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Criticism is the basis for any outstanding work of art... — Rotimi Adeniyi (El Cypher)



Good evening, Readers

I'm indeed sorry for sharing my encounter From The Other Side earlier than now; the day has proved a cursed mistress and it has held my  shirt that I couldn't come online... I'm sorry.

So, today, From The Other Side, I have with me a great Sir and I'm sure you'll learn from his Sagacity. Keep following....


The Interview.


Can we meet you, Sir?

Guest: I am Rotimi Adeniyi with a popular pseudonym 'el cypher'


What genre of literary work do you write?

Guest: I venture into all genres of literature, but with a great bias for poetry and that's due to some reasons.

What kind of figure of speech do you often use or love using?

Guest: I can't basically mention or choose any but Metaphor can't be found scarce in my poetry.

What is your source of inspiration(s)?

Guest: Uhmmm...Virtually everything. But, levels at which they spur differ. This is because, any poet who has found his feet treading the soil of this nation would know there lies a lot to inspire him. Talk of the state of the nation, the atrocities breaking out of shells on a daily basis and so on, coupled with the fact that a poet is seen as an incorruptible conscience and consciousness of the nation. Therefore, a poet is saddled with the responsibility of observing the society, mirroring the swifts of fate in his art. 
In short, everything is bound to inspire a poet like me plus my interest in nature which is the mystery for all.


What is your critical and unprejudiced view about criticism?

Guest: Criticism is the basis for any outstanding work of art, be it literature and its genres or art works in its totality. As we all know, Art is a wide and wild field that encompasses the totality of exploration, expression, impression and gratification. For this nature with which Art finds its roots buried and expanded to, it needs justice which is not 'just ease.'
I have a personal conviction that, criticism is akin to giving Art a public eye which means it is open to opinions from different minds, eyes and senses. And, of course, you'd believe with me that, Art appeals to all senses, so must it be justified from them.

Today, it is disheartening that, criticism 'kills more than it heals.' I am of the opinion that, we've lost innate intelligence in this field (of Art) due to self acclaimed critcs who are not up to the standard of their call. I am candid enough to sound it that, being a critic is not just an art everyone can venture into, it is rather a profession itself which is to be learnt.
Unlike gone days when criticism was at its peak, everyone has become a critic simply because they write and they're known for it. For this reason and many others, we've lost talents, arts, relevance to mud because those who acclaim themselves the throne of criticism do it wrongfully.
Apart from mediocrity that has prevailed criticism, the fear of being critiqued is another plague. Majority of poets today are lackadaisical towards making their works available to/for criticism. One of the reasons being that, they have negative and have developed critical and terrible ideas towards criticism because they think criticism is all about finding faults/flaws in a work of art. It is very terrible to think criticism is all that which instead has a strong pillar of 'unbiasedness.' This feature expresses the need to seek the 
beauty in the work of art. Beauty in every sense of appealing to the audience in all manners raging from creativity relevance. Then, it progresses to the level of eyeing the bits and pieces of flaws in that particular work of art and the, deriving the motif of the work.
It is pertinent to note that, even with the fact that criticism has lost its value, we still have outstanding critics, all it takes is to reach for one.
I'd like to recap my already stated view about criticism that, it remains the standard with which any work of art is appreciated.


Well, what do you think about those that hate their works been criticised?

Guest: Much has been said about this in my view on criticism. I mentioned earlier that mediocrity has become the order of the day in criticism which scares many poets away. But, the only remedy for this is to reach for a trusted critic because, it is when your soup is tasted that the value is known. There's possibility of relishing the aroma of soup on fire, but you can't decide whether it is spicy or salty until you tongue it and this goes to us all with the title of poets, we need to let the public have a delicious taste of our soup. Have them have a say, salty or spicy, it makes you a good cook at another attempt.



What do you think of Nigerians and Poetry in Nigeria?

Guest: I am a Nigerian and I am proud to be. Poetry in Nigeria has been a kind of revolutionary art to the system that governs our society. What I mean is that, Poetry is blooming everyday in Nigeria because poets as the conscience and consciousness of this society give strength to poetry and there's been mass motivations unlike those days when it used to be a despised art.

