Interview with Samba Saphir Writer
Flashmag featured guest, this month is a young prolific writer who has just published her third work entitled “Du feu pour les honneurs” (fire for Honors). After high school in Cameroon she moved to France to continue higher education at the university. She will do undergraduate studies in chemistry before completing her university studies in the field of sustainable development, understanding no doubt that, scientific knowledge should ally with the methodology to be more efficient. In addition to her writing and academic studies, heart in hand she states, she has a taste for all that relates to the Humanitarian, for this purpose she chairs a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with an association based at Ayos her home town in Cameroon. Samba Saphir in the lines that follow tells us more about herself and literary work.
Flashmag: Hello Samba Saphir, Flashmag and its readership, thank you for accepting this interview. To begin I would like to know what put you on the path of writing?
Samba Saphir: It is I who thank you for your interest in my work.
Like most writers, I am a keen reader sine my childhood and I really started writing at the age of 12 a diary. I had to take a break to focus on my studies restarting decades later.
Flashmag: can we get a glimpse of your two first novel and the adventures of Saphir, the chronicle that you host on the internet?
Samba Saphir: of course - Liens sacrés (sacred bond)
Published August 4, 2014 by Editions "Edilivre" reported the man's place in African society. A shocking and full of twists history is staged. It is a work inviting each of us to reflect on the definition of the term "pardon"; it is a novel decorated with a touch of thriller.
- Le Pardon Ultime (Ultimate Forgiveness)
Published August 12, 2014 by Editions "Edilivre" this novel mentions the place of women in African society; the treatment of the widow and the orphan is raised in addition to the value placed on legal acts, taboos in African society. It is a romantic work, inviting each of us to think about the connotation given to the group of words "African solidarity".
On the page, the adventures of Saphir that I host on the web, I write stories featuring heroines and heroes to whom every reader can identify. I treat without taboos various topics including the treatment of widows, compared to the verticality, the parallel between traditionalism and modernism to name a few.
I usually evoke subjects that touch me, challenge me and I want to share my feelings with my readers.
Flashmag: love seems to be your favorite topic why? If it is true that romance rhymes with novel, but still we would like to know why so many love story? Is this fact linked to your personal experience or on what is happening around you?
Samba Saphir: I am a writer who do not like to be categorized because I
recognize myself in several literary genres; romance, drama, thrillers, whimsical, fantastic and very spiritual. I like to immerse myself in the intricacies of the African culture, to value it and especially highlight various points to interest young and old.
Love is a feeling that I would describe as ambiguous; there are limits, it can have different connotations in the truth that we want to give it. Love is a feeling that went through ages and takes various colors, it is judged by the morality of the time and the consequences relating thereto.
Flashmag: your recent novel Du feu pour les honneurs, written with love in background does not portray less social cleavages such as religious antagonism and tribalism what inspired you this story?
Samba Saphir: I use my experience, the one of my loved ones, friends and family to find my story. I try not to take sides but to take a critical look at the society in which we live. Love is a subject similar to a bottomless pit.
Flashmag: Speaking of your book Du feu pour les honneurs when writing it, did you have a particular message to pass, a target audience in mind?
Samba Saphir: In March 2014, after I felt the need to write about on other cultures, I asked my readers of western Africa to report to me and help me to wander in the streets of their city through their eyes.
A reader of Eastern Africa responded and asked me to write her story, to tell her story in order to convey to Africans, that , what happened in Rwanda is not only about Africa. I refused (out of respect for her courage and humility) to write her history but to write a novel on tribalism that had a fairly close relationship with the Rwandan genocide.
For months I had in mind to write on the connection to verticality of Africans and specifically inter-religious marriage, so I decided to combine the two themes, religion and tribalism.
Du feu pour les honneurs (fire for Honors), is a rather complex work in the sense that it is very easy to castigate instead of presenting facts. I had to write, reviewing the weights and measures relating to each theme and most importantly, ensure that each character represented a fight.
For this work, I wished and hoped that we all recognize ourselves in at least, one of the protagonists. I hope this work will push all of us to ask some questions and may change the way we look at the society or each of the actors.
