Dead Lions Don’t Roar - interview with Tolu A. Akinyemi

TOLU A Akinyemi is a new author to the published scene – although he has over 10 years of writing experience, Dead Lion’s Don’t Roar is his first book in print. Dead Lions Don’t Roar is a collection of inspiring and motivating modern day verses. Addressing many issues close to home and also many taboo subjects, the poetry is reflecting of today’s struggles and lights the way to a positive future Originally from Nigeria, Tolu now resides in Wallsend. He felt it important that any success he had would positively benefit a community in the region that has been so welcoming to him and his young family.

What inspired you publish this book "Dead Lions Don't Roar”?

I have a love for writing and for poetry and believe that reading powerful verses release the mind and spirit to encourage and inspire you. I had written lots of separate verses and friends, family and colleagues all encouraged me to put them together. Being the author of a book is something I had dreamed of for a long time, so I took the advice and inspiration of my writing aims to creative use and Dead Lions Don’t Roar was born.

Why did you choose to benefit people suffering from loneliness?

Being lonely stops people enjoying life and achieving their dreams. Old age is also something that will come to all of us. My cover poem, Growing Old, resonated with the needs of this charity and it just seemed a natural match. If the sales of my book makes people happier and gives them a less lonely life, then I will be a happy man.

What did you learn or find out along your 10 years journey of writing?

So over the last ten years I found you can get a lot of solace from reading and writing – books are very powerful. Literature and actually writing it, is a private place, that brings your own thoughts out of your head for others to take comfort or inspiration from. It astounds me how many people are touched by poetry and understand it’s meaning – they were just thoughts in my mind that now are shared with many. I also found out that no man can stand alone, and a lot of my writing is about that. Whilst we have our own roar and lion inside us, we need to lean on others and find the right way to let it out. Again, a lot of my writing is about that. I also discovered how important my family is to me - my children, my wife, my mother. That all comes out in many of my poems and will remind a lot of people to be grateful for what they have.

What are your poetries mainly about? How does that light the way to a positive future?

The poems in Dead Lions Don’t Roar are an eclectic mix of words of wisdom. They are about reality mixed with possibilities. They are about emotions – love, humour, anger. Mainly though they are about embracing life. About accepting certain things and the importance of moving forward – always looking to be the better person in every aspect we as humans can be. As a Christian, that message is very important to me. The fact that the poem resonates with an individual and what they are going through should give them strength, should motivate them - they are not the first, they are not alone, and yes, they have a lion (a talent) that they need to find and release to be truly happy.

Which is your personal favorite poem about facing day-to-day struggles?

I have a lot of favourite poems in the book. If it's about family I really love both ‘My Woman’ and ‘My Mother’. Both are very personal to me, but are how I feel a man should respect those roles in his life. If its about career, it has to be 'Dead Lions Don’t Roar’ - let it out and find your talent, be who you should be! My favourite one with humour in it is No Issues – at a recent reading, I had the audience saying it back to me, as the humour really appealed to them. If Im feeling sad or contemplative, then ‘The Parody of Life’ calls to me. That poem sums up life and our journey beautifully. That’s the beauty of this book – there is a poem for every mood and every situation.

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