Welcome to another episode from our Brno Expats Have Talent series. Brno is full of talented people, and some of them are not from the CR – we’re introducing one talented expat at a time!
Meet Bolaji. This year, he entered and won the top prize in the Brno Short Story Writing Contest with his piece titled Petrichor. Read what he had to say about the creative side of his life in Brno.
Bolaji Yusuf from Nigeria – writer
How long have you been writing?
I only started writing last year, so I’m still very much a newbie so I don’t think I would call it my art just yet. It is mostly a hobby.
I’m a researcher by day, which means that a part of my job is writing academic papers. It’s obviously a different kind of writing with different expectations, especially with regards to making things up, but I think there are some similarities. Pacing, economy with words, things like that, which is good practice.
How do you find living in Brno?
I have enjoyed my time here a lot. The city itself has many faces, quiet or loud, as you like it. I like that you can walk pretty much everywhere. And it’s surrounded by a lot of nature, which is nice for getting away sometimes.
Of course, I have a full-time job and I have to finish my PhD. I wouldn’t call that an obstacle exactly. It just means it’s necessary to find a balance with regards to writing.
Where do you find inspiration?
To be honest, I’m still discovering what I want to write. I think you can’t write what you don’t know, so whatever I write will have bits of where I am and where I’ve been. I like to write about everyday people and things. Offhand conversations and passing emotions and their consequences. The small things that make up the big things. Friends and family seen from different, sometimes absurd, angles.
Brno has been a significant part of my life, so it inevitably informs some of what I write and the way I think. I have a short story called Petrichor which is set in Brno, and I hope that won’t be the last one.
Is there any other area that you’d like to explore?
I still have a lot of writing to explore.
Photos courtesy of Bolaji.