The author of Beast of No Nation, Uzodinma Iweala opens up on the business of storytelling as he covers Guardian Life magazine’s latest issue.
They say men can’t multitask but Uzodinma is a writer, entrepreneur, medical doctor, publisher and art curator of sorts. He is also the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Ventures Africa, an online and print magazine focusing on business and entrepreneurship.
Read excerpts from the interview below:
On the magazine Ventures Africa
You have to make a living, It’s an idea, maybe an SME or innovative startup, a cultural experiment, a painting, something created to change how we think and operate. A lot of it is business and innovation but in reality, it’s about telling stories.
His uncle is more about finance and growth while he is more about the narrative. Together they have positioned Ventures as a popular and well-respected magazine rivaling Forbes Africa with its eye-catching headlines and drawing attention to African business in a positive way.
On his traditions when it comes to writing
I have this thing when I’m writing or editing to not cut my hair until I’m finished. It’s the whole Samson thing, all writers or creative people have their games or traditions. I don’t really cut my hair that often.
When I’m working on something, all the excess stuff, I cut it away. No-one’s looking at you when you’re spending all your time in a cave. You’re trying to focus on the work. Samson had long hair and that’s the source of his strength.
On the new novel, he is working on
This is a very American novel set in Washington DC dealing with some of the issues you might expect, the characters are of different races but centered around the crisis of who has the right to full citizenship and who has the right to safety in that space. It’s not necessarily about killings and protest but how people focus and deal with the inner trauma those experiences create.
I’ve always been interested in the way that people process trauma, this one deals with, in vague terms, police brutality – how individuals and societies process the trauma around them. It’s fascinating to me both in the creative work and in the work that we try to do at Ventures.
Read the full interview here