularly rank high in this regard.

That means I’ll be careful with you. I don’t want to read excerpts from a conversation that should be private on the Internet.
Laughs. No. If it’s for a negative reason I won’t unravel your identity. If it’s for a positive reason won’t you like it to be highlighted?

You’re answering question with question. Didn’t you get the brief? I’m the one asking questions not you. Do you have a girlfriend?
No.

Is there someone in the picture?
Technically, No. I do have a crush on someone though and hope to start pursuing her pretty soon. You’re not allowed to ask who she is.

Now you’re telling me what to ask and what not. Twat! Who is your ideal girl?
At the risk of alluding to Freud’s complex, the perfect replica of my Mum. However, I do know a couple of girls who’ll fit this criteria but I don’t want to stimulate swollen heads so I’ll keep that to myself.

If you were stuck in an elevator for 4 hours with any four women who’ll they be?
Keri Hilson, Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria and Amber Rose. Seeing as it’s an elevator which would be hot and stuffy, they’ll have to take their clothes off.


 
What do you regard as positives on the journey so far? What does the big picture look like?
In my interviews(Cool List Features)  with ‘3 Feat’  and Omowunmi Akinsola they both alluded to something which I think is common with us bloggers, writers, rappers etc. There’s nothing that beats people telling you they love what you do or agree with what you say and feel. Even those who disagree, but put their argument forward in the most constructive manner make me happy. At the end of the day we’re all imperfect so it’s vital to take things in form each other. It might sound cliché but we need to hear those things as they help in reassuring us we’re on the right path.
Not to sound like a douchebag or anything but I think I’ve got a huge fan base (mostly girls) and that’s mind blowing. These people go hard with the support. They tell their friends and parents to visit my blog and that’s a big deal to me. I don’t want to mention any names because I recognize you have other things to do, but do know that my partners and I really appreciate it.
On an achievement level, I’ve had pieces in P.M News, the Guardian and Gidi Noize and I’m really proud of that. I’ve also won 5 Nigerian Blog Awards which really made me feel better about the project thus far. Additionally, the number of hits my blog has so far makes me happy in the sense that I haven’t gotten a big break or co sign from some super force and it’s pretty reasonable. Moreover, when I look at my analytics and I see the locations of the people who visit, they come from the most distant of places and that makes me feel better. Especially, in my dark days when I’m really sceptical.
I look forward to publishing a book with a collection of my articles and most sensible tweets later this year. I’m also working on developing a new blog/website. When? I don’t know but I’ve informed a couple of people whom I’ll love to work with and as time goes on, things would be concretized.

You said your fan base is mostly made up of girls, does that mean you have groupies?
 Not exactly. They still don’t send me topless pictures when I ask. Laughs. They’ll retweet me on Twitter, tell me they have the tiniest of crushes but they never send me my topless pictures.

What are the greatest lessons you've learnt in life?
I try to take things in from people and experience at all times. One of them based on experience was that Violence can never get you far. In my last year at Corona, I got in trouble for not being able to control my anger. That's why every time people do stuff to me, I try my best to ignore and address it when I'm in a better state of mind because I’ve come to learn that all anger does is assist in making a fool out of yourself. I also learnt from Kanye West to pray that God puts me in a position where I know no pain. My friend, Eyitemi has also taught me to treat people based on how they treat me and not necessarily on the things or rumours I've heard. I'm still young so there are more things that'll come along my path that would help in shaping me to the standard God requires.


When you die, what would you like to be your epitaph?

“Lived good, Laughed hard, Made Nigeria better. The greatest to ever do it”.

What is ‘it’?
To pick a pen and put thoughts down. To lead Nigeria. To touch Earth. There’s no point in living if you don’t intend to touch lives positively. You know the way you see on lockers and toilets “so, so and so was here”, I want to leave my mark on the world so that everywhere people go, they’ll be reminded that “OluwaMayowa Idowu was here”.

Mr Story teller. You talk too much. I am tired.
Thanks a lot for this opportunity. Wishing you the best in all you do.


Photocredit: Kayode Adegbola

13 comments:

  1. I agree! I laughed and loved. Very well done

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  2. Amazing once again mayowa. Good read. L.O.

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  3. Lol, couldn't read it all. But i like the idea behind it.

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  4. woah.. obviously someone is real cocky :p
    enjoyed readin it.. jst stumbled on this blog and i love it already :)

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  5. LONDON SWAP PARTY - http://jamilakyari.com/

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  6. Another interviewer would have gotten tired like 700 words ago.Hahaha and you wished yourself the best! Oh gosh. Haha.Really good read Mayowa.

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  7. Your worst nightmareFebruary 18, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    This is sad, real sad.

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  8. delusional move but interesting

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  9. real nice........love it

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