Interview with Funmilola Ogunseye
Page Bloom: Please let’s meet you
Funmilola Ogunseye: Hi, My name is Funmilola Ogunseye. I am currently in my final year in the University Of Lagos. I’m a psychology student. I enjoy reading books a lot, I dedicated my Instagram to books and bookish stuff. I also own a blog where I write occasionally. I am a budding writer, still learning a lot. I believe in Jesus Christ; this influences most of my life decisions. I enjoy solitude, reading, traveling (although I have not done a lot of it) and watching YouTube videos. I also tend to spend a lot of time on Instagram which I am working on.
Page Bloom: When did you start writing/blogging, what influenced your going into book reviews? Funmilola Ogunseye: I started blogging in my first year in University; 2016 but I have been writing since secondary school. I remember going home one day and literally lacking peace of mind because there was a story I was yet to write, that was in SS1. When I started blogging, I shared more of my writings but last year, I became intentional about blogging about books.
Page Bloom: How has the journey been so far? And how lucrative has it been for you?
Funmilola Ogunseye: First, I enjoy doing it, I don’t feel forced to do it. However, when I became more consistent, authors & publishers started sending me books which warmed my heart because it was not something I started for gains initially. Most books are written in exchange for an honest review, it’s not like there is any cashing out. People make money with different means by monetizing their blog and stuff but lucrative is a big word to use for an industry that’s not even recognized by people outside the literary space because we put in a lot of work like other blogging aspects too.
Page Bloom: How do you unwind/relax?
Funmilola Ogunseye: If I am not reading, I am on my bed looking at cute things or binge watching YouTube, brush my teeth or just sleeping. I wish I could say take a walk but some places in Lagos are too chaotic for that.
Page Bloom: What is your favourite book of all time?
Funmilola Ogunseye: This is a tough one. Different books have done something to me at different times of my life. The most consistent has been The Bible But one of the most impactful book for me especially as a young reader is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Page Bloom: Are you working on writing a book?
Funmilola Ogunseye: Not currently, I hope to be an author someday but I’m more focused on getting my articles published on online journals, magazines, blogs and news outlets.
Page Bloom: What can you say about the literary space in Nigeria at the moment?
Nigerians are definitely writing more, sharing their stories, writing their experiences which I think is great because we can never get overwhelmed. In my opinion, people are reading more but I don’t know how accessible Nigerian Literature is to people. That is the gap we need to close.
Page Bloom: What would you consider as the struggles of a writer/author generally and in Nigeria specifically?
Funmilola Ogunseye: I can’t say I speak for everyone in Nigeria but lately this might sound absurd but my problem with writing has been (electricity) power. Lack of light destabilizes me in a way and I want to use my laptop at times but no power.
Page Bloom: When it comes to writing, who is your mentor?
Funmilola Ogunseye: To be honest, I don’t have a particular person yet, I am a person that draws from a lot of people. I remember reading StayWith Me by Ayobami Adebayo and it just made me think about writing in another way. I draw from different wells.
Page Bloom: What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
Funmilola Ogunseye: I’d tell her to enjoy every moment and every season of her life. She should not try to fit in because there is nothing really to fit in. Who creates this standard anyway? She should define womanhood on her terms.