Dr Modupe Oyetade is a dental surgeon, who combines her medical observe with inventive writing. On this interview with OLADIMEJI RAMON, the prolific writer of many youngsters’s books and three novels speaks about her drive and supreme objective
You stated you began writing on the age of 9. What sort of tales did you write in these days?
Sure, I began writing on the age of 9 and I cherished to put in writing poems and tales about animals, reminiscent of birds, canine and lions. At the moment, I simply cherished to put in writing and I stored my manuscripts. None of them bought printed again then. However a few of these tales have later been printed in my youngsters’s guide collection titled “Lion and the Duck.”
What sort of books did you learn as a baby that sparked your curiosity in writing?
I cherished to learn loads of books whereas rising up. I keep in mind the Janet and John collection, the Ladybird collection, Well-known 5 and likewise Nigerian books by Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Kola Onadipe, Agbo Areo, the Pacesetter collection and so forth.
Who gave you the concept that your books may get printed and at what level did you start publishing?
My late dad, Mr Aderemi Adeyemo, believed in my means to put in writing. Sadly, he handed away earlier than I may make up my thoughts to publish any of my books. Nevertheless, my sister, Miss Olatundun, a lawyer who used to put in writing for Inform Journal, launched me to Evans publishers. Once they noticed my works, they printed six youngsters’s books underneath the “Ivana” collection.
Many authors have tales of rejections and doubts by editors and publishers in some unspecified time in the future of their profession. Do you might have any?
I’ve really despatched my works to different publishers and I’ve been rejected a number of occasions. I’ve, nonetheless, refused to surrender as a result of the fervour to put in writing youngsters’s books is alive in me.
Do your childhood and the stuff you noticed and skilled rising up form the sort of tales you write as an grownup?
My childhood and upbringing had lots to do with my writing. Again then, there wasn’t a lot of distraction, as we’ve in as of late of the Web, and colleges closed by 1pm, so after we bought again from college we ran round the home and performed lots. We had loads of uncles and aunties who advised us tales each evening. It might be concerning the tortoise or the previous man with a crooked stick.
Because you found your ardour for writing or storytelling fairly early, why didn’t you pursue a course in literature or inventive writing as an alternative of Dentistry?
To be sincere, making that selection was arduous for me. I cherished to put in writing, nonetheless, I had inclination for the sciences as effectively. My father didn’t affect my resolution; I made the selection to check Dentistry and I’ve no regrets.
Is there a gathering level for you between writing and dentistry?
It has been a difficult affair, being a dentist and a author on the identical time. I really like each passionately. I all the time joke that one is my spouse and the opposite is my concubine. They will change locations at occasions when there’s a demand to be met. The assembly level between dentistry and literature is that within the discipline of drugs, I learnt self-discipline and that there was no excuse that was adequate to fail or stop. In medication, you’re taught to be systematic and in writing I’m inventive, so every thing works hand-in-hand. I then apply these to my writings and to my career as a specialist in my discipline.
Why did you main in youngsters’s literature?
I really like writing youngsters’s books as a result of I loved my childhood. My sisters and I actually explored nature as we found worms and ants and beetles and, extra importantly, I’m doing this as a result of there’s a want for extra youngsters’s books to be written in Nigeria. I’m additionally doing this to encourage the studying tradition among the many youngsters. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for youngsters to need to play with their dad and mom’ telephones or play video games on the Web than learn.
Is it true that your books have been accredited by the Oyo State Authorities as instructing supplies for elementary colleges within the state?
What sort of feedbacks have you ever been getting?
I all the time get optimistic feedbacks from individuals who learn my books and that is encouraging. I’ve by no means heard anybody made any unfavorable comment. I’m very blissful about this and it motivates me to put in writing extra.
Piracy is an enormous drawback for authors. Now that your books are academic supplies for colleges, is piracy a difficulty you are concerned about?
Piracy is a problem for each writer in Nigeria. I refuse to fret about it. There are various methods to keep away from books being pirated. Nevertheless, it’s a secret, which I can’t share so I gained’t fall sufferer.
What technique do you suppose needs to be adopted to root out piracy within the nation?
The technique to root out piracy in Nigeria is for the Federal Authorities to make sure that there may be employment. Individuals who steal different folks’s works do it as a result of they should present for his or her households. This doesn’t justify what they do however it’s what it’s. Our bodies such because the Affiliation of Nigerian Authors, the Nigerian Publishers Affiliation, must also assist in naming and shaming the culprits behind piracy.
Having written so many storybooks, are you making any critical efforts to advertise your works and what has been your expertise on this space?
It’s one factor to put in writing, it’s one other factor to promote the books. The enterprise facet of writing is difficult. It’s a ‘man-know-man’ sport. I’ve not been in a position to promote a lot of my books although and I do know it’s as a result of I have to do extra on publicity.
My advertising and marketing technique has principally been creating consciousness via the social media. I’ve additionally had the privilege of being interviewed by Noisy Naija Pediatrician, Dr Renner, a advisor pediatrician, who makes use of humour and comedy to show moms about their infants. The Abuja Literary Society and Akada E book Pageant hosted me final 12 months of their yearly conferences and guide festivals. I used to be delighted to learn my guide “Lion and the Duck,” on the competition. I’ve been contacted a couple of occasions on my Instagram deal with, drmodupe writer, and my Fb web page.
A few of your youngsters’s books have been translated into Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa languages. Do you suppose that’s worthwhile, on this age when indigenous languages are unconsciously being pushed to the background?
