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Oluwatosin Olajumoke Arodudu is a woman of many parts; a lawyer, a trained arbitrator, author and publisher. She is also an identity coach coupled with being a woman and children advocate. Arodudu, who is the Chief Executive Officer/Creative Director of Hadar Creations, a publishing company in Lagos, in this chat with Peter Uzoho, talks about her journey into writing, her published books, publishing firm, and legal career, amongst other issues. Excerpts:

Can you briefly tell us about your academic progression?
I went to Omolere Nursery and Primary School Akure Ondo state. Then, I proceeded to my secondary school education at the St. Frances Academy Igoba Estate, Akure, though it was in Ijapo Estate while I was there and while I graduated. Afterward, I went to Igbinedion University to study Law. I proceeded after some years to study for my MBA at the
The University of Cardiff Institute due to the inability to get a job in
Nigeria. Years later, I got my second masters (LLM) at the Humboldt
University, Berlin.

When were you called to the bar?

I was called to the Nigerian bar in 2008

What informed setting up your publishing company, Hadar Creations?
Hadar Creations is a publishing company created to make publishing
easier for writers who want to see their works published but have no
means or wherewithal to achieve this.  We are also a Publishing
therapist created to help people break out of every form of
limitations that the culture of silence has boxed them in. We are
created to make the journey devoid of frustration. Many people have so
much ideas, experiences and wisdom to share with the world but the
culture of silence keeps them in a perpetual state of fear and doubt.
They are full and they carry their fullness all-round for fear of
judgment and condemnation.

We are equally into identity coach, we help people discover who they
are, accept who they are, unlock their potentials and unearth their
treasures. We have an inner team for women on through social media and
my blog. In Hebrew language Hadar means Glory.

How did you find yourself into the literary world?

I was inspired to start writing as a result of joblessness. I had
searched for jobs for years and finally this particular job looked
like it was coming through. However I was also turned down by an
organisation and this really hit me hard. I passed the interview and I
had begun to mentally plan my resumption to work, only for me to get
an email that I was not the right person for the job. I sobbed for two
days, thereafter I start blogging, despite many doubts. That was how
my journey of writing, advocacy, blogging and eventually becoming a
published author and a full-fledged publisher began.

How many books have you authored so far?

I have authored and self-published three books in print, and four
eBooks. My first book: “Motherhood and The Society” was published on
Amazon on the 25th of March 2017, the second book: “From the
Perspective of The Child.” and third book were published on the 9th of
December 2017. I also have three eBooks that were published on the
Hadar Creations publishing platform this year. The books in print are
available on Amazon and on our own online publishing platform

Which of your books do you like most?
All the three books are impactful. However, I love sharing about one
of them more and that is ‘From the Perspective of The Child.’ This
book is my personal experience as a child from a dysfunctional family.
My parents separated while I was just two and as a result, my growing
up was traumatic and full of a lot of emotional pains. It was mostly a
life of war, negativity and so much toxicity. That book was an outlet
for me to break the bondage the culture of silence has kept me for

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When you set out to write, what do you try to achieve?
I write from the bottom of my soul with the intention of being the
voice of the voiceless. I don’t just write to gain fans or audience. I
write to put a voice to the unspoken thoughts of many people. I
dislike every form of discrimination, segregation, and inequality. As
an introvert, I understand the pains many people carry in their hearts
without finding an outlet to let it out. In Hadar Creations, we
created our own genre; it is called the Hadar genre. This means that
writing in order to liberate people and make them discover and walk in
their own glory.

Who are the target audience of your creative works?
My creative works are targeted mostly to Africans at home and in
Diaspora. However, I believe my books will touch and spark up
something in everyone who loves reading across the world no matter
their race or colour. My aim is to speak to the heart and soul of
everyone reading my books.

Can you share your experience with us when you were writing your first book?
It was really tough I must confess. I started writing my first book
when my second child was just a week old. I got the inclination to be
an author after I had her, so I knew it was going to be a new year of
writing a book. I didn’t even know I was going to write three powerful
books in one year. While writing my first book it was really tough. I
had a toddler and a baby to deal with. However, I had made up my mind
that I was going to write that book, and rather than suffer another
post-natal depression like I did when I had my first child, I diverted
all that energy into writing my first book. I was supposed to write
just that and publish it by March 31, then write the second one and
publish by November. However, after publishing the first book, I had
no urge to write the second book. I became so worried and I made a
decision that I was going to write the third book. It was a goal after
a goal for me. The third book: “Life on The Street of Readlooks” is a
work of fiction. It is about life on Facebook and cyber bullying. It
is a book I’m very passionate about. I was able to write these three
books in one year and I paid with my sleep. I was stressed out but I
felt fulfilled achieving this feat in a year. It could only be God,
self-discipline and determination.

How would you assess the cost of publishing books now compared to the past?
Book publishing today is very affordable and within reach. Unlike
before when authors have to pay through their nose or face a long wait
before eventually getting selected for publishing. Now there are a lot
of platforms where authors can just upload their books once they have
done their due diligence and they would get published and be paid
royalty on each book being sold. This is also what Hadar Creations
does in order to make life easier for authors.

