Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Conversation with Babalola Dolapo

Dolapo Babalola
Dolapo is a Medical Practitioner and a Nigerian. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine in the US. My God: Even in the Last Minute (shortened as MyGelm), published in 2010, is her debut book and she describes as an inspirational autobiography. She took time off to talk to ImageNations.

Let me ask you the oft asked question: who is Dolapo Babalola?
Well, a few words about myself. I humbly say that I’m a God-fearing Nigerian woman, blessed to be a wife, mother, family physician, sibling, and recently a debut author of an inspirational book titled: My God: Even in the Last Minute (MyGelm) released September 2010.

I am adventurous and hate to turn down a challenge, unless for a good cause. I enjoy spending time with family, dancing, writing, listening to music, and being inspired to reach higher grounds.


Is this your first book? What events influenced the writing of this book?
Yes, this is my first book. Just when I thought all my worries were over after graduating from residency in 2007, little did I know that the roller-coaster had just began. I was faced with multiple setbacks, delays, and mistakes with regards to my immigration papers that it became unbelievably insane to function. The best thing that happened to me was when I decided to start writing down my thoughts with the goal of having my mind focused on other activities other than my predicaments. MyGelm was birth from these experiences.

When I read “… in this inspirational book you will learn a lot about a young aspiring physician … faced with multiple challenges …” I couldn’t decide whether the book was an inspirational book as in its most-often used meaning or an autobiography.  Tell us something about My God even in the Last Minute.
I like that you ask this question, because I asked myself the same question in the midst of writing my book. I say my book is an inspirational autobiography because as I narrate my journey of the many challenges faced, I was inspired and assured of a better tomorrow. I know it will be inspirational to everyone that reads it.

Sure, I will be happy to tell you something about My God: Even in the Last Minute.MyGelm narrates my journey as a young aspiring physician who, in the pursuit of a permanent residency in the United States, faced multiple obstacles and challenges. Each day through this ongoing ordeal, I experienced God in a way that I never would have imagined. God showed up in the most unexpected places, in the last minute, and always with a life-changing lesson. It speaks on how; the greatest lesson in our darkest hours of uncertainty is that God is close by, quietly working behind the scenes, bolstering our faith for a miracle.

Who are your target audience? I ask this because many readers are choosy: some would skip it because of the title and others would be drawn by it.
I understand your reason for asking the question. Thank you. My target is actually everyone, but with particular reference to Christians. Having said that Christian or not, everyone can benefit from reading MyGelm.  Should I say unfortunately or fortunately, no one is an exception to daily challenges and during my journey I realized that the way we react to these challenges is what makes the different. I learnt and wrote about the pearls of life while we wait on a response or while we are going through challenges. I know without a doubt, this will be beneficial information for anyone regardless of their gender, religion, nationality, etc. Key point here is not just the experience we go through, but what we do with it. So if this is something your readers are interested in, then MyGelm is for them.

How has your book being received, both home and abroad?
So far, I can say all the responses have been positive both home and abroad. Amazing, Readers' review on Amazon.
I am so humbled by the impact MyGelm had made in peoples’ lives, mine included. A friend shook my hands and said “thanks for doing this.” He was inspired to write his long-awaited book. My husband recently met a lady who recognized his name and mentioned she was only blessed but inspired. It sure made my whole experience worthwhile. 
What do you want to achieve with this book in particular and your writing in general?
What I would like to achieve with my book are several lessons passed across to my readers. First and foremost, the message is peace of mind in any situation or through any storm. I was assured that God can show up in the most unexpected places. The propagation of my message is also to serve as a reminder that God’s plans, purposes, and pursuits can be expressed through our lives if we lay down our plans, purposes, and pursuits to Him. As mentioned earlier, I learnt several life-changing lessons, including the pearls of life while we wait on a response from God. I discussed all of these in my book, with the hope it would make a positive impact on someone’s life.

What is the overarching theme/message in this book?
God shows up in the most unexpected places, in the last minute, and always with a life-changing lesson. Clearly, the greatest lesson in our darkest hours of uncertainty is that God is close by, quietly working behind the scenes, bolstering our faith for a miracle.

Any obstacles you faced from writing to publishing? How did you feel the first day you held the book in your hands?
Yes, there were a few downsides from writing to publishing such as finding the time to complete my book, not to mention, the guilt trip, when I steal time from other activities. In addition, learning to write using the Chicago Manual literary Style was not easy, since up to date, I wrote mostly medical articles.

My goodness, holding my book in my hand was incredible but I must say it was with mixed feelings as well. I had doubts about acceptance. But I reminded myself that I am just the messenger, I will leave the rest to God.

Is this a one-off thing or more books would follow?
Right now, when I am asked this question; I respond by saying “it is a one-off thing.” But I have learnt “Never say Never.” In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy writing medical literature.

There has always been this complain that reading is on the decline. What is your take on this issue?
On the contrary since I started publishing my book, I was amazed to see how many people (not the usual celebrity in Hollywood) have written books. I guess I associated this to the fact that maybe more people are reading compared to what I originally was aware of. I have always believed that knowledge brings power, so since been published; I encourage my family, friends, and community to make it a habit to read and spread the message that will be beneficial to others in one form or the other. For we all have it within us, this I believe.

Your top five books?
Wow, haven’t thought of this question since I got turned mostly to medical reading. So let’s see;
  1. Gifted Hands by Ben Carson
  2. The Uncommon Leader by Mick Murdock
  3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
  4. Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman by Dr. Myles Munroe
  5. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama 
Has been published changed you?
So much, it’s unbelievable. I love the fact that I have discovered myself to be more God-fearing, Adventurous, Seizing every opportunity and a Constant learner. Publishing proved that I can go from being bitter to better, problems to possibilities, trials to testimonies, a victim to a victor, a setback to a setup, a mistake to a masterpiece and lastly adversity to university of lesson learned. Primarily, I have learnt not to hold anything in, share the message behind the experience with someone, for it might just be helpful to them. Gladly, I can also say that my outlook on life changed after MyGelm. Among other things, I don't sweat the small stuff–for life is short, so as much as possible I make everyday meaningful without hurt and bitterness.

Where could readers obtain copies of your book, in Nigeria, in Africa and outside of Africa?
I am glad you asked. For now, my book is available only in Nigeria and United States.

In Nigeria:
DNW NaijaSistas Book-Stop, with contact Bola Nelson desperatenaijawoman@ymail.com and 08064275401
In the United States:
in addition to my website www.mygelm.com for purchase link; others are Amazon and Autographed copy

Thanks for taking time off to speak to ImageNations.
Thank you! What a privilege I have to reach your readers. I encourage you to continue the awesome work you’re doing with ImageNations. More grease to your elbow. Thanks again. 

9 comments:

  1. Great interview! very interesting, it's sure literature I do not come across often

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Blodeudd thanks. It sure is, if we stop defining lit so narrowly. Remember EG White?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Blodeudd for your kind comments and Nana for the opportunity to reach your readers. Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have not yet seen her book. I hope she makes it available in Ghana too. I enjoyed this interview.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting interview Nana. Not a book I would normally pick up on my own but it certainly sounds like it will do well. I wish the author all the best! Will you be reading and reviewing the book?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Geosi, I will surely look into making my book available in Ghana. Thanks for your interest!

    ReplyDelete

Help Improve the Blog with a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Featured post

Njoroge, Kihika, & Kamiti: Epochs of African Literature, A Reader's Perspective

Source Though Achebe's Things Fall Apart   (1958) is often cited and used as the beginning of the modern African novel written in E...