We generally write about Africa’s problems – violence, diseases, bad governance, violence – and by doing so we tend to forget all the many wonderful stories that actually come out of Africa.
Our good friend Joshua, who has been collaborating with African Politics and Policy for many years, brought to our attention one of such stories.
West Africa has a very lively literary scene.
Many young writers have used the social media to disseminate their work and touch the hearts of thousand of readers. They are young, talented, and successful. They have rock star-like appeal. Thousand of followers, readers, fans.
We had an opportunity to have a conversation with one of these young writers, Tony Hemrix.
African Politics and Policy: the first, most obvious, question is who are you, when did you start writing? why did you start writing? and of course, how many ‘serial’ novels have you completed?
Tony Hemrix: I am a young Togolese student, 22 year old. I was born in Abidjan, in Ivory Coast.
I started by writing in December 2018 which is practically 14 months.
I decided to write because young people in Togo are not terribly interested in the arts and literature does not seem to excite them. Young Togolese do not like reading, they do not read much, they don enjoy reading. I hope that my work can give young Togolese passion for reading and make them interested in Togolese literature.
I have so far written 9 serial novels: EL TRÀGIC VENGANZA – BACK FROM PRISON – MY MOTHER-IN-LAW AND MY SISTER-IN-LAW TOME 1 & 2 – SARAH THE NEW SCHOOLGIRL – MY REPEATER – BAD NIGHT – ONE SOUL FOR TOO – MY ABSTINENCE MY HELL which are all available online on my Facebook page “228 HEMRIX CHRONIQ’S” plus a physical book titled SUPPLICE. They are all in French.
APP: why did you decide to write about the sexual life and fantasties of young africans? (i ask this because usually people reading this kind of literature, need these literary products to bring some excitement in an otherwise boring life, yet one has the impression that the life of young africans is already full of excitement).
TH: I made this decision because in Africa sex education is probably very low compared to what it is in Europe or continents. My writings are to bring to the fact this more exciting way of making love and to make discover any orgasm hidden in the body of an African and by doing this I benefit but also to convey messages which can touch a reader to ask questions and improve or change part of his life.
APP: to what extent would you say the content of your stories is biographical? based on your experiences or on those of peopleyou know?
TH: the first two novels were inspired by my entourage, by what I hear, by word of mouth. From the third novel onward I was inspired by the reality of what happens in couples and in families so that everyone can relate to the stories I tell. Of course to spice things up I insert a part of me, that is an experience and also of the life of a loved one.
APP: you’ve been writing for a while and you must have a good idea of what grabs the attention of your readers? what do you think they’re most interested in? do you think there is a difference between older and younger readers, between men and women?
TH: In reality in all my texts, whatever the nature of the story, I always include an erotic part to spice it up. So it is hard for me to say which parts of my stories they like best. They love almost everything I send them as a story. Young male readers are probably more attached to the erotic part of the texts. Young female readers enjoy the romantic part as much as the erotic part. They like the all story basically. The differences between older and younger readers are very small.
APP: there is seems to be a growing movement of young African writers writing erotic stories and erotic novels. Some of these stories are publishe din book format, many others are published on social media. what is the advantage and the disadvantage of writing for/publishing on social media?
TH: the benefits of publishing on social networks are numerous and fruitful. Thanks to social media, texts can circulate all over the world without anyone noticing. And by the comments of your readers you can improve and evolve more quickly. Without the publications on social networks the texts will be in the shadows and no one will know its existence. But at the same time there are bad-hearted people who usurp the texts. They change the real name of the author, name him and share. Sometimes they hack our subscribers and our page etc …
APP: you have thousands of followers and readers. like some of your literary friends, you are a young celebrity. how has your success affected your (personal) life?
TH: I often say: “It is better not to exist than to exist without marking your existence known”. Success has changed a lot of things for me. Which makes me happy all the time even if everything is bad especially when I see my first book hanging on the wall and my thousands of followers on social networks. I really feel that I exist and that I live my existence. It has always been a dream to be a famous young writer. So I will simply say that I am living my dream.
APP: what are you plans for 2020? what are you working on? what can your reader expect to get from you in the coming months?
TH: In 2020 I plan to release a book that will be a collection of three of my texts that my readers are all impatient to read: Volume 3 of My Mother-in-law and my sister-in-law, Volume 2 of MY REPEATER and the whole story of MY ABSTINENCE MY HELL which is stopped for the moment on the 3 rd episode on my Facebook page. There will be plenty of surprises in 2020. I tell my readers to be just faithful to my page 228 Hemrix ChroniQ’s and they will not be disappointed afterwards.
APP: This is excellent news, congratulations and thank you for talking to us.
TH: Thank you