My Weather Poems, Adaeze Obasuyi
What is your story?
My name is Adaeze. Some of my friends call me Daze. I migrated to the UK at the age of 16 to join my mother, who thankfully got a nursing job in England from Nigeria. As a young girl in Nigeria, I gained a lot of attention, and I was pretty confident. Arriving in the UK was the first time my ability to feel like a whole, and valid human was questioned. These experiences made me appreciate my roots more and began to question some of the things that appeared normal growing up. They were not supposed to be the norm. They were all the consequences and leftover of colonialism. For example, the clothing and hairstyle accepted at work, the kinds of books available in schools, the version of history we learnt and didn’t learn, and the fact that many educated people spoke only English to their children instead of their Nigerian language.
Why is representation important to you?
As I tried to navigate all these concerns, I started to give birth to my kids. I wanted things to be different for them. My mission was to create as many stories that they and generations to come can see themselves in. Stories that they could see themselves and their culture represented. This should reduce the ‘minority’ mindset even though they are a minor population regarding numbers in the United Kingdom. This will also give their peers a chance to see them as major and equally valid and valued.
Tell us about your work
I have three self-published three books on Amazon. Two of which is a girl series about a girl called Chika of Nigerian origin. She writes poems at night before she goes to bed. The stories are about her everyday experience in a fictional city set in the UK.
In Fast Chika, a Jollof rice recipe is included. The Chika series have footnotes that include meanings of non- English words such as her name.
I want to change the narrative by including stories that every child can relate to, as they learn that we may all be different, yet we are similar in our life’s experiences. The life of a Black child is not defined by racism or identity crisis. Chika’s story will inspire creativity in children. Parents can educate their kids about diversity with the books.
The third book was inspired by the creation story recorded in the bible. It is called “God is in the dark”. With pleasure, I wrote a childlike, easy to remember poem that will alleviate my kids fear of the dark. The book reassures children that God can be equally present in good and uncertain times.
There are a few more almost ready to be published.
- Vimbo is a girl of Zimbabwean origin. She visits Zimbabwe for a wedding. However, she sees the fascinating and beautiful Jacaranda tree for the first time.
- Tega, a boy who wants to go to Nigeria, but his parents refused. He decides to go with his imagination and experiences countless adventures.
- A bigger edition of My Weather Poems will include Harmattan and some other weather conditions experienced in parts of the world, not only the four main weather conditions we know.
I can not share all the stories we are working on because of time. They are exciting and worth being in every library!
Lastly, after the death of George Floyd, I decided to start a blog www.rootedbranch.com. The blog was to help Africans who feel oppressed recover from decades of identity crisis and help non-Africans relate better with Africans.
What inspired you to write The Weather Poetry Book?
My initial inspiration for the book was to write something dedicated to my baby. I came up with weather poems that will help her explore her senses; what she could see, hear, taste and smell in different weather conditions—a mindful approach to the weather but with diversity at the heart of it. You will see all the kids were different; Asian, Afro-Caribbean, caucasian looking. Every child who reads the book will see someone who looks similar to them.
Is there anything else you would like the blog readers to know about?
Yes, please! Kindly show your support using our hashtags on Instagram: #rootedbranch, #finechika, #fastchika, #Godisinthedark, and #myweatherpoems.
Do not forget to grab your free copy of My Weather Poems. It is a taster to the kinds of books we publish.
If you are keen and interested to know more about the work we do and help us with any aspect of creating and distributing the books, kindly send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Rooted Branch team and I will love to hear from you. Thank you!
Keep up with Adaeze Obasuyi on Instagram.