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Adeshina: I wrote Black Dragon to educate and entertain people

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<br />A cross section of students during a road march to mark this year’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, organised by the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State…yesterday<br />Pic 11. Students during a road march to mark 2021 World Traffic Day celebration organized by National Agency For Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Yenagoa, on Friday (30/7/2021)<br />03481/30/7/2021/Tony Okpu/ICE/NAN<br />Pic 12. Bayelsa State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Faith Obuene (5TH L) with other women and children during a road march to mark 2021 World Day celebration organized by National Agency For Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Yenagoa, on Friday (30/7/2021)<br />03482/30/7/2021/Tony Okpu/ICE/NAN<br />Pic 13. Participants at road march to mark 2021 World Traffic Day organized by National Agency For Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) in Yenagoa, on Friday (30/7/2021)<br />03482/30/7/2021/Tony Okpu/ICE/NAN<br />PLEASE CREDIT NAN-PHOTO AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER

He appeared calm, gentle in the eyes and thoughtful, as we sat down together for this chat. At first, Bemiwo Adesina did not strike one as a 16-year-old, perhaps because of his sportsman look. But when he speaks, you can feel the innocence in the author’s voice, which has also found its way into the foundational pillars of his just-released debut title, Black Dragon.
 
“I wrote it mainly because of my passion for reading fictional books. I started liking fictional books at age seven. The particular one that stuck out to me was the first I read titled, The Rat Race by my uncle, Tunde Leye. It inspired me to write a book,” he revealed.    
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For the reserved teenager, his pen serves as a magnifying lens into the multi-faceted nature of human existence, making a case for people to always find hope and self-worth in themselves.
 
The book itself is a fictional narrative about a farmer and a 13-year-old orphan who had lost hope about living but later regained through the farmer’s help. It is an intriguing read, laden with moral messages for both young and old. While the book is woven with stellar writing, mythology, whatnot, for Bemiwo, the most profound thing about his story is its plurality of messages.
 
“It is all a matter of perspective. There is no such thing as a truly good or bad person. However, my friends and family have picked different messages. But what I want people to pick is the fact that they are not alone in this world,” he said.
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He continued, “Honestly, I had intended to put only one message across; do not view life as a plain canvas. There is no such thing as a purely good or bad person, and we are all made up of both. However, depending on your perspective, you can learn other things from it. For example, one of the characters had her parents perish in front of her and this led to her psychological trauma. This character met someone else that also faced trauma from watching his parents being killed in front of him. They found comfort in each other. Anybody can easily get the message that you are not alone in this world and there is always someone out there that is struggling with you.”
 
However, writing a book within six months did not come so easy for Bemiwo, as it normally won’t. While the young lad affirms he struggled with self-doubt, he praises his parents for their undying support towards his penmanship.
 
“At first, it made me really nervous, if I am being honest. I felt that with immediate effect, I would get negative feedback. But something reminded me that I have a message to put across. I wrote the book to educate and entertain people.
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“Before writing this book, I always tried to write down any thought that came into my mind; whether it was short or long. Because of the fact that I am not really a shiny person that commands people’s interests, I always kept them to myself. However, sometimes, I showed them to my family and friends and they gave positive feedback. They told me that I should be willing to write a book.
 
“My parents know that I am not the talking type; I am not really a confident person. However, my mum and dad always try to remind me that I have a talent and that God has given me that talent. They tell me that just because I am feeling low right now does not mean that my work would not impact others. My advice to other parents is that, as my parents have done for me in realizing my passion and talent and nurturing it if they notice that their children have any talent or passion, they should help their children nurture the gift and by God’s grace they would be rewarded.”
 
The aspiring medical doctor also disclosed that his writings are currently heavily woven around psychological thrillers and drama, as they are his favourite pastimes.  
 
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“In fact I watched a lot of movies. I read a lot of fictional books too. It can be testified that the movies I like watching are usually psychological dramas. One that I recently watched is called Inception.”
 
He lists literary greats such as Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Rick Riordan (of Percy Jackson and the Olympians fame), among others, as people he admires within the industry.
 
Bemiwo also decided to see his mission to the end, by donating several copies of the book to his alma-mater, Avi-Cenna International School, in Lagos. The idea is to help motivate other children to channel their talent, skills, and energies towards self-growth and social development.
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“I felt very nervous about it. However, I always kept it at the back of my mind that all those books and messages I gave would truly impact people,” he said.
 
On what inspired the title, he explained that “In mythology, there has hardly been any mention of a black dragon. Seeing as how the main character has a very special case that he goes through, a lot of struggles ordinarily should have caused him to fall under. The very fact that he was able to rise above these challenges gives him the title, Black Dragon.”
 
With this latest effort, Bemiwo hopes that more Nigerian children would develop the habit of reading – an attitude that he believes is intrinsic to the societal development and progress of any community.

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