Kume Ozoro
by on August 18, 2018

Just the other day, I was surfing on LinkedIn - the popular jobs and career network, when I came across a shared post unlike anything I've ever seen on that platform. One of my connections had shared a post by one of hers announcing that she had just published a children's book centered on Natural African Hair. Her primary aim with this book is to boost self acceptance and self esteem in kids who've been blessed with Afro hair. As you can imagine, I was immediately excited; but I wasn't the only one. Here's a screenshot of a comment on the post in question.

As you can imagine, I simply had to share my excitement about this new book; which is particularly close to my heart because it is written by a Nigerian. I'm Nigerian too :smiley: A look through the book's Kindle sample and its reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads left me with the conviction that an interview with the author was mandatory. The book is just that good. The illustrations are beautiful - thumbs up to the illustrator, Debopriya Banerjee. And the book seems to stick with positive depictions. Talk about a steady flow of "good vibes". 
The autour, Mrs. Marietta Iyinbor hearthily welcomed the idea of an interview piece, and we did the question and answer exchange via email. Below are all my questions, and the answers she gave. Hope you draw loads of insight from this; and some inspiration as well. 

Q : What's the inspiration behind your book, "I Have Good Hair"?

A : Good day all!  So, I got inspiration for my book when I decided I wanted to start writing for children. And because the kinky curly natural hair movement is very dear to me I thought “why not write a book to help build self- esteem in children” and I came up with ‘I Have Good Hair’. 

Q : What was it like creating this book? Especially as a first time, self-published author?

A : Oh! Good question. The experience was exasperating, but very rewarding. I was completely drained of energy by the time I was done with writing, editing and the illustrating process. But then again, every time I think I’m drained, I find a renewed strength to continue with the process of publishing and promoting and making sure parents and children and friends and uncles and aunties know about my empowering book.

But all in all, it was a great experience and I’m glad I went through it.

Q : Your kids, did they play a direct role in driving you to push through with the creation of this, your very first book?

A : Uhm … Not really. Before I had kids, I was a Mandarin and ESL teacher, so I’ve always been around children.

Q : And what do you most fondly hope the book gets to achieve now that it’s out there? 

A : I truly hope that children and parents read the book and it resonates with them.

Q : If you were to write a very succinct introductory piece on yourself - targeted at Naturalistas and Natural African Hair Enthusiasts, how would it read?

A : Haha! Good one! I’m not sure … maybe something like “Marietta Iyinbor believes we are all born equally brilliant and beautiful, regardless of your tightness or how lose your curls are. Is that good enough?

Q : As an Author, how would you like to be remembered? This might change over time. However, right now, what do you identify as being at the very core of the legacy you want your books to create?

A : Wow! That’s a tough one. Uhm, right now, I think I would like to be remembered as someone who decided to write, to go through the process and finish a children’s book all by herself.

Q : What's your favourite page in the book, "I Have Good Hair"?

A : The part second page where she says “Here feel my hair…” and her robot friend goes on his toes and reaches out his hand to feel her hair. It’s such a simple moment but a defining one because if you’re a female you’ve been in that position where after you’ve done your hair right, gone through something like wash day, and you know your hair is looking and feeling amazing, you go about looking for someone to touch it and tell you what a great job you’re doing. Haha! It’s vain, but trust me, that validation from your hair, yourself and a friend is the best feeling ever. Any person who takes care of their hair will relate to that line, I believe.

Q : And would you be willing to share an image of that page with readers? 

A: Yes!! I have dozens of photos of the one photo! Lol!

The book is currently available both in print and on Amazon Kindle. You can go grab your copy here.
If you also want to get to know some more about the authour, why not check out Marietta's Author Profile on Amazon - simply click here. And because you just might want to look up the reviews on Goodreads as well, here's a link to that - click here

Post in: Books
Harry Nguyen
Nice book
Kume Ozoro
Thanks for the comment
Fatou Bom Bittaye
you're making me go down memory lane to when i was used to be told that i had "Bad Hair"...lol
Kume Ozoro
it sure is a beautiful thing that such an experience has become only a memory for a lot of black women. I fervently hope my daughters never get to experience it at all.
Fatou Bom Bittaye
Cheers to that! And when black women will go to ceremonies or even on their wedding day with their natural hair.
Kume Ozoro
Cheers :beers: You know, every time I hear of an African bride rocking her hair natural I am overwhelmed with joy. It's picking up :smiley: And like you, I can't wait for when it becomes the norm.
Tamilore Osho
I totally want to read this book already!
Kume Ozoro
Looks like the author and I did a much better job than I imagined :smiley: Thanks . And please, share your review once you're done reading :smiley: