21 Jan Sharon Gwada: The New Broom Sweeping Mombasa
By Juliet Mwangi.
Sharon Magdalyne Akinyi Gwada, commonly referred to as Sharoe is a 22-year old avid writer based in Mombasa. She graduated in 2018 from the Technical University of Mombasa with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.
She has worked with Kenya News Agency and currently works with Crevit Mulier Club; a woman only organization based in Nairobi that empowers writers to be a better version of themselves.
She is also an online writer besides running a personal blog: underratedblogger.com previously known as sharongwada.wordpress.com
Currently, she is the Empowering Officer of Writers Guild Mombasa branch.
Besides books, she is enthusiastic about matters health. She advocates for a healthy lifestyle and cannot go for three days without working out.
She also adores traveling and wouldn’t mind canceling a date for an impromptu flight. But above all she loves God and is a disciple of Christ.
I was privileged to take her through a part of her life she is obviously passionate about.
- What inspired you to start writing and how did you start?
Back in high school when I was bored, I used to write poems to kill time or avoid sleeping. So, I used to write short poems and give my friends to critique and the more they loved them, the more I wrote.
- What is your take on the rates of circulation of e-books being higher than the purchase of hard copy?
People are worried that people use lifts instead of stairs but they should be more worried about e-books beating hard copies! Well, I blame it on affordability because getting an eBook is way cheaper and moving around with them is easier. In addition, they don’t give you hell thinking about where they can fit in your one-roomed apartment. Even so, I believe they’re just yet to come across the upsides of hard copies.
- Tell us three of your favorite books and why you like them.
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah.. It’s very hilarious
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives- too real to be fiction!
We’re Going to Need More Wine- I love the way Gabrielle is not scared to talk about literally anything!
- Writers Guild Kenya aims to be a home of writers to provide guidance and mentorship with a view to growth; do you think this is necessary?
Yes. All aspects of our lives need a little nurturing. Helping others not only makes them grow but we do too. Besides, knowledge is only useful when applied, so why not share?
- If you were to recommend a book to a 24-year old, which ones would it be?
Besides the ones previously mentioned, I’d say ‘Who Moved My Cheese’…first because they don’t have to complain about the number of pages because it’s the shortest book I’ve ever read and secondly and mainly because it’s a life lesson in itself. Forget 24-year-olds, this book is for everyone regardless of their age, profession, gender etc.
- Many writers wait for inspiration to write, others just have routines which they follow. Where do you stand?
Neither. Inspiration is not something you wait for. Do your thing and become the inspiration! About routines, yes we have them but do we really follow them? What if writer’s block catches up with you? Use the two as guidance but don’t let them restrict you because anytime is writing time.
- As a writer, are you worried by the poor reading culture that Kenya is associated with?
And what can be done to encourage reading in your view?
More and more people are getting into the culture of reading. So no, I am not worried because as years progress I’m certain the numbers will definitely shoot. The best way to welcome more readers is by showing them what we are gaining from reading. Let’s not just read for the sake of reading but let’s put those lessons into practice and perhaps slowly by slowly we win hearts. Also, let us get into the habit of sharing books, I mean if there is no book what is there to read?
- Self -publishing or traditional publishing, which way to go?
Traditional for beginners but as time progresses I would go for self-publishing because there should never be a better cheerleader for yourself than yourself.
- Other than writing, what else do you do to keep your mind fresh?
Working out. The feeling after a good exercise is beyond words! And the good thing about it is that there is a variety so you can choose according to your moods and still get the desired results.
- If you were to meet an author (dead or alive) who would they be? Why would you want to meet them so much?
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Mainly because I have never read a boring book by her. I would like her to tell me what her secret is.
With Sharon, if you want to her to remember you for life, it’s simple; surprise her!
Juliet Mwangi is an Editor at Writers Guild Kenya. Emailemail@example.com