Reading a book is more than just loving to read, it’s opening one’s mind, looking at the world and people’s experiences through their eyes and perceptions- Samira Haruna Sanusi
NWA: CAN WE MEET YOU?
My name is Samira Haruna Sanusi, 28 years old. I studied Business Administration with a minor in Leadership. I’m from Funtua, Katsina State. I’m also an author, founder of Samira Sanusi Sickle Cell Foundation, co-founder Water for Sustainable Living Initiative, and a motivational speaker.
NWA: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING?
I have been writing my whole life, starting with journal entries in my diaries, to blogging, and eventually self-publishing my book. Most nights I can’t go to sleep without writing.
NWA: ASIDE FROM WRITING WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
Apart from writing, I run my foundation which was established to spread awareness on Sickle Cell Anemia, a disease I was born with. We also raise funds to help low income warriors living with the disease. At the same time, I work with Water for Sustainable Living Initiative to help rural areas gain access to safe and clean water.
NWA: TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR BOOK “S is for Survivor”.
S is for Survivor is an autobiographical note about the experiences I went through with Sickle Cell Anaemia and I believe many people are in similar situations without knowing that there is hope. Growing up, life was always about medications after medications, and this life of painful crisis makes one to believe that there is no meaning or purpose to life. It also creates the tendency to feel hopeless and helpless.
I have been through Sickle Cell patient experiences from birth to the time when I had my Bone Marrow Transplant and these experiences in the form of crisis and health complications are familiar with many Sickle Cell patients. These peculiar experiences unknown to the rest of the world tell a success story that shows transformation from SS through genetic engineering to AA (genotype), and therefore permanently SS free. Writing this book tells a more personal story of my experience with the disease and shares a concrete message; Sickle Cell Anaemia has a cure and I am a message of Hope.
NWA: WHY SHOULD PEOPLE READ YOUR BOOK?
People should get and read the book because regardless of how different our stories and experiences are, we can always relate to someone who has known pain, loss, test of faith, the process to go out into the world to seek, and the journey back to our own self. The book reminds us all of the testament of our tests, the triumphs of our trials, and most importantly, brings hope for a better tomorrow. The most important reason why I told my story and want people to read it is because I want someone out there to know that they are not alone.
NWA: TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR PROECT.
My project, S is for Survivor and SSSC Foundation are linked and fight for the same cause, Sickle Cell Anemia. Proceeds from the book help the foundation in providing Sickle Cell warriors with financial support. Apart from financial aid, I’m able to offer counseling to those living with the disease, not because I’m a life coach or psychologist, but simply because my experiences have given me the ability to be empathetic towards the pain and struggles of others, not just Sickle Cell warriors.
NWA: IF YOU ARE GIVEN THE POWER TO CHANGE ONE THING IN NIGERIA, WHAT WILL THAT BE AND WHY?
If given the power in Nigeria, I would create more platforms for books and readers, especially for children and young adults. It is becoming harder to get people to pick up a book and read, we are becoming lazier by settling for newspaper headlines and brief descriptions of articles, discarding the rest of the content and doing with limited information for the little we browse through. Reading a book is more than just loving to read, it’s opening one’s mind, looking at the world and people’s experiences through their eyes and perceptions, and traveling to places and time without even leaving your seat. A lot of the voices of reason, human interaction, need to relate and closure I sought during my journey came from books I read at the time, which in turn also inspired my own works and passion.
NWA: WHAT IS YOUR PERCEPTION OF PEOPLE TOWARDS NIGERIAN WRITERS?
Nigerian writers are sometimes seen as conservative in our style of writing. Even with a creative mind, many writers are forced to stick to topics and views that do not upset our cultural or religious beliefs. In my story I struggled with depression and hopelessness, and for the most part I wasn’t allowed to talk about it because as a Nigerian and a Muslim, I am supposed to be a strong woman who smiles while suffering and keeps the faith even when I didn’t understand what God was doing with my life.
Eventually I wrote about those feelings I couldn’t talk about, to help people understand that it is okay to struggle and be sad about it. To help my people realize that we are also capable of being depressed, losing faith or losing our minds. It is okay to truly feel for that’s the only way we can truly heal.
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE?
My philosophy in life is to live with eyes wide open and be conscious of everything around me. I believe every smile, every tear, every downfall and every victory comes with lessons to be learned. Sometimes the answers we seek are within and around us, but because we are constantly looking elsewhere, we miss them.
WHAT PLATFORMS CAN PEOPLE CONNECT TO YOU?
People can connect to me through twitter @saamira_s or instagram @samirahsanusi. I also recently joined medium, add me by searching for Samira Sanusi
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.
Thank you again for the opportunity.