60 MINUTES WITH SALIM YUNUSA.
Salim is a budding writer, poet, and activist. He’s the founder of a literary movement on Facebook – Poetic Wednesdays, and a Co-Founder of a national NGO – Project Grassroots Nigeria (PGN).
He’s a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning.
He’s a writer for Asiri and Dot Magazines and Several of his poems, articles and short stories have found themselves in newspapers, blogs and other online magazines. He’s known for his activism through the #HelpSaveMunir campaign, and for speaking against societal issues and injustice. This has won him several awards, notably the Humanitarian award in his alma mater and his community.
He’s an entrepreneur, joining the fashion industry as a marketer for tailored clothes by FD Clothing’s, and also a member of All-E, an online entrepreneur’s site.
Salim’s special interest is Tourism Development, Environmental conservation and community service. He’s also great art enthusiast and have gone to several literary festivals. He loves reading, mountaineering and hanging out with friends.
He had his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme at Baze University, Abuja and is currently running a Master’s program in Disaster and Risk Management, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
Whyke Anthology: Good Afternoon sir.
Salim Yunusa: Good afternoon.
Whyke Anthology: Please introduce yourself to our audience Sir.
Salim Yunusa: My name is Salim Yunusa. I’m a writer, a poet, an Urban Planner and an activist. I’m a co-founder of a National NGO, Project Grassroots Nigeria and the founder of an online literary movement called Poetic Wednesdays.
Whyke Anthology: You’re welcome sir.
Salim Yunusa: Thank You.
Whyke Anthology: In your own opinion, is poetry the solution to the revolution Africa needs?
Salim Yunusa: Yes! Africa needs a revolution. A bloodless revolution. A revolution that starts in the mind and settles in the heart. A revolution that begins with enlightenment and education. It’s down to us. Youths are the future of Africa. Africa is today, not tomorrow and the sooner we realize that, the better.
Poetry serves a whole lot of purposes to a whole lot of people. To me and many people, poetry is a voice for us; It’s our means of making statements.
When we make bold statements that is about the issues plaguing Africa and we reach our targeted audience, we’ve done our part. An enlightened youth is a productive youth. We’re enlightening people through the power of words. A Somali poet was recently arrested for writing a poem about unity. What does that tell you? That we have a sonorous, powerful voice that can be carried loud and wide on the waves of the seas and amplified by the wind.
We’re writivists, and we’re the solution.
Whyke Anthology: sighs Very true sir.
Can you read on of your poems tobour readers sir?
Salim Yunusa: I have many poems. I don’t know which one would be suitable for this occasion. 😁
Whyke Anthology: You can tell us your favourite..Probably one that aligns with revolution.
Salim Yunusa: Okay. I have this one titled “The Diary of an IDP
THE DIARY OF AN IDP“Adamawa, Yobe and Borno,Regarding these, what do you think you know?”Rains of sorrow,Wash away by products of terror.The eyes that cried tears of horror,Are beginning to see a brighter tomorrow.The barbaric men, who are nothing but filth,Destroyed all we toiled and built,While brainwashing all they could possibly jilt,Oh God, how do I overcome this hauntingsurvivor’s guilt,After all the throats I’ve witnessed being slit?How could I wade off this insomnia,Induced by this mass hysteria?Could I ever return to my little euphoriaOr am I a fool for believing in utopia?With haunted eyes, haunted souls and hauntedminds, we grieved.While crying and missing all our bereaved.I prayed, I waited and I believed.That from the Lord will come our Relief.Like a phoenix, I’ll rise from the ashesOvercome the challenges, and all the clashes.The wounds have healed, and so will the gashes.Salim Yunusa (c)2016
Whyke Anthology: Poetry is diverse & seen in diverse ways, thus. Can you explain briefly, the theme of this poem precisely and what it entails.
Salim Yunusa: The Poem as the title implies, talks on surviving terrorism and resilience.
It was written for the people who survived the Boko Haram insurgency and how resilient they are, in the face of everything that has been thrown to them.
Whyke Anthology: Oh! Beautiful attempt sir.
Salim Yunusa: Thank you
Whyke Anthology: What are the challenges you’ve faced as a poet? Writing and publishing as a whole.
Salim Yunusa: I’m someone you’d call an organic poet; I write when I’m inspired and motivated by an event or occurrence. So, sometimes, I get frustrated when I want to write and the muse is not there. But apart from that, it has been a tremendous journey been a poet, filled with fun and self-discovery.
As for publishing, it doesn’t really matter if I get my name out there, because the most fulfilling part is being able to inspire and motivate others to write, and to make someone feel better and happy after reading your poems.
So, with Poetic Wednesdays, I feel very accomplished. People are writing and that’s all that matters, really.
Whyke Anthology: A very good opinion sir. As a poet with experience, what advice would you give Nigerian Youths and to upcoming Poets as well?
Salim Yunusa: For the youths, the time is now. We have to take back our country. Our future depends on it, literally. We need to come together, irrespective of tribes and religion and work towards our common goal, which is peace and prosperity.
Nigeria is a blessed country. Why should we run to other countries as refugees? Let’s manage our resources well and make Nigeria the best version of herself for ourselves and the future generations.
To the upcoming poets, every reader is a writer, and vice versa. Challenge yourself to be bigger and better. Find a mentor, learn and grow.
Read, and then write. Then, the sky will be your starting point.
Whyke Anthology: Invaluable!
Thank you sir for granting us audience, we appreciate your valuable time
Salim Yunusa: The honor is mine. Thanks to you too.
Whyke Anthology: Alright sir… Bye for now.