This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Feyisayo Anjorin. Feyisayo is the author of One Week In The Life of a Hypocrite and the sequel, Another Week In The Life of a Hypocrite. The books follow the journey of Bosun Sanya and Titi as they work through hypocrisy and the differences in how they perceive cheating.
It also explores the underbelly of Pentecostal churches and how the greed of materialistic pastors affects the message of the church.
Jocelyn: Hi Feyisayo! I’m so excited to do this interview with you. For people who don’t know, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Feyisayo: Thanks, Jocelyn,
I’ve pondered on this for a few years at some point in my life, and I will say Feyisayo Anjorin is a storyteller.
From childhood, from the time of my earliest personal awareness I have been trying to tell stories.
As a child I loved listening to stories that were rich in the oral tradition of the Yoruba (I see myself as Yoruba first before being Nigerian), and at some point I started imagining things.
Many years later Feyisayo Anjorin has unravelled interestingly as a fiction podcaster, poet, short story writer, author, actor, songwriter, and screenwriter.
I was at some point wondering whether I was not an entertainment “jack-of-all-trade”, but I recently researched on Yoruba creatives like Nobel Laureate, Woke Soyinka, Professor Akinwunmi Ishola, Kola Oyewo, Prof Kole Omotoso, Tunji Oyelana and so on, were basically dramatists, poets, singers, actors, and art students.
So, I basically tell my stories on as many platforms that I have, and keep learning to remain fresh.
Jocelyn: Being a storyteller is one of the most important parts of writing novels! Which of those Yoruba creatives would you say is your greatest inspiration?
Feyisayo: That would be Wole Soyinka. I read his translation of D O Fagunwa’s book in my early secondary School years and it was one of the texts that opened my eyes to storytelling opportunities, because The Forest of A Thousand Daemons was set in Oke Igbo, a rainforest village that was a lot like Oba Ile where we lived.
I would sometimes look at the wooded hills in my neighborhood and imagine extraterrestrial or supernatural beings interacting with mortals like me.
Over the years I have read many of his works and I have followed his collaboration with other creatives too.
I also love his sense of fashion and style, and his work as an activist.
I have an Afro, just like him.
Jocelyn: That’s incredible! It’s so great when we can draw inspiration from the people we feel a connection with. Can you tell me a little bit about your latest work, Another Week In the Life of a Hypocrite?
Feyisayo: Gladly. Another Week In The Life of A Hypocrite is the sequel to One Week In The Life of A Hypocrite. It explores the tendency for hypocrisy in romantic relationships, through the experience of Bosun and Titi Sanya, the protagonists.
Before they got married Bosun had his numerous masks on, while Titi was a lot more open about her past, an act that removed the first of the man’s facade.
Another Week In The Life of A Hypocrite is about Bosun’s unravelling as a married man and what it did to his marriage.
Titi, unlike in the first book, was a bit more reckless in going for what she wanted.
I started on the premise that we all have a bit of hypocrisy in us, then I took bits and pieces of my experience of relationship dynamics, and a bit of Akure drama.
The town where the story is set is a place where the conflict of ancient and modern ideas rages. It is a state capital and also an ancient town. There are sprinkles of civilization and then vast evergreen forests.
Jocelyn: I love the idea that we all have hypocrisy in us. Even those of us that try to live an honest or hypocrisy free life fall prey to that sometimes! Which character do you feel you relate to more, Bosun or Titi?
Feyisayo: I think I relate more with Titi when she finally got tired of the things society would rather have her endure for the home. Titi was this woman who believed in true love, and naively believed the picture the man she loved had painted in her heart.
I relate with Bosun too as a man struggling with a kind of underestimated addiction. He is weak like a lot of us, but he just didn’t have a clue how weak he really was.
Jocelyn: I love when a book takes a hopeless romantic character and makes them question everything, it makes for such a great emotional storyline. How about you, do you believe in true love?
Feyisayo: Yes, I do believe in love. I can’t imagine life without love. However I think we are conditioned (by pop culture and society) to have a simplistic view of love.
Physical attraction, magical feelings, and great chemistry are superb for a start, but love is always tested by circumstances and time.
Love takes discipline and hard work to nurture.
The ones among us with the discipline and willingness to put in the work, are the real lovers.
Now, what if you put in all the work and discipline and the other party fails you?
Love is complicated, but I believe in it.
Jocelyn: The way you talk about love is really inspiring. True love lasts over time because of the way it’s able to survive tough circumstances. Knowing that there will be new challenges over time, did you plan on writing a sequel before you wrote your first book, or was it something that came up naturally after you finished the initial writing process?
Feyisayo: Indeed I didn’t plan a sequel.
The initial writing process got me asking questions about the future of the lovers and the things they hold dear.
I wanted the characters to face the tough answers and make a case for their choices, I wanted them out of their comfort zones, so I had to give them freedom in a sequel.
Jocelyn: It makes complete sense that you needed to give them more freedom in the sequel. It’s hard to stay true to your characters when you’re not giving them the room to grow. Do you think fans of the first will be happy with the resolution you have to the characters?
Feyisayo: Ha, truth hurts. It depends. Some fans would be worried about the initially promising but troubled union. I also met a fan who was thrilled about Titi’s decision in the second book. She had lived with a man who was quite like Bosun, it was as if she was reading herself on the pages.
Hence it’s a mixed bag of feelings.
Jocelyn: It’s a sign of great writing when fans can relate to your work! I’ve had so much fun talking to you today, thank you for doing this interview. Before we wrap up, can you tell the readers where they can find you?
Feyisayo: It’s been such a pleasure Jocelyn, I appreciate this.
Jocelyn: Thank you again!