As an author, publisher and graphic designer all in one person, how do
you combine these functions? Did you have any formal training in
these areas?

I had no formal training at all. The funniest part is that all these
three things I do now were things that used to scare me. My first book
didn’t have a great design, I was so afraid of using so many functions
in Microsoft word for fear of destroying the whole work. I am
self-taught and I keep improving on myself daily. The applications I
use all have tutorials, so I watch some while I learn some on the go.
If there is any app that can help me, I find a way to learn its usage,
and if affordable I buy them to further boost the quality of our work
in Hadar Creations.

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Book publishing like every other industry has its peculiar challenges.
What are these challenges?

One of the challenges faced is finding an editor for an upcoming
author. We have an in-house editor in Hadar Creations to fast track
our publication process at a pocket friendly rate. I usually tell my
authors that it is good to give your work to an editor. It gives the
whole book a facelift and gives it a new lease of life altogether. The
flow of words change totally and anyone who reads from anywhere in the
world would understand it perfectly.

Did you  practice law before venturing into writing?

Yes, I did my attachment in the court and in a chamber while I was in
the Law school. I also worked very briefly at a law firm after I was
called to the bar before I travelled out of Nigeria for my first
Masters. But before then, what I did most was company registration due
to the inability to get a job that was fulfilling.

Growing up, did you ever dream of becoming a lawyer?

I think I studied law due to my natural gravitation towards English.
English felt like my natural habitat and knowing it was instinctive.
And the belief then was that if you loved English as a subject, and
did well at it, it was expected you considered studying Law before
considering other courses. So I think I just went with the flow.

Lawyers are addressed as learned people, and the profession itself is
perceived by many as more prestigious than others. Does this make you
feel above the world?

Yes, I felt above the world when I got called to the Bar. As a matter
of fact, in my picture during my call to Bar, while we were filing in
I looked back and waved at my family and at that moment I was captured
by our photographer. I was taller than everyone on the line. I am a
tall woman and I also wore a heel because I like wearing heels on my
big day, so literarily I felt on top of the world (chuckling). And
while we got inside and were called to the front to be formally called
to the Nigeria Bar, the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kutigi
who had sat for a while, shaking hands as a result of the number of
people, stood up when it got to my turn to shake my hands. I think my
height on that day contributed to it (chuckling). So literarily
speaking, I felt on top of the world. The Law profession is indeed
prestigious and I had envisaged myself as a lawyer whose name was
going to be heard all over the world. However, destiny and purpose has
taken me to a different path and I have no regret at all.

You are married with two kids, how you met your husband. What
kind of man is he to you and the kids?

My husband is the son of my principal in the secondary school. Though,
he didn’t attend the same secondary school with me. He just came
around for lessons on few occasions. We only said hello and had mutual
friendship. However, we reunited on Facebook in 2011 sometimes in
January and that was the beginning of a beautiful thing to happen. My
husband is a loving, caring and devoted husband. He is not just a
husband to me he is my father, my brother, my friend, my partner, all
rolled into one. On the many things I have achieved so far, after God
he is the one standing and pushing me forward and I feel so blessed
having such a man as my husband. He is a loving dad who loves and
adores his kids. He does not joke with them at all – they are like
playmates and I smile whenever I see them playing together. I and the
kids are so blessed to have him

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What is your hobby?

My hobby is reading and watching movies not that I have enough for
that anymore though.

How do you relax?

I love travelling on holiday in order to relax and get away from the
hustle and bustle of life. I have not gotten a rhythm as regards this
but this is my desired mode of relaxation.

What kind of book do you love reading?

 I love reading motivational books. Once it is motivational and
inspiring I would love to get my hand on it.

What and who is your favourite book and author, respectively?

My favourite author is TD Jakes. And my present favourite book is his
book ‘INSTINCT’.

What moment in your life would you say is most remarkable?

I have a lot of remarkable moments in my life, so many. However, the
most remarkable moment in my life that has given birth to every other
remarkable moment in my life today was when I reunited with my
husband, he proposed and I said yes. That is the most remarkable
moment in my life.

What is your advice to upcoming authors and publishers especially in Nigeria?
My advice to upcoming authors is to discover themselves and not hold
anything back while writing. You need to write from your soul and also
dare to be different. Don’t make money your priority at first, money
would definitely come once your work is unique and speaks to the heart
of those you hope to attract with it. Don’t be discouraged if people
don’t accept your work at first. As a matter of fact that should even
encourage you to write more impactful books. Connect to your instinct
and unleash it in your writings. Don’t write to attract pity if you
are writing your story. Write your story with grit and guts. At Hadar,
we don’t let anyone discourage you, a lot of people will try to shut
you up sometimes when writings hit them in a raw spot and the writer
might face a lot of harsh criticisms as a result of this. Press on
anyway and turn those criticisms to your advantage.

And to publishers all over the world, I advise them to handle every
book like theirs and give it their best. They should also treat
authors with dignity, most especially those upcoming authors who are
afraid and unsure of what the future holds. Be an encouragement to
them, give them a listening ear rather than shut them down or act like
you are doing them a favour. This is one area I work really hard on,
despite the workload, and I am glad at the testimonies I have received
so far.

Credit: This Day.


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