My name is Amarachi Ike and I am the writer of this blog.
I’m a fourth year medical student at the University of Nigeria, Enugu. I am also an Igbo short story writer, reader, essayist, amateur poet, and aspiring author.
Stories are important to me. I love reading them. I love writing them. I love recommending them to friends and strangers alike. I believe that our society thrives on the telling of stories. Everything we’ve done, everything that has gotten us here to a knowledge of each other and of ourselves is built on storytelling.
Stories are a way of communication. The reader and writer share a communion that borders on the spiritual each time one reads a work.
During my formative years in Abuja, I did a lot of leisurely reading. I grew up in a middle-class Igbo home and like most homes there was not a lot of emphasis on reading for the thrill of it as much as there was on reading to get good grades and top class. I came to love reading books all on my own.
I’d read so much and so widely, I started to see stories in everything. I saw stories in the shopkeepers my mother and I would pass by when we’d go to Wuse Market on Saturdays. I saw stories in my peers and the cliques and social circles that existed within the walls of our classroom. I saw stories in a flock of pigeons gathered by a street corner, in a cat cat-walking lazily atop the neighbour’s fence, in a group of women draped in their hijabs on return from their magrib prayers, in the lazy pharmacist answering my prescriptions, the tired receptionist, the confused teacher.
I saw so many stories, I convinced myself I had stories to tell. So, I picked up the pen, told myself I’d tell those stories and ever since then I have called myself a writer.
The inner narcissist that exists in all of us exists in me too. It is no surprise that I often find myself writing about… well… me. The truth is, I love documenting my experiences and thoughts on things and society. I have kept a journal for every stage of my life and if anything, it’s shown me how much I’ve grown and evolved over the years.
When I’m not writing about me, I write about a host of other things. If you can think it, I can probably write something about it. The topics I’m most enthusiastic about writing on are feminism, world literature (mainly African literature), cultures, lifestyle and women’s health.
I consider myself a dilettante. Always scratching the surface, but never getting so deep I become insufferable. Art confuses me most of the time, but I act like I get it so I seem sophisticated to my peers. It works. They think I’ve got some savoir faire.
There’s a misconception that book lovers like me do not like films. Although I will always choose the book over, I still enjoy watching a good movie.
I believe I was brought into this world to marvel at the ordinary and experience the much that one can possibly experience in a lifetime. I open myself up to most things and engage in conversations with people who have diverging opinions and thought processes. I think an understanding of people, of all kinds of people, is imperative to developing one’s writing.
A teacher of mine from back in the day used to say I would make a great journalist with the way I managed to get people talking. I don’t know about journalism. What I know is that literature, people and cultures is my world. It is who I am and on this space, I hope to share it with you.