Last week, my brother reminded me of a prose I had started writing in one of my ‘Onward Big’ notebooks back when I was, probably, 8 years old. He said it was a story about a family, called Pierlot, and went on recounting tales from that story and telling me how he kept waiting for me to finish it but I never did.

Honestly, I don’t remember much about that particular prose but I know he was right about one thing: all my life, I have scribbled in several Onward Big notebooks and typed up several Microsoft word documents, filling pages after pages with prose and stories but I had never actually finished one.. 

From  Nairaland

I don’t know when I fell in love with creative writing but I know I have been writing for as long as I can remember. In my lifetime, I have filled thousands of pages - in notebooks, laptops, print and digital publications, and websites - with stories, proses, poems, thought pieces, opinions, blogs and articles but it all started with legos and toys. 

I remember picking up my toys, as a child, and breathing life into them by attributing names, characters and histories to each one of them. Then, I would come up with stories and use each one of my toys’ characters to bring these stories to life. I didn’t know this back then but I was the writer, narrator, actor, director and producer of my stories. I would even invite my brother - and sometimes, other members of my family - to watch me act out my stories using my toys.  As a child, I spent most - if not all - of my time,  indoors, playing with and using my toys to bring my imaginations/stories to life. Back then, there was nothing more satisfying than that.

Until I found the pen. 

From  Bmsoftware

The pen gave my imaginations and stories a new expression. I didn’t need the toys, anymore, to bring my stories to life. All I had to do was get a notebook and a pen and just write. So I wrote and wrote. In 2004,When my dad passed on his IBM laptop to me, I graduated to typing and typing and typing. But I never finished writing or typing my stories. There was always something stopping me from finishing my stories. The older I got, the more responsibilities life threw at me and the less time I had to finish my stories. 

My imagination is God’s greatest gift to me - and being able to express it through writing is just an added but valuable bonus. One that suits my personality and psyche. Yet, the more I have tried to use this gift, the more obstacles I have been faced with. I can go on and on naming obstacles - from spending years in the wrong academic career, to lack of sufficient time or finances, to the fact that my laptop, with all my recent writings stored on it, was stolen last summer - but I have come to realize that the greatest obstacle to God’s greatest gift to me was myself. I let everything that was happening around me take me further away from the one priceless gift I have.

8 years old Tobi knew what he wanted from life: all he wanted was to bring his imagination and stories to life. But as I grew up, I forgot and I never finished. 

Until Today.


Today - November 23rd, 2017 - I can proudly say I finished a story. I wrote a book. I brought my imagination to life. If no one else is proud of me, I know God and 8 years old Tobi is. 

A lot of things in life don’t make sense but today, it makes sense why as a child, I spent so much time indoors, or by myself, playing with toys, reading books (that people in my age-group hadn’t heard about) and writing stories that no one - but my family - ever read. 

Today, every external and internal obstacle is weightless. I used to say I want to be an author. I am never going to have to say that again. 

Today, I am an author. 

Visit tobinifesi.com to buy my first novel, Domestic.