Emerald Obahiaghon in The Mind’s Eye
Recently, she released her first book, The Mind’s Eye and her single titled, Heaven Hears My Prayers.
The teenager, who is an intern with Rave TV, said jokingly, “it’s just a single, not an album. I coincidently ran into a music producer at my place of work and we decided to do a song together.”
The mass communication student of Institute Superieur de Management Adonai (ISM), Cotonou, Benin Republic, said singing and writing for her started when she was six years old. “I used to buy poetry books and read stories like the ones seen on Boomerang and Disney. I was just being a child then. I remember my first script was about the town that was coloured purple, everybody there was also purple, they wore purple clothes and ate purple food. That was basically me being a six year old.”
She said, “it’s a children’s book, and I’m not into that genre now.”
Emerald added, “I’ve grown older and my thought much deeper.”
She said it took her about two years to write the book. “I only wrote when inspiration came, I didn’t write for like three or six hours at a stretch; I usually write when inspiration comes, and when it goes, I drop. Originally, my intention wasn’t to write a book, I just wrote poems to express my feelings on issues. It got to a time I decided to increase, then I showed my mom and she encouraged me to keep writing and putting the poems together.
“I have 29 poems in the book. It was when I reached that number that my mom told me we could actually turn what I have done to a book. So far, it’s been a success story.”
According to the young writer, “all the poems are basically what goes on in my head, it’s me proffering solutions to societal problems.”
Emerald said, “there is a poem I wrote when I was really emotional, titled, My Name is Ryeece. The poem is about a three-year-old boy, whose mother died and was going through domestic violence. His perpetually drunk father would beat him, and one day, his father beat him to death. When I wrote that poem, I was really upset with everybody. I was angry at the world. I was just being a teenager going through a difficult moment in life. During that period, there were so many cases of rape, teens committing suicide, and I had friends who were going through depression. Everything going around me was a pain. I was feeling that pain added to mine — instead of bottling it up, I decided to pour out my soul in writing. That is my favourite poem because that was when I was really vulnerable. I allowed myself to be open, no pretense. That was I exposing myself to everybody. It was the point I broke apart.”
On what actually broke her down as a teenager, she said, “I believe everybody passes through a stage of depression. At that point, I was passing through the stage, because I didn’t feel good enough. I was a ghost in somebody else’s life. I was basically a shadow of myself. At that point, there was this girl I used to look up to. I lost myself to her. I entered that stage where I didn’t feel good enough for anybody because I was really fat.
“It affected me physically and emotionally, because I was trying to cover up physically, and the words that people actually said, got to me emotionally. This was the period when I started going through depression. I was in the same class as the girl I looked up to She was beautiful, smart and every person’s dream. She was termed ‘perfect’, while I was just the opposite. I worshipped her. Before that time, I was out there living my own life, but on getting to meet her, I became a shell of myself.”
On how she overcame, she said, “what helped me were the real friends that I had and my family. They just knew that something was wrong. I was always crying and was actually a shadow of myself. When I returned home after one of the midterm holidays, I stood in front of the mirror and said to myself, ‘I’m the best, I’m perfect’ and after a few talks, I made the decision to stop.”
On the kind of solution she’s proffering with her book, she said, “there are poems that talk about social media and some about poverty, however, all the poems state problems and have different solutions.”
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