Spotlight With Aminatawa: Aminat Sanni-Kamal

Happiness is an entitlement I owe myself, I deserve to be happy.

Good evening everyone, remember I announced sometime ago that I would be interviewing myself on the spotlight this month and I asked you guys to ask me any questions you would like to know about me. So true to my words, I have compiled all the questions and I have tried my best to answer all the questions. I hope you guys get to know me better through this.

My name is Aminat Sanni-Kamal, I’m a writer, a blogger, a law graduate, a feminist,the first born in a family of four, an older sister to a brother I like to torment. I’m also a very lovable person if you can get past the first impression (I can be totally unapproachable if I want to be) I love friendships, I love family, I love romance and I hate nonsense.

So let’s get into your questions:

How was growing up like for you?

I’d like to think that I had a normal childhood at least in the eyes of an average Nigerian. I had and still have parents who don’t take nonsense and being the very naughty child that I was, I got a very fair share of discipline. Nigerian kids can relate. With the kind of mother I have, there is no opportunity to be slow or dull. Growing up, I learnt the hard way not ever rely on friends and that’s why till now my circle of friends is very small.

What inspired you to study law?

As a teenager I was very intrigued by the corporate world. Being a lawyer was the ultimate goal for me, nothing else mattered not even writing, which I realized I had an interest in when I was thirteen. But the thing that actually added fuel to the fire was that one of my secondary school teachers, tried to discourage me from studying law, he told me, it was a course meant for men and that as a girl who would become a woman I had to choose a career that would give me enough time to take care of my home. Well… We can all see how that ended since I’m currently in law school.

Where do you see your blog in 3 years?

In the next three years, my blog would be five years old and to say that I see my big things for my blog would be understatement. Masha Allah Aminatawa Stories would still be here.

Your blog is very opinionated. Do you not believe in people’s right to opinions? You know how the reality you’ve been prividge to experience shapes your world view. Is it okay to question people’s reality?

Thank you very much for noticing that my blog is very opinionated. And do I believe in people’s right to opinions? Yes I do. I mostly don’t like to change anybody’s opinion on anything except when that opinion is on feminism. We all have a right to our own opinions and mostly I am unbothered but when that opinion promotes stereotypical gender roles, or patriarchy, misogyny and the likes then I will try to change your opinion. I may or may not be successful at changing that opinion but I will try. But for every other subject, I may not like your opinion and I may not even accept it but it’s your opinion and I will respect it. Also, if your opinion thrives on negativity I won’t even try to change it, I will simply stay away from you.

We have all experienced different things in our lives which has indeed shaped the way we think and see things. So, it wouldn’t be fair to question other people’s reality. But, no matter what our reality is, I believe we should all embrace positivity, it would make things a lot easier.

What’s your opinion on religion?

Hmm… Personally, I believe in the oneness of Allah and that is one of the important things that makes me a Muslim. In other words, I have religion because I believe a God exists. But, I also believe that everybody has a right to choose to believe or not. I don’t let religion change the way I see a person. So whether you are Christian, a Muslim, an atheist, a Buddhist or whatever I see you as you are first before I see you as any other thing. That means I see you as a human being first before I see the religion.

I mean, we have to be human beings first to know whether we want to choose a religion or not. To me, humanity breaks the barrier of religion, ethnicity, race, language and whatever differences that we may have. We may have so many differences but, humanity is the bond that binds us all.

And it is sad that in the world today, we have to constantly remind ourselves that human beings first before anything else.

What inspired you sharing your stories?

It started as a way to work on my self esteem because I always felt I wasn’t good enough and people will never read the stories I write. But, I was also tired of being stagnant. So, I opened my first blog. But, that didn’t work out because I had no idea the commitment blogging needs. A year later, the sensation hit me again to start a blog so, I opened Aminatawa Stories. So far so good, I’m still here and I’m going to be here for a long time.

I would like to know how you manage to keep dishing out content? Don’t you sometimes get exhausted and drained as a creative? How do you continuously keep the juice flowing and produce amazing topnotch content?

First of all, thank you for the compliment. Secondly, I don’t see myself dishing out content in fact, I feel like I am not doing enough, I feel I am not consistent enough. But, this question makes me happy because, it shows that the little I’m doing is being appreciated. Thirdly, exhausted is an understatement. Sometimes, I feel so blank and empty that I wonder if blogging and writing is actually my thing. One thing I try not do is, I try not to force it. When I don’t feel like writing or when I feel like writing and nothing is forth coming, I just close my laptop or my tablet whichever the case and find something else to do. I let myself rest, eventually, something will happen that would definitely lead to a blog post or a story. That’s just how I am.

How do you aim to tweak the under presentation of Muslim voices in the literary ecosystem (that is, if you are)?

Everybody has a voice regardless of religion. If you have something to say that you think the world needs to hear then say it. I’m not working in anyway to change the ‘under presentation’ of Muslim voices at least at this stage in my life. But I’d say that being a Muslim does not make you voice less and nobody should be shut down because of whatever religion they practice.

I noticed you don’t wear the hijab(at least in photos of you i’ve seen) Would you say you are working towards it as you climb further, stations up the consciousness level or it’s a personal liberalist choice out of the belief needlessness?

Okay so… I have been asked this question a lot of times but since I already promised to answer every question asked, I will answer this. No, I am not working towards it in anyway. I respect a lot of Muslim women who cover in fact a lot of them are on the top of my style inspiration list. Basically what I’m saying is I love the hijab and what it represents and i may end up wearing it but, I’m not working towards it anyway. The Aminat you see now is the Aminat you get now.

What motivates you to be so strong willed?

Hmm… I can’t really say for sure what exactly it is but, I know that I see a lot of things happening around me and I know I deserve better than what the society is asking me to settle for. I also know that I want more than what life is currently offering. I have noticed something in this little time that I have spent on earth, people don’t give me gifts not even birthday gifts, people don’t offer to buy me things, I don’t even win giveaways even if I participate. Everything I have is either from my parents or something I worked pretty hard to get it. And also being a girl with a physical disability I don’t have any other choice than to be strong willed because everything I want (trust me I want a lot things) won’t be handed to me on a platter of gold.

Have you ever lost your self value before?

More times than I can remember. Building myself esteem and learning to value myself is a journey and I haven’t reached my destination yet.

What kind of feminism do you really practice?

To me, there is only one kind of feminism and that feminism is the believe in the equality of the sexes in every aspect of life. There is no other kind of feminism for me.

Are you single?

Yes… I am very single. Do you have a husband for me? Lol.

Did you always yourself as a blogger/writer when you where younger?

No, the ultimate goal had always been to become a lawyer, to become an activist. Writing back then was merely a hobby. But now writing is the career, the main thing while law is more like a back up plan.

What inspired your Feminism?

Lol… “My feminism” Like I mentioned earlier, I see things in my society that ought not to be so, things that I would never accept. The society inspired my feminism.

Should you meet a guy online, how do you take care of having to inform him of your condition or meet him in person without informing him of your condition?

Lol…I’m a talkative so most times conversations lead to me talking about my physical disability. I don’t ever plan it.

Someone once told me you are one of the few people with physical issues but likes fashion. Do you ever see your condition as a setback in any sphere of life?

Loool… According to my mum, I don’t even like fashion enough. And no, I don’t see my ‘condition’ as a setback for me. If I want to do something I do it. Rather than see it as a set back I see it as my muse.

Thank you everyone for these questions, I hope I did justice to them. Have a lovely night people.

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