I see Poetry in Nigeria as tool of change, a yardstick of and for justice, a consoler of hearts and mender of souls.
Poetry in Nigeria is like saying Nigerian Poetry and with that, I must confess, there's much value to be proud of in Nigerian poetry.

The fact is, I can't say it all, but I can envisage that, poetry will soon be recommended for all courses in schools, for it is not only meant for Art students. And, as we all know, it is already in our national anthem. Soon, Nigeria will grow to that level when poets would be more recognized as saints who are to be trusted in the decision making of this nation.



What do you see of Nigerian poets in nearest years?

Guest: If we know the order of the present day, we can predict the fate of the future. In the nearest years, like I mentioned above, poets would become crucial members in the decision making.
Another thing is, poetry will earn this country honours that outshine the sun rays.



Do you believe writers can make a change in the world with their feeble mind yet strong passion?

Guest: I don't just believe, I am aware of the changes writers have brought to the world. I can't imagine this world without writers not because I am  one but because, they are the lesser creators with Almighty God's miraculous calligraphy.
Much developments as the world has it today have been painstaking efforts from writers' flights of fancy. When society faults and the citizens fall amiss, writers are the hands of God used to balance, adjust and send where necessary. So, I do believe writers will still being more positive changes to the globe.



What can you do to effect a change through writing; will you go wild/weird to pass your message satirically — can that even make some things change?

Guest: Well, I am an exact person behind my art (writing). I don't need to go wild or weird before I can effect any change in the society I was born. So, in my writing, to effect any change, I mirror the situations in the best manner that will get the public's attention which they understand and are aware of. Just like a poet's mind, the society is a season that changes with time. In this vein, I blend with the season of the society in my writing to bring about change. You see, I am not the kind that seek for a large audience because change can begin with just a mind. And I'm fine with that, if my writing could change a mind, I believe a mind will change millions.



What do you see of yourself in ten years time?

Guest: Ten years time...Hmmm.I am not a dreamer but I have a very wide range of aspirations. Then, I believe I'd be a living miracle, an icon, a grandsire in my field of art. The fact is, in that time, I could even become what I never thought of, for how long does a dreamer hold on to his dreams. Fate is not a wheel caught in our grasp, I pray to become the best of my dreams in their possibilities.



What are your future hope for your writing career?

Guest: Future is still far away, but fortunately, tomorrow is even a future. I don't really plan for the future because of certain expectancies. If my writing career has any future, then I'd have my books planted in international libraries, my words would be blooming in people's hearts, I'd leave a memory behind which will sprout new flowers and then, my poetry blog would welcome large traffic.
More so, I wish to teach the future as part of my writing career.



What is your critical and objective view about Religion in Nigeria?

Guest: Religion has lost its ground in Nigeria. It is quite frustrating why bloodshed has become paths to seeking God's blessings. Religion shoul be a peaceful way of worshipping God. Any religion that lacks peace or recognizes not that the other person is you is not a religion.
In my critical opinion, we should stop pretending religion is the basis for all atrocities being done in the name of God. And, Muslims and Christians should live as brothers and sisters, as families, as peaceful neighbours, for that's the purpose of creation.



If you can do one thing to change the world, what would that be?

Guest: Writing.



If you're not a poet or writer, what would you be?

Guest: An artist, rapper, actor, orator.



Why did you chose that answer? (Optional)

Guest: The art of drawing was an innate talent not until I killed it for religious purpose, then. I think I made a big mistake back then.
For the possibility of becoming a rapper, I am already one.
For being an actor, I have a passion for it.
For being an Orator, it is an aspiration.



What is your advise for disappointed and discouraged writers?

Guest: The best encouragements come from within. They shouldn't look or seek for it outside. And, there goes a popular saying from one of my masters: If it can't be cured, it must be endured. So, keep enduring since it is in YOU.



What is your advise for the general public?

Guest: Whatever that's worth doing at all is worth doing well.
Always reach for that core in you which enlightens the world.
An inferno was a flaming spark.



What is the best you can give to others?

Guest: My words are the treasures I can best give to others.



Lastly, what is the best you can give to the world?

Guest: My strangest imagination that'd keep the whole world awake.



Thank you for having you with us, Sir. Best regards.

Akinwale Peace Akindayo
Philip Peace
www.philippeace.com.ng

I hope you enjoy the interview, kindly comment below.
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