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Interviews, Series
Long before Celebrity Interviews and decades before Twitter blurbs and Polls; likes and dislikes, teenage author, Marcel Proust, answered a series of questions asked by the  Daughter of the Future Prime Minister – Felix Faure, while playing a parlor game. The responses and question seemed normal at the time, but has since taken a life of its own. Posthumously coined the Proust Questionaire, it has become a way for great luminaries to ponder life’s greatest notions – love; hope, happiness and even the essence of life itself. These questions are simple, yet revealing; and although on first grasp might look quotidian, a little introspection would reveal layers upon layers of sensibilities. The Proust Questionaire remains a timeless reminder of the caprices, appeal, and innermost self of the creative spirit, and a tunnel through which masters and literary greats continue to whisper to us through the ages. Centuries later, the questions remain a direct, yet subtle probe of consciousness and complexities, usually part revealing and part funny. When asked what his current state of mind was, David Bowie replied – ”pregnant,” and when Proust was asked where he would like to live, his reply was: “in the realm of the ideal, or rather, my ideal.” Not known to allow themselves be penetrated, writers and creatives generally, are known for elaborate masks, built with beautiful wordplay and grand illusions, but  we are at least given a fraction of the simple, yet profound intricacies of a brilliant mind and the strangeness that allows a person gaze into the unknown to create further unknowns. This is how to question the creative at heart, and dreamers by rote. We pose these questions to the author of our February book of the month, Amaka Azie.
Amaka Azie is an author of romance novels set in Africa, and a part-time family doctor.
A twin, she is one of five children born in Lagos Nigeria.  She considers herself a bona fide  Nigerian having lived in the three major regions of Nigeria: she grew up in Lagos and Abuja, attended secondary school at Onitsha, and went to University in Benin City. She currently resides in England with her husband and daughters.
Her titles includes “Thorns and Roses,” “Melodies of Love,” and “Starting over Again” among others.
  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Relaxing on my day off with a good book and a glass of wine.
  2.  What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I’m too blunt. I tell it as it is, sometimes without tact. My husband keeps saying, “it’s not what you say, but how you say it that counts.” I’m learning.
  3.  Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to read minds. Won’t that be great? To know what everyone is thinking? I could rule the world with that.
  4.  For what fault have you most toleration? Tardiness. I’m sometimes late myself, so I can forgive lateness, as long as it comes with apologies.
  5.  What virtue do you most esteem? Honesty. I dislike two-faced people.
  6.  What is your idea of misery? Living one’s life to please others. My uncle Anozie says, “the true state of happiness is being oneself and not giving a (swear word) what people think.”
  7.  What is your motto? Never give up.
  8.  If not yourself, who would you be? The woman engaged to Idris Elba…I’m just joking. I won’t trade myself with anyone. I love myself far too much.
  9.  What is your favourite colour and flower? Red. And Lilies.
  10. Who are your heroes in real life? My younger sister, Ogo. She never lets circumstances interrupt her zest for life. I admire her. My mum. She is ever optimistic. Her faith never wavers. I wish I could be more like her.
  11. Who are your heroes of fiction? Jack Bauer– All that stubbornness and zeal to save people’s lives. If I’m ever in trouble, I’ll want him on the case, that’s for sure!
  12. What is your favourite virtue? Generosity. Giving without expecting anything back. I admire people like Oprah Winfrey. She gives with enthusiasm. I want to tap into that spirit of open-handedness.
  13. What do you most appreciate in your friends? Honesty. I surround myself with friends who tell me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear.
  14. What is your greatest extravagance? I’m a gadget freak. I have three laptops and 3 tablets. I don’t know why I can’t stop buying them.
  15. What virtue do you deplore in yourself? Honesty. I’m too honest. Even when I should tactfully not be. I’m learning there are times to withhold my opinion to spare people’s feelings. It’s not always easy, but I’m getting better at it.
  16. What virtue do you most deplore in others? I don’t think self-righteousness is a virtue but some people do. I despise people who are judgmental of others because of either religion or personal achievements. I think everyone has a story, even the person who you believe is the scum of the earth, deserves to be heard before judgment.
  17. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Fela. I love how he spoke the truth without fear. He didn’t care how many times he got locked up. He criticised the government in his music boldly, and continued to do so till he died. I wish I could be as brave as he was.
