By Sunmola Olowookere
The celebrant supported by family members and well wishers to cut her birthday cake
Intellectuals and think-tank in the literary world of Ondo State gathered in Akure, the Ondo State capital penultimate weekend to celebrate gifted writer and veteran journalist, Biola Olatunde when she launched her book titled “Rose of Numen” to commemorate her 65th birthday.
Dignitaries present at the Book launch and birthday ceremony included Chairman/CEO, Owena Press Limited, Mr Bode Betiku , former Commissioner for Information, Mr Eddy Olafeso, Chairman, Ondo State Micro Credit Agency (OSMA), Mrs Banke Sutton, seasoned writer and Chairman Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA), Ondo State Chapter, Dr. Sola Owonibi, a former Chairman of Ese Odo Local Government of Ondo State, Mr Kennedy Peretei,Ondo State PDP Director of Publicity, Mr Ayo Fadaka, Editor of The Hope (Daily) Mr Banji Ayoola and a host of other authors from the Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA).
Reading her citation, Ms Laurel Ojo said that Biola Olatunde, a novelist, poet, scriptwriter and broadcaster was born on October 3, 1950 to Ayodele Boluwaji family. She attended UNA Primary School Kaduna and Gaskiya College, Lagos. For her tertiary education, she attended Obafemi Awolowo University,(OAU) Ile-Ife where she majored in Scriptwriting.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman/CEO of Owena Press Limited, Mr. Bode Betiku celebrated the writer and congratulated her on her book launch and birthday annversary.
Chairman/CEO Owena Press Ltd Mr Bode Betiku giving his remark at the event
He said that the work was sequel to Numen Yeye, which is about a girl from a Kingdom of Light, whose mission and purpose in life is very clear.
He observed that the novel is full of intrigues, fascinating and written in a flowery language.
Some of the works that the author, Biola Olatunde has to her credit are I almost did, Blood Contract, Star in my eyes, Chants in my Dream, Numen Yeye and Rose of Numen.
Olatunde has, at various times, occupied various positions during her active service years. She had been a presenter at Radio Lagos. She was also a teacher at Gaskiya College, Port Novo. She was a newscaster, presenter and producer at the old Ondo State Broadcasting Corporation (ODRC) till 1987. She further worked as Newscaster I and Sub-Editor at Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Akure.
She then veered into more serious writing as a means of livelihood after years of broadcasting and script writing in the broadcasting stations where she worked.
Confessing that it was not easy, Olatunde admitted that she stooped to understand how things worked in the publishing world.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Mid-week Digest, she said that she had always been into writing saying, she has many poems, plays and novels to her credit.
She explained that she drew inspiration not from fiction, but from events around her through which she was able to glean information by being curious.
According to her, Rose of Numen, her latest prose, was dedicated to her grandmother whom she called “priestess.”
She disclosed that her experience so far has been fascinating as writing and research have opened up her mind to the different new possibilities that abound around life which people do not take cognisance of though they had been in existence for ages.
She urged people of the black race especially Nigerians not to see their culture as barbaric and devilish. She opined that the African culture is beautiful and not entirely evil as people are made to believe.
This belief, according to Olatunde, reverberates in many of the books she authors. She posited that by doing this, she portrays herself as proudly African.
ANA members and some other guests at the occassion
She expressed firm belief in living well in any environment she finds herself in order to live a fulfilled life.
She urged upcoming and aspiring writers to always be original in their writing and write only what they know. She advised them to write stories with settings based on happenings in their immediate African/ Nigerian society, which would ultimately project our culture as good, not as evil.