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“I dropped out of my PhD program in Florida.” —ARINZE IFEAKANDU

“I dropped out of my PhD program in Florida.” —ARINZE IFEAKANDU

Jun 20, 2023

Chude: Finally, if I heard you correctly you said that first and foremost you “Japa”. The Nigerian dream is to leave Nigeria but you went you had a cushy Joy you know. I mean the thing about MFA programs and fellowships is that these are blessings, to be honest. But then you now got a job in Florida. Oh, it was a PhD program. Then you were teaching and schooling and then you left. Nigerians cannot relate.

Arinze: Firstly, I was so burnt out because it was also the period that my book came out in the U.S. So, there was also part of that going on, but also the school wasn’t doing well. I think what actually made me decide that I wasn’t doing anymore was because I couldn’t write anymore. I was losing my mind and I was like am I going mad? 

Now I can write again so I think it’s worth it. 

Chude: Would you say you are based in Nigeria or abroad? 

Arinze: No, I cannot say I’m based in Nigeria because there are no jobs for writers in Nigeria. I think after a while maybe when I’ve written a considerable part of the next book then I can come back.

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