The message is about peace, tolerance and, above all, the importance we give to morality in society and the relationship that we can add to the religion.
I wanted to end by leaving an opening for endogenous religions we have tendencies to shift in favor of the so-called "exported".
Flashmag: Speaking precisely about religion don’t you think that extroversion of black people is because it is the only people in the world who has other peoples religious references like a white Jesus, an Arab prophet and so on, in this context don’t you think that unfortunately blacks wanting to be like those foreign gods lose their essence?
Samba Saphir: I find this statement inaccurate; blacks have their God since the dawn of time. We already knew God, the Supreme Being, Zambé or whatever the name.
Flashmag: However in the dominant perspective of Christianity and Islam Africans are still subjected to white imagery? With all the religious iconography that we see everywhere and that in my opinion affects their ideology that necessarily becomes extroverted?
By dint of having read or seen, epics of others one wants to be like them in every way?
Samba Saphir: The ideology is not based on the color of the skin; there are several ideologies and several black cultures. I do not think that Western built their peace in churches; on the contrary, it is the result of several wars, invasion both at home and in other parts of the world.
History is written in blood and Africans cannot escape this rule. Even in ancient Egypt, the invasions already existed. The war between peoples already existed. And it’s the result of this war that gave way either to the height or decline.
It is not enough for Africans to return to their roots for their emergence, we have to go through sacrifices...
Flashmag: precisely in this conquest of freedom and emergence there is a need for tools and good plan, do you think they will have to use Islamic fundamentalism in Africa, or legalistic Christianity reformist churches? There is a need of form and a base in the battle for social progress of black people isn’t it?
Samba Saphir: Since we wish the union of blacks around the world to emerge as a unique and strong people, it necessarily requires, a common paradigm that brings us all together regardless of our history and our culture, a kind "black-super culture 'which would be the base and the strong bond that creates a sense of belonging among all blacks.
Note, however, the union has its advantages and disadvantages. The risk is that the super culture does away with subcultures and multiple identities that make the richness of our humanity. For example, we have on the current Western-culture, mainly based on Anglo-Saxon influences, which through globalization, gradually absorbs the diversity and cultural richness of the West at the expense of multiple cultural identities.
So in today's world, both the French of countryside as the Pygmy of the rain forest through the English farmer are confused.
It is this model that failed us and that we will have to get rid of quickly, if we want to exist in my opinion the richness is in diversity not the inverse. The diversity may be lost in the event of union of black people based on the Western model of globalization that shows its limits. Any union becomes harmful when it kills the diversity that makes its wealth.
Flashmag: the common history of colonization, slavery, and racism that persists should be a unifying element I think?
Samba Saphir: Unite from the hatred of others, is to project yourself in accordance with the eyes of others, yet Africans needs to tap in their resources, and exploit the vast culture from which they inherits their rich history from ancient Egypt . It seems to me important to unite around positive values that made the greatness of Africa.
Flashmag: Without evolving according to those who hate you, there must be a catalyst that can help you to become aware?
Samba Saphir: Africa has the greatest cultural diversity in the world. For now this has been its misfortune as the most "strong" instrumentalize it, to divide for their benefit. This diversity will provide a wealth for Africans when the balance of power will reverse
Flashmag: it's all the evil that one can wish the Africans, at least. To get back to your book why have you chosen to self-produce?
Samba Saphir: Self-production is a desire for freedom and independence, because publishing under a publisher contract takes many constraints.
Flashmag: while closing this interview do you have a word to your many readers? And where your book will be available?
Samba Saphir: In conclusion, I invite everyone to reconnect with reading it’s a great form of entertainment, more over behind every book there is a message conveyed. Get already the first volume of this trilogy and stay tuned for the following;
Du feu pour les honneurs (fire for Honors) is available since November 7, to order, just contact me via my Facebook page, Twitter, via phone and email...
- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with SAMBA SAPHIR, Watt pad with "labigsaphir"
Flashmag: Thank you for this interview and wish you good luck.
Samba Saphir: Thank you so much same for you.
Interview by Hubert Marlin