  18. What qualities do you most like in a man? A supportive man. A man who knows when to listen and when to act. A man not intimidated by a bold, confident woman.
  19. What is your current state of mind? All I can think about now is the current novel I’m working on. I’ve been editing and re-editing. There is always something I want to change. At some point, I’m going to just have to let go and trust my instincts.
You can get her books through the following links: Amazon page: Okadabooks: Goodreads: https: : You can also get in contact with her through her Facebook and Twitter handle: Facebook: Twitter:

Roses are red, Violets are blue, If he’s always busy, The side chic is YOU…” Mogbe. I nearly died with laughter upon seeing the meme with those words. Ordinarily, it should speak to me, but that would be speaking to a girl who didn’t know she’s a side chic; wouldn’t it? Me, I know my own brand of vice; I’m well aware of my poison. Men like the guy in the quote above? SO NOT MY CUP OF TEA! And am not much given to second thoughts myself; particularly after I have decided on a course of action. I am a proud assistant girlfriend, by choice. Okay, not so much by my own intentions in the beginning; but after I discovered the goodies of being one, I am sure not going back to being miss goody two shoes. “Her days are overrrrrrrrr” (in my best imitation of Rita Ora’s “RIP”). I totally forgot to introduce myself. My name is Bimbo and I am a SIDE CHIC (insert response here) Ahn ahn, did you guys not watch oyinbo film when growing up? Search alcoholics anonymous and watch their greetings. Thank me later. Yes, that’s my relationship status; gladly too. Now, you may abhor me for being someone’s husband’s piece of tail on the side; I totally understand. However, if you have walked in my shoes, you may not be so quick to cast aspersions. But please, do your thing. I used to be a faithful, one-man woman until 4 years ago; when the love of my life ditched me during marriage preparations for another girl. I was your model, Nigerian homely raised woman; so you can imagine what that experience did to me. For all of 15 months, I could not stand the sight of men, even my dad. Then in a bid to pick up the pieces of my life while job hunting, I met Ini. Now, Ini was not the first married or single man to become interested in me; I think the timing made the difference.  I was on my way for a job interview when a car splashed water on my clothes. I just burst into tears, like everything that had happened to me prior to that time dawned on me in that instant. Think totally inconsolable, gut wrenching sobs that emanate from the belly. In Ikoyi, no less; I had just alighted from the cab in front of the interview venue when this happened. It literally seemed like my life was over; my will power was gone. Luckily, the owner of the car was a gentleman. I was in no state of mind to attend the interview anymore. He made me comfortable and watched me as I wailed like a banshee for a long while. He wasn’t condemning or condescending. After a while, he took me to get a replacement for my dress in an exclusive clothes store (so these places described in my novels existed in this Lagos?). That day began a friendship, one that changed my very existence as it were. We were friends first, then lovers; before I knew about his marital status. And while I was disappointed, I was also relieved. It meant I did not have to be in a relationship with its conventional requirements. I could sleep easy, as he would not call me wanting to pass the night with me at mine. I would not be at his beck and call 24/7, like in a normal relationship. Plus, did I mention the perks? I have never been so well taken care of. See, curse me all you want; bring out the morality brigade if you like. But you and I know that every woman deep down dreams of a man who will make her feel like a princess in every way, not just financially. And the heavy pocket is a plus, like it or yes. Afterall, on those days when it gets cold at night and I don’t have a man to hug, my silk beddings help nicely. YES, I said SILK. And the fact that I can hop on a flight and travel where I want, when I want makes up for the impromptu meetings and clandestine trysts. Shey you wey dey curse me ni, if them flex like Ini dey flex me, you go reject am ba? Yes o, you go return the millions wey dey account. Iranu. Abegi, face your front and let me go to the spa in this hotel o jare. My cookie is arriving in a few hours and I want to arrange him a special session for us both with the masseuse. I have to bring my a-game today; as that trip to Maldives I plan to embark on will not pay for itself *Reaches for waist bead pouch*   [color-box] Eky Shirley is an unrepentant Liverpool FC Lover. A girl who loves words, books, and good music. She blogs at Eky’s Corner. [/color-box] Photo Credit: Kandis Design via Compfight cc