If Poetry were a woman, I will dispose of all my assets to get her as my wife – Adamu Iliyasu

The last of our series of interviews with winners of the Poetic Wednesdays (PW) second anniversary poetry competition features Adamu Iliyasu, 26 years old poet and Accountant. Interview by Salim Yunusa   

How can you say your profession has shaped your poetry?

I am someone that since my secondary school days, liked anything that has to do with calculations. I've then loved mathematics as a subject and paid little attention to English Language and I think  that's how I found myself in Accounting  as a profession. So, I dont think my profession has performed any role in my poetry journey. But the passion motivated and drove me well.

Poetic Wednesday recently celebrated its second Anniversary. Can you tell us what impact being a member of the Poetry movement has made in your literary journey?

First let me start by saying congratulations to all Poetic Wednesdays Crew on this second year anniversary and I pray that PW will continue to grow to the highest level. What Poetic Wednesdays has done in just two years of creation is indeed just wonderful and worth recommending. For that, it deserves to celebrate and to be celebrated. For me, Poetic Wednesdays is the only online literary forum from northern Nigeria I've seen where words of wisdom and talents are exchange like a bullet in a battle field. I must also say that I have benefitted more than any other member in this forum because my world of poetry only came to existence from this unique forum. I met and started following its amiable founder Salim Yunusa in the early year 2016. He was all the time pestering me with Poems and I was like "what is this guy writing?” As time passed by, I started enjoying the said "pestering lines" and swiftly developed passion for it. I kept on following PW but i never wrote until last year (June 2017) when I joined properly and started making sporadic submission.

What can you say about online Literary Movements and the impacts they are making?

They are indeed doing a very great job, they've  over the years produced  thousands of  poets; uniting people together from across the world aimed at promoting creativity from all walks of  life. For example in the past, for one to be a poet, one must go school to study it as a course with the support of heavy textbooks materials but now the reverse is the case where you need only a phone to read, a mentor to lean on and you're good to go.

You are a winner of the recently concluded PW 2nd anniversary poetry competition co-sponsored by The Arts-Muse Fair.  How do you describe that moment you learned of your winning?

That day, I was actually on my way home when I received a phone call from  my sister-Maryam Idris Bappa; an exceptional poetess and of course, the winner of this contest too where she kindly told me to log into to my Facebook account that there was a juicy news which I did straightaway. First when I saw it that I'm among the winners I couldn’t believe it and I had to read over and over again to make sure it wasn't an error.  Seeing my name on the list was a shocker because I only wrote the poem to celebrate with Poetic Wednesdays and it's crew and nothing else. I am happy to be a winner and I felt so honored. Winning this means a lot to me and I hope it will motivate and encourage me to write more, to improve and move further.

What purpose does poetry serve for you and what's your idea of an ideal poem?

If Poetry were a woman, I will dispose of all my assets to get her as a wife. My loved for poetry is just beyond imagination. Poetry does not just serve me as a medium to express my mind but also forces me to smile even in the mood of anger. For an ideal poem I will without deter cast my vote for one with simplicity and good meaning not big grammar and of course, not hard words.

Can you take use through a social issue you're very passionate about and what you think can be done about it?

I was born and brought up in the Northern part of Nigeria where Almajiranci has become an issue. I always feel so depressed whenever I see those little children roaming the street in the name of begging for alms. Almajiranci is not the only way of seeking Islamic knowledge and in fact, not the proper way. I've never, in my life, attended any Almajiri school but at least I can read the Qur’an perfectly even better than some that claimed had enlisted. Almajiranci has done more harm than good to our society. It should therefore be ban henceforth. And government should set up a disciplinary committee to castigate any parent that failed to conform.

What advice do you have for budding writers?

This question reminds me of when I got admitted into part one in the university, our Financial Accounting Lecturer - Dr. Uche - said "for you to understand accounting better is to practice, practice, practice and practice". So, the same logic may apply for poetry and it will be read, read, read and then write. To my budding writers please kindly pick up your books and your golden pens today, read more and more and then write as much as you can on anything good that comes into your mind. And one thing about poetry is that the more you write, the more you improve and vice versa.  Also to be a good writer you need a good mentor beside you.