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10 Questions with Tade Ipadeola, 2013 NLNG Literature Prize Winner

By ZODML on 21 Mar, 2014

Tade Ipadeola, poet, lawyer, and winner of the 2013 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature for his poetry collection The Sahara Testaments, recently paid ZODML a visit as part of our Senior Secondary Reading Programme. Along with a fun-filled session with students from Government College, Ikoyi and Aunty Ayo Girls Comprehensive Senior Secondary School, Keffi, he also kindly answered a few questions for us. Read on to find out more about his favourite authors, the skill he wishes he had, and his most treasured possession. 1. Who are your favourite authors? I like Ralph Ellison, [James] Baldwin, [Lorraine] Hansberry, [Gabriel] Garcia Marquez, [Fyodor] Dostoevsky, [Henrik] Ibsen, [Derek] Walcott, [Seamus] Heaney, [Sylvan] Muldoon, [Wole] Soyinka, Chuma Nwokolo, Akin Adesokan, and Rotimi Babatunde. 2. Who are your three favourite literary characters? I like Brother Jeroboam from Soyinka's Jero plays. I like Atticus from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. I like, immensely, Walcott's Helen in his Omeros. 3. If you could have any talent in the world (aside from writing), what would you choose? I'd always wanted to play the alto saxophone with skill. I think it makes voluptuous music. That particular saxophone and maybe the soprano saxophone. 4. What’s your favourite literary quote? That would be from Mariama Ba in translation. She says in So Long a Letter: "Affection springs from nothing. Mere carriage of the head may seduce the heart and win it." 5. What literary work do you wish you could say you wrote? That would be The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. A lot has been said about the psychological depth of the book but not enough of its enduring value across cultures and across time. 6. If you could invite three figures – historical or literary, real or fictional – to your last supper, who would you pick? Wow. It would be nice to have Victor Hugo. I think the last words ascribed to him have to be the most haunting ever. It would be really nice to have C.S. Lewis. The gravity of mind is matchless. The third person would be Alexandre Dumas, obviously. 7. Who do you consider the funniest person in the world (that we would know)? The novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for me, is the epitome of hilarity. Most people don’t realise this because he keeps a straight face and an even tone. He is simply downright funny. For me, even when he is trying to be grave, the humour overcomes it all. 8. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Mansa Musa of Mali. I think our history has very few equals for him. World history too. 9. What is your most treasured possession? A painting by the Spanish painter, Irene Lopez de Castro, of a Malian Tuareg. It is worth enough to have it insured. But more importantly, it is a work of love and a good luck charm for me. It is what adorns the cover of my book, The Sahara Testaments. 10. What is the last thing you do before going to bed? I brush my teeth. I'm doing penance for four decades of oral hygiene neglect. Check out some photographs from his visit below:[slideshow_deploy id='2920']  

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