A novel writer, columnist, Editor in-Chief of TAKAii Magazine and co-owner of DTalkshop, Kaine Agary, in this interview with ADA DIKE speaks on what writing her novel taught her.
Every opportunity Kaine Agary gets invited to speak to the youth, she always does so. As a citizen of Nigeria in love with books, this is her way to ensure that the youth from her state (Bayelsa) are well read. “Every time I come in contact with the youth from Rivers, Bayelsa States and others, I try to engage with them and encourage them because it is important that they see positive role models, mentors, people whoencourage them and tell them that it is okay to stay on the straight and narrow way.
‘Yellow-Yellow’ mirrors the life a young girl in the Creek who struggled to find an identity for herself in Port Harcourt. “Indeed, the amnesty and the process towards peace and development in Niger Delta have a positive change in the region. It is a good development.
“From the whole experience not from the story, it really taught me that you can achieve anything. I didn’t study literature and I didn’t go to writing school but I had a story I wanted to tell so I wrote the book. I also have learnt that as a creative person, you are quite powerful. You can say a lot with your work, be it a picture or a painting or a book. It travels a lot further than you could ever imagine,” she said.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Socio-Economics from Mount Holyoke College (1995), and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, specializing in Health Policy from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service (1997), Agary returned to Nigeria in 2004 and joined Dtalkshop, where she is now the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.
After her first novel ‘Yellow-Yellow’ that won many awards including the prestigious Nigeria Prize for Literature (NLNG) in 2008, co-winner of the Nigerian Book Fair Trust’s 2007 Book of the Year Award and the ANA Chevron Prize for Environmental Writing in 2007, Agary has been working in all kinds of things such as being a mother, doing her business and many other things. Presently, she said: “I am just having fun living my life.”