Skip to main content

A New Writer

Today we are introducing a new writer. We have been following Amarachi Mbagwu Chilaka on social media. Her writings, curiously personal, always carry pent-up feelings in them. Her stories are always full of emotion, restraint, sensitivity and courage.  To read her is to understand what it really means to be female in an African society, to carry the burden of femaleness and otherness in a deeply patriarchal milieu.

We hope to bring many of her works to our readers. Below is her short essay on why she writes.

Why I Write by Amarachi Mbagwu Chilaka

There's an emptiness in me, an emptiness that only words (spoken or written) can fill. An emptiness that keeps me from the world and makes me feel cold even when the world is rotating at its highest and the sun shinning at its highest. The quest to fill that emptiness is the reason I write...

I live in a world where some things I want to do, the feelings I want to have, the sadness and the happiness I want to feel, the love I want to give and receive, sometimes seems impossible, and when I write, I unintentionally put pieces of me in my writings and allow myself do and feel and have and give and receive. Writing allows me create a world where I can never be rejected. It gives me the feelings and things the real world does not give me.

I write because I want to live. Because writing seemed to be my only saviour the many times the words I should say tried to suffocate me. Maybe I would've been dead and nonexistent if not for writing. I am alive and living.

I write to be heard. Many times I have tried to speak but no one else heard my voice but me. I write so that I could tell and pour my heart out in words. So that I can tell all I cannot tell in words and be heard.

I write to fight demons. The demons constantly playing painful games in my head, the demons playing with arrows and daggers and swords and shouting in high voices inside my head, my mind and my skull and cause my head to ache for no reason. They immediately leave my being alone through the ink bleeding from my pen and turning into words on the lines in the pages of my white exercise books or the fanciful pages of the beautiful book Miriam gave me or on the blank screen on my android phone.

I write because I always have something to say but no one to say them to. Because I have too many stories to tell but no one to tell them because I fear I might not be listened to and I fear that the words my lips might convey the stories in might never tell the whole stories as they were. I write because there are so many stories in my head and problems that I might never find the solutions to unless I write. I write to tell of my story, to tell the stories of people who have neither the voice or pen nor listening ears.   I write to get into the world.

I write for myself, to discover and uncover the many things and secrets Mr Ignorance has kept me from. I write to learn, to befriend and to be close to more words. To keep my relationship with words and my brain and my soul growing.

I write because I want to be anybody I want to be in a world I can never be judged or be pushed away for behaving in a manner that is not accepted by the people living in that same world... Writing helps me create that kind of world; a word where I can be crazy and wild and spoilt and stupid and wicked and aggressive and then calm, responsible, generous, kindhearted. It helps me create the kind of world where I can control and make everything go round and square and flat and round again, a world where I can have the right to right or wrong without a pair of lips or more waiting aside to judge or to condemn.

I write to be read, to make name for myself. I write to be the story the next generation will study in the classroom. I write to climb up the sky and scribble my name on the stars. I write to live forever, to live even after my body has been put down six feet below, my flesh turned to dusts and my bones fed on by darkness. I write to make way for myself,  to make my memories live forever. Because writing is another thing I can never afford not doing.

​Amarachi Mbagwu Chilaka is a prolific young writer who started writing in 2014 after she lost her passion for singing to fear and discouragement. She has since written many unpublished articles, short stories and poems and a number of songs.She's a co-founder of the Bleeding Pen Literary Society (BPLS).She resides in Owerri, Nigeria.

Comments

Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

Dalu's Diary by Ogechi Ezeji : Children's Literature in Nigeria is Coming Back

I felt like a child once again, after reading Ogechi Ezeji’s Dalu’s Diary, a book of fiction for children and adults alike.The feeling I got from reading this work is akin to the one I got from reading Chinua Achebe’s Chike and the River, Onuora Nzekwu’s Eze Goes to School, Cyprian Ekwensi’s The Drummer Boy and all other great children fictions of Nigeria’s literary golden age, so many years ago.
In the story, little Chukwudalu Aniche is obsessed with his diary, which he kept and wrote in at every turn of an important event that moves him to write. He initially lived in Owerri with his parents, Mr and Mrs Aniche and his beloved uncle Akachi, before his accountant father was transferred to Abuja, on account of his honesty and determination towards his job.
Through Dalu’s diary, we are able to understand the inner workings of the young boy’s mind, his family, his closeness with his uncle, his view of his maternal aunt and her erratic daughter and most of all, his perception of his new sch…

Writers against the Bullying of Otosirieze Obi-Young and the Obfuscation of Truth

A STATEMENT BY WRITERS IN SUPPORT OF OTOSIRIEZE OBI-YOUNG

In light of recent tweets and threads going around about the former Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper and the resistance to what many consider an unfortunate muzzling of truth, we, his colleagues and friends, would like to make a few things clear:

We have worked with Otosirieze Obi-Young for years, have disagreed with him on many occasions, and never have we felt disrespected or stifled by him.

We know and have often celebrated his firm commitment to diversifying the literary scene, giving young writers visibility, his efforts to make sure that prizes think of more writers than the already-known, especially those writers living on the continent; his push for the establishment of the Brittle Paper Awards is one example of concrete ways in which this commitment has been put to work. On Facebook, we have seen him talk passionately and with deep knowledge about the state of African writing and what needs to be done to enhance it, and …

Chetachi Igbokwe: What it Means to Attend Chimamanda Adichie’s Writing Workshop

Chetachi Igbokwe is a final year student of English and Literary Studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is the current editor of the University of Nigeria’s student journal, The Muse, a journal of creative and critical writing, founded by Chinua Achebe in 1963. He is a 2019 alumnus of the Purple Hibiscus Creative Writing Workshop, facilitated by the Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


What was it like having to be taught by the amazing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? Was it your first time of applying? 

CHETACHI IGBOKWE: Thanks to Black Boy Review for affording me this platform. I respect Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and being taught by her was a great deal for me. Having read everything she has published thus far, starting from her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, which was a tour de force, it is evident that every generation must feel blessed to be graced with a writer like her. Originally, I knew about the workshop from close friends. I also knew how very competitive it was but I…