Solomon Elusoji comes into your space with an intention. When he sent me a link for a fellowship application randomly on Instagram, I knew our friendship was going to be easy.
Solomon is a journalist. He likes to tell stories. He likes to tell other people’s stories.
I had a chat with him after the e-publication of The Question Marker’s Seventh Issue. In this issue, he interviewed the very wonderful Yagazie Emezi, after her recent exhibition which focused on rape victims.
This Conversation series with Solomon was limited to just five questions. I guess I am saving the rest for when his book comes out.
1) Why did you decide to start the Qmarker?
I wanted to read a Nigerian newsmagazine like The New Yorker, one that combined storytelling with journalism with exquisite language and quality thought. I couldn’t find one, so I thought ‘why not do it’?
2) How did your China experience broaden your horizon?
I had actually bought the qmarker.com domain before I left for China. There were a couple of stories on the website, but nothing much was really happening. My China experience gave me more confidence to attempt a more serious version of the magazine. I was exposed to international conferences, colleagues from all across the world; my understanding of global history and my place in it also improved considerably. So I think when I returned, I had more confidence, maybe not enough, but more.
3) Mention one book that has shaped your world view and changed the way you see the world?
Lots of books have changed me and my perspectives. If I was forced to choose one, it would be Landes’ The Wealth and Poverty of Nations. Although Landes is eurocentric, the book is a sweeping survey of global economic history. The stories, the anecdotes, the observations, they all helped to change my understanding of world economics.
4) Tell us more about your book. And what should we be expecting?
It’s about my trip to China. I wrote it as a letter to one of my best friends, the very amazing Elizabeth. So it’s a nostalgic book. I wanted to tell her what I had done there. In doing that, I captured a lot of memories that can help the average reader understand, even if just a little, the complex ramifications of living in modern China as a black man.
5) Parking to go for a journey and allowed to take just one book what would it be?
Ah, I’ll take my kindle.
Solomon Elusoji is a co-editor at The Question Marker magazine and a contributing reporter at Thisday Newspaper. In 2018, he travelled across China and wrote a book, Travelling with Big Brother, which will be published in December 2019. His first novel, about mental health and guns, will be published in 2020.
Once the pre-order link for Solomon’s memoir is out, we will share with you all.
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