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Inside/Out with writer Ignatius Mabasa
March 18, 2010

Listen Full interview with Ignatius Mabasa - Read and listen

Describe yourself in five words?
I love people, I love listening to people, I believe that there is potential in people. Let me just say that I'm a people person.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
It's in the Bible. Love thy neighbour as you love yourself.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
Going to the Airport without my passport. I was late for the flight and I accidentally picked up my son's passport.

What is your most treasured possession?
My Bible. My favourite scripture is Mark 8 Vs36: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Do you have any strange hobbies?
I talk to myself as I'm walking. I argue with myself.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I think we are all made in God's image, so I won't say that there's anything I dislike.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I bought perfume for 160 pounds, for myself. Something by Chanel.

What have you got in your fridge?
Many things; left-overs, cheese, cold meats, orange juice, water . . . those are things I remember for now.

What is your greatest fear?
Dying and not having accomplished much. I feel I have achieved a third of what I'm supposed to do. There are so many things that I feel that I should do. I want to write more, I want to set up a radio station, I want to start a Children's Centre . . .

What have you got in your pockets right now?
I've got my car keys and my handkerchief.

What is your favourite journey?
My dreams, only at times I don't know where they take me. I get a lot of inspiration for my writing in my dreams.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My late mother. Looking back, especially at what she went through, she was a single mother. She had to start over from nothing. I look at what she achieved and did for herself and I think she's somebody worth emulating.

When and where were you happiest?
The first time I had my name in a newspaper article. I took advantage of an opportunity for writers to share their works. I remember the following Monday being mentioned in Davison Maruziva's Scribes Scroll column. I felt that was a vote of confidence, and having that happen helped to grow my confidence as a writer.

What's your biggest vice?
Those conversations I have with myself. I make nasty comments, some of them very private and naughty. Often these become poems.

What were you like at school?
I was shy and reserved. I didn't like the limelight. I was always in a class with academically talented people, and I was in the middle. I was happy to be drifting.

What are you doing next?
I'm going to be a storyteller and writer in residence at the University of Manitoba in Canada. I'm looking forward to it, because I'm being paid to do something I enjoy. I hope to come back home having finished my third novel.

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