I have heard people say “own your flaws so that nobody gets to use them against you”. However, I seldom come across people who own their imperfections and leave a person awestruck by the way they do it like Worlanyo does in his biography, ‘Questions. And Damn Questions’.
People always have questions about other people- why people are called by particular names, why they picked up certain habits, their struggles and sometimes their choices. It all usually comes down to wanting to know people. In his biography Worlanyo decides to ask these kinds of questions and gives us answers to them in his bid to make us know him.
It is a brief write-up in which he tells us the reason behind his name, his upbringing, family, choices and in between that he lets us in on his struggles which are usually in the form of losing his loved ones, coping with a father who wants a second chance at life through his son, dealing with heartbreaks and finding solace the only way he probably knows how- smoking. It was the usual therapy he saw his uncles and cousins go through in times of challenges; tells us how the environment sometimes makes the man. It was his sole haven until he found healing in music and basketball too.
In spite of these setbacks and pain, he rediscovers himself and sets his life straight again. He reckons how valuable the contributions of his friends have been in getting him out of his otherwise darkness and solitude to make him realise his potential and pushing him to be what he has always dreamed of being – a writer. Underscores the importance of friends in a person’s life.
Life can sometimes be overwhelmingly hard. For some like Worlanyo, it may be even harder but one thing remains, you need give yourself as many chances as you can at living it and enjoying it.
This book is a bold write-up. The questions, confessions, struggles and self- acceptance of the author make it an intriguing read. In between, in the questions and answers, are beautifully written lines of poems to lead you unto the narrative; a style I find quite rare for such writings.
Worlanyo’s biography is forthright, it is emotionally engaging and vividly honest.
If you want to know him, get your hands on ‘Questions. And Damn Questions’.