A publisher and staff of NATIONAL PILOT Newspaper, Mike Adeyemi has opened up on what prompted him to write his latest book; ‘Politics in the church’, which will be launched on Saturday in Ilorin, the Kwara State’ capital. In this interview with MATTHEW DENIS, the writer also speaks on challenges book publishers face in Nigeria. Excerpts:
What inspires you as a writer?
I can vividly remember that I received inspiration to write a book in 1987 while in primary school, though I can allude it to divine intervention. But I was actually motivated by a classmate when I was in primary five. The boy was very good at reading and our teacher then used to shower encomium on him and scold the rest of us for lagging behind. I was challenged and became determined to build my book reading capacity. That happened to be my source of motivation. I said to myself if this boy could do well, then I could do more even. I began to develop interest in reading books and novels, as you know, to be a good writer one must be a good reader. Another factor that got me into the literary world was that in the village back then our illiterate mothers used to call on us to write letters, consciously and unconsciously we learnt through that medium because whenever they called and we could not write such letters, we were either scolded or beaten. So I could say these two factors helped shaped in my writing career.
How did you come about the title ‘Politics in the Church’ for your latest book?
The idea behind ‘ Politics in the Church’ is as a result of many factors. I was born and bred in a Christian home and I actively participated in church activities and nurtured with biblical instructions. So I know all about the administration and running of the church. When we were young in the early 80s some of us in the church. We see the church as a place where immorality abnormality in the society are being checked. But, things are changing; moral decadence is no longer seen as an anomie even in the church. The running of the church by the leadership is no longer like it was in the past, which was then in line with biblical principles. And when we say politics, it simply means a competing interest and practice whereby people do things for selfish interest and monetary gains. So, we begin to see the practice of politics in a secular world creeping into the church whereby people who are appointed into leadership positions engage in politiking and nepotism. This was what prompted me to write something to educate Christians and the general public on the need for us to address this competing interest that is getting into the house of God, which could invariably undermine the gospel of Jesus Christ. Basically, this is just the rationale behind the idea of the book.
Politics in the church is all about how modern Christians have deviated from certain sacred principles of holiness to elevating self ambitions in the household of God above the core duty our Lord Jesus Christ charged us on-evangelism. Today, you will discover that we have deviated from this divine assignment. So, politics in the church addresses the need for us to go back to the core rudiments given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ to sanctify his household and win many souls into the Kingdom of God. Nowadays immorality is fast becoming a norm in Nigeria. Therefore, it has to be checked for the sake of the future generation. So the book seeks to educate people on the need for us to go back to the basics.
What impact do you expect the book to make in the society?
We have want we call the value system and for every society that deserves to prosper there must be social values. We can’t have economic growth without a social value that is the ability to differentiate what is good from wrong. Basically, I expect the book to go a long way in changing our societal values because corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of the society.
How many books have you written so far?
I have written five books up till date. My first book was published in 2012 titled ‘No sweat no sweet’. The second one is ‘ One wife one problem’; the third is titled ‘ The bitter truth’ where I asked Nigerians where we missed the road. The fourth one is the revised edition of ‘One wife one problem’, While the fifth one is the ‘ Politics in the church’.
Do you have a role model?
As I told you initially my sojourn in writing is a divine call from God but regardless of that there are still some people that mentored me. As far as writing is concerned, Chief Segun Adeniyi ofThisDay and former Media Assistant to late President Umaru Yar’Adua is my mentor in the literary world.
Which of your books was most challenging?
It is ‘One wife one problem,’ my second book. It has however earned me encomiums and also impacted my life positively. Up till today, there is high demand for the book. It is an outstanding literary work which has given me a edge. It has greatly projected my writing career.
Like I earlier said, for you to be a good writer you must be a good reader because there is a saying that ‘readers are leaders’. I think the first requirement of every writer is that you must read another person’s book. Through this you will garner experience and knowledge. Aside that it is a divine call because for every career there must be an ingredient of God’s support. Because if God is with you nobody can be against you. Often times when people who excel in a career look back, they marvel at how far they have gone. I rely on God because He gives me the inspiration to write. Writing for me is a divine gift.
What is your message to potential writers?
Writing in this part of the world is not lucrative or appreciated as it is in the advanced world. In Nigeria in particular, we have poor reading habit. There is the general belief that if you want to hide something from an African man you put it inside a book. Our reading culture is poor. But my advice to the general public is that we have to reverse this trend because the society cannot grow without having sterling leaders who are desirous to know more through reading. In advanced countries the rate of reading is very high and there they appreciate their writers, but here you will discover that you are just writing for the sake of writing. The only motivation which I consider so far is just the divine gift of God in me. There are also numerous people who give me kudos for the job well done and ginger me to keep it up.