The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Lydia Ola Taiwo
|The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Lydia Ola Taiwo|
|Summary: We were shocked to read about how little Ola's childhood was literally broken as she moved from a happy foster home to live with her abusive and neglectful bioloigical parents. She's now an amazingly balanced person and we were delighted to take the opportunity to find out how she came through her experiences with so little bitterness.|
|Date: 16 August 2011|
|Interviewer: Sue Magee|
We were shocked to read about how little Ola's childhood was literally broken as she moved from a happy foster home to live with her abusive and neglectful bioloigical parents. She's now an amazingly balanced person and we were delighted to take the opportunity to find out how she came through her experiences with so litte bitterness.
- Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?
Lydia Ola Taiwo: I see readers with their eyes glued to the book, maybe in disbelieve and amazement. Some have told me that they had to finish reading the book and refused to get up to go to the toliet.
- BB: Did you find writing about your experiences as a child difficult?
LOT: Writing the book was so difficult it took 12 years to do. I wrote a bit and cried a lot. After completing forgiving my parents I wrote the rest without crying anymore.
- BB: I was particularly impressed by the fact that you could convey what happened in relatively few words. Have you had training as a writer, or does it come naturally to you?
LOT: I can't really say I had training in writing except that as a scientist you are trained to write specifics and to the point. Maybe that helped.
- BB: I could not believe that you could forgive your parents for what they did to you! Was this difficult and how did you manage it? I'm sure that there are a lot of people who would benefit from knowing how to forgive such atrocious, criminal behaviour.
LOT: It was difficult to forgive my parents. I had bottled everything up for years and did not tell anyone until the day my husband asked a few questions in 1990 after we got married.I believe my hsuband assisted a lot- I spoke and he listened and I cried and he listened. When I finished he said gently that I had to forgive my parents - I said that I couldn't. A few years later when we went to church there was a talk on forgiveness, it was as if it was specifically tailored for me, that day I remembered what my husband has said and started to pray to God. I did say to him - I do not know how to forgive but I will forgive if you will help me. Please heal me from within and take away all the pain, hurt and bitterness and make me a happy person, amen. It was during this time that I was coming to the end of writing. It became much easier to write, It even shocked me the writer that such things could happen to any child.
- BB: How are your brother and sister now? When I got to the end of the book I found myself wondering what they were doing and if they had come through this in the same well-balanced way.
LOT: As for my sibblings they are fine, we do not discuss these matters much.
- BB: Where and how do you write?
LOT: I write at home, on the trains, anywhere I take a pen and a notepad and write.
- BB: Despite the fact that you were deprived of the education which should rightfully have been yours I see that you're now a professional healthcare scientist. Do you feel that all has worked out for the best? Is there anything which you feel that you could have achieved if only you'd been able to grasp the chance which so nearly was there for you?
LOT: With regards to my education, I feel that as an individual whatever you are meant to achieve, it may take a long time but you will eventually achieve it. Travelling to Nigeria I was able to pass the grammar schools exams again and got addmitted. Also I think it is important for everyone to be determined to achieve and not really wait on people to get them there. .
- BB: I detect a strong religious faith. Has this sustained you through what has happened?
LOT: I do have a strong faith and a relationship with God. He saved my life and I know it. I could have been dead. I remember when I felt so alone one day and I took my bible to read because I needed some encouragement. I believe this was no coincidence, I read this - Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will take care of me (Psalm 27 Verse 10). I still hold onto this verse to this day.
- BB: You've got one wish. What's it to be?
LOT: I wish that all children would not need to go through any form of abuse and that they would be given the opportunity to grow up and achieve something great for themselves.
- BB: What's next for Lydia Ola Taiwo?
LOT: Next will be to start the book - What happened in Nigeria
- BB: Thanks for taking to us, Lydia. We think you're an amazing person.
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