It’s worthwhile for me as a result of I see the necessity for our kids to embrace their mom tongue. I’ve met dad and mom who requested me for copies of my Yoruba and Igbo books for his or her youngsters. It’s because there’s a dire have to protect our mom tongue by passing it onto the subsequent era. Our language should not be relegated to the background. As a substitute, our kids ought to see the necessity to have fun their mom tongue with satisfaction and in type.
Will you write a guide in your late father’s reminiscence, given his function in the way you grew to become a author?
I hope to put in writing a guide in his reminiscence sooner or later. He taught me the essential ideas of life. My mom additionally has been an incredible mentor, encouraging and instructing me.
What do you hope to finally obtain as a author?
I shall be fulfilled to see my books get to each little one in Nigeria and past. There are such a lot of slangs and so many flawed utilization of the English language and this isn’t proper. Kids that learn find yourself being nice leaders. Therefore, I need that every little one reads a guide.
However your physique of works embody three novels, Fresyne; Horse within the Storm; and Flawed. Are additionally they focused at youngsters?
My romance novels had been written so as to add to the flavour of youngsters’ imaginative capability and to additionally attempt to hit a realisation within the chords of their minds that not all that glitter is gold.
In F’resyne, I explored the standard African setting of what occurs within the wealthy darkish mangrove forest of West Africa, when younger and tender lovers break the taboo of illicit intercourse and what occurs to them and their subsequent era. In ‘The Horse within the Storm,’ I explored three totally different ladies of various traits and ages all having a person in widespread who was to every a son, a lover and a horse rider. How will every character be capable of mix into what awaits them sooner or later? And my newest novel, Flawed, talks a couple of lady whose destiny was decided by her background which included little one sexual abuse. The work is to attract consideration to the scourge of sexual abuse of youngsters in Nigeria and I imagine these books will do effectively as film supplies.
I’ve written extra romance novels awaiting modifying and so forth. I hope to print them quickly.
Why did you select dentistry somewhat than another space of drugs?
I selected dentistry as a result of I noticed that it was going to be a family-friendly career; I might be capable of attend to my household and profession with out neglecting both of the 2.
In comparison with different areas of drugs, how vibrant is dental observe in Nigeria?
Curiously, dentistry could be very vibrant the place it’s practised in Nigeria. There are various specialties and sub-specialties which embody oral surgical procedure, oral prosthetics, oral pathology, oral medication, and so forth.
How will you charge the angle of Nigerians to the care of their enamel and patronage of dental clinic?
The angle of many enlightened Nigerians to the care of their enamel is sensible particularly after they have been uncovered to oral well being consciousness and know that they’ve to go to their dentists twice a 12 months for normal check-up. Nevertheless, not many Nigerians, particularly from the agricultural and underserved areas, go to dental clinics due to myths and beliefs that nothing is flawed with their enamel; in order that they don’t see the necessity for dental care.
Will you say the wealthy type the vast majority of your sufferers, or that financial issue is a part of the explanations many don’t go to the dentist?
To say the wealthy type the vast majority of the sufferers attending the general public dental clinic is relative and won’t be altogether true. There are different components to think about, reminiscent of stage of training, motivation and consciousness about oral well being. The wealthy that attend dental clinic in a public instructing hospital the place I work are the folks which can be conscious they should go to the dentist and are motivated and educated. This is probably not the case in a personal observe. You must have good cash.
What are the most typical dental circumstances that individuals current in your clinic?
The most common dental symptom that individuals current is toothache, adopted by bleeding whereas brushing. Ache is a superb issue and motivation for sufferers to go to the dental clinic and that is in any case different therapies, native or in any other case, have failed.
Are there hazards that include your job?
Sure, there are hazards that include my job. Dentists have shut contacts with their sufferers and this makes us to be at excessive danger. Examples of infections that may be transmitted embody the COVID-19 virus, HIV virus, aided by needle stick accidents. Different critical well being considerations embody musculoskeletal challenges that happen on account of poor working circumstances of the dentists that result in backache, neck ache, and so forth.
How have you ever been in a position to successfully mix your roles as a medical practitioner, a author and a homemaker?
I learnt very early in my profession to compartmentalise. By this I imply that I don’t take my work residence and vice versa. I don’t carry the load of stress of what goes on at work to my residence. So, my thoughts is free from disturbing occasions and so I’m able to write my tales simply.
As a author, you’re captivated with improved studying tradition amongst Nigerian youngsters, what are you captivated with in dentistry?
I really like the gums (gingiva) and that’s my space of specialty, periodontology. I’m a periodontist. I’m passionate concerning the oral hygiene and retaining the enamel wholesome. I’m additionally passionate concerning the administration of the varied illnesses related to the gums.
What has been the excessive level of your profession in dental observe and what milestones do you stay up for?
The excessive level in my profession was after I accomplished my residency coaching in Periodontology, making me a periodontist. The milestones I stay up for are groundbreaking researches which contain regeneration of tissues that stop the tooth from turning into cellular and falling off.
If you’re in a policymaking place, what’s going to you alter about dental observe in Nigeria?
If I’m in a policymaking place, I’ll change lots about dental observe. I’ll introduce insurance policies to enhance dental well being care financing. Methods by which this may be achieved embody making a conducive surroundings for public-private partnership. Secondly, I’ll introduce insurance policies that can stop the related mind drain in Nigeria by higher remuneration of the dentists. Thirdly, to enhance on job satisfaction, by offering state-of-the-art tools reminiscent of cone beam computed tomography in dental clinics to enhance the standard of service.
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