Sunday, 28 February 2016

Ikhide R. Ikheloa, Literary Critic





He is a well-known literary critic. I began to take interest in him when I became his friend on Facebook. He has a large following  on Facebook who gladly refer  to him as Pa Ikhide. He is a highly sought after book reviewer. I have read some of his reviews and I have been quite impressed.
This interview was conducted in December 2014.

YOUR EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION
I have a B.Sc (Honours) degree in Biochemistry from the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Mississippi, Oxford Mississippi Nigeria
YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE
I have been in education all my adult life. I taught science subjects in Nigeria, Business Administration and Economics at a college in the US and I am now the chief of staff-Ombudsman to the Board of Education, Montgomery County Public Schools in Rockville, Maryland.
ANY CONNECTION BETWEEN READING AND WRITING THAT IS FOR WRITERS?
Yes. Poor readers make awful writers. To write well, you must read, read, read and read.
YOU HAVE MADE A MARK AS A LITERARY CRITIC, HOW DID IT BEGIN?
I have always written on the margin of books. I am strongly opinionated. This one day on this listserv, Krazitivity, I decided to share my notes on a book I had written. I have not stopped sharing my personal opinions about writers and their works since then. Writers have regretted that day ever since, I am told. 

WHEN YOU ARE CRITIQUING A BOOK, WHAT FACTORS DO YOU TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION?
When I buy a book, I expect to be entertained – and educated. I always ask myself the question: Am I enjoying myself? If I am not enjoying myself, the book and the author drive me into paroxysms of book rage. I don’t like wasting my time. The book must read to me, speak to me, and tell me ordinary things in new ways. That is a tall order, I know, but I have high standards.
YOU HAVE A LARGE FOLLOWERSHIP ON FACEBOOK, HOW DID THAT COME TO BE AND HOW HAPPY DOES IT MAKE YOU?
Call me paranoid, I think fully half of my followers belong to Nigeria’s dreaded SSS and the other half the CIA. I am not happy. I sleep with one eye open each night. This makes me grumpy and irritable.
I AM DOING A BOOK ON TALENT. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT TALENT?
My theory is that every human being has talent. It is the effort, what you do with your talent or gift that separates the sizzle from the suya.
WHAT TALENTS MUST A LITERARY CRITIC POSSESS TO MAKE HIM SUCCESSFUL AT HIS WORK?
I have been told by my traducers that those who can’t, critique, meaning you don’t have to possess any skills to be a critic. I disagree vehemently. A literary critic must possess an inquisitive mind, an eye for detail and be extremely well read.

WHAT ARE THE 'BURDENS' OF A LITERARY CRITIC?
A successful literary critic is well hated by writers. That is a huge burden. I am a successful literary critic.

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