Titi Horsfall – The Storyteller

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Titi Horsfall is a woman of many parts. She has built a thriving career in corporate communications in the Oil and Gas industry and is an accomplished novelist. Some of her published works include; Influence of a King, and From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther.
Titi is the African Achievers Awards Honoree, and recipient of the 2016 African Literature Prize amongst several other awards. She is also a wife and mother of three young men. Let’s learn more about this exceptionally gifted lady.

Titi Horsfall with Africa’s great historian Professor Joseph Alagoa

Titi please tell us about yourself

My introduction here, just about says it. I am a very creative person, and approached my educational pursuits for the sake of my personal development. So, I have a BSC in Marketing, Masters in Banking and Finance, and an MBA in Oil & Gas Management. When I take another post graduate pursuit, I will take on something completely different from my previous studies.

I come from a very disciplined Christian background. For us, our faith is crucial.

My space for leisure is in my mind. I love the very simple things of life. I take joy in the breeze that caresses my skin, the bounce of a butterfly perching from flower to flower, or the innocence of a child’s eyes holding mine even for the briefest moment. I am a romantic! I believe in falling in love and loving for the sake of love and nothing else!

There is a certain innocence about me that I guard, and I love the freedom it gives me not to know too much that does not concern me, or see too much of what might hurt my perspective, or strive to gather or amass!

Now in all of this did anything prepare you for life as an Author ?

If you love to read, you would find yourself penning down your thoughts at some point or another. While having an environment which encouraged reading set the tone for my life as an author, certain innate skill sets enabled me to foster the craft.

Like many creatives you have a day job. Writing takes a lot of time especially historical fiction as you have to do a lot of research. How on earth do you find the time to do it all?

Lol! It’s got more to do with Heaven! Sincerely, while it requires stretch and sacrifice on my part, it has got more to do with grace. Once I have a strong conviction and I am enraptured with the subject of my attention, the research process takes on a life of its own. As long as I find joy in it, I keep at it.

You are a  mum and like many wives and mums, struggle to find themselves while trying to also fulfil their own desires and aspirations. What do you think has helped you  and what advice do you have for that woman struggling to find her own path and fulfilment.

It is certainly not an easy road to take…people would be eager to find faults in a woman’s life and blame whatever circumstance that life throws her way, to her being a career woman…if there are struggles in the marriage, her career or desire to be independent in thought would be blamed. If she is unable to bear children, the career or any passionate pursuits of the woman receives the strike. So, I agree, that it is quite a struggle.

But let’s be realistic about the world we now live in. It makes no sense to interpret a stereotype for a woman when it suits a man, and then the man desires that his daughter should be comparable to the best of women out there.

What has helped me in this regard is that I have strong women as mother, mother-in-law and aunties. They are women who hold court and air their opinions in public. This paved the way for me. We – women- ride on the shoulders of other women ahead of us. Let me reiterate that more role models for women should come out, and give their shoulders to others in lesser positions. Women make women count.

I love Historical fiction what made you take interest in that genre of writing and what has helped you get better at it.

Good for you! History is a lesson on life! It is an exploration of the mindset and actions that have shapened the course of generations. I am awestruck about the past…great wonders that would seem near impossible to replicate, the birthing of something new within an era as well as the uniqueness of every age. Chronological knowledge of our simulated historical experiences provides rich fodder for survival, growth and wise advancement.
Let me break this down: when we remember our growing up years, what life was like for us as children, what we tell our children about the past and lessons they should take to heart, that is history in its purest form.
I got better at it over the years because I love travelling, and am very receptive to the old, vintage and diverse.

You are also very passionate about getting our children to read especially in the public schools. Tell us a bit about that.

I detest the band-wagon effect. People should be able to form educated judgements and logical translations of the world around them. It is a thing of worry when propaganda and brainwashing can hold people with captive laurels.

I set up Prisenda for the purpose of empowering people through reading, writing and the intellectual expression of their thoughts targeted at the development of their communities.

The magic question? How do you maintain your flawless skin and keep looking good?

O my! (Smiles). Thank you Chioma. Coming from you…that says volumes. The key word you have used which I like is maintain. Life does take its toll on anyone, but the habit of maintaining a proven beauty regimen over a period of time does the sustaining. For instance, I ensure I take a bath twice a day, and try to be consistent with it.

How are you able to refresh and rejuvenate? What helps you relax?

I take long baths and sleep! A good book, lyrically inspiring music, a pedicure & manicure make a difference!

Work life balance is this achievable?

Work life balance is achievable…finding the balance is not in the action orientation, but allowing the mind to relax of its fears and concerns. If we can approach life with the right perspective, the balancing act goes into automation. Knowing what to let go of, and what to fight for. Knowing how to be thankful for where we are and advancing in our dreams and aspirations with pomp. Being intentional about finding time for ourselves amidst catering for our loved ones and meeting the expectations of our job requires that we love aspects of these.

Lastly, please tell us about your upcoming book?

The Rivers Frontier is the most challenging literary work I have undertaken, thus far. Due to the nature of the project; researching on society versed in oral tradition and restrained on recorded work required I obtain copyrights for selected works. The triumph? Writing this book was an ethical obligation and a sacrifice of love.
The text is primarily aimed at leadership – politicians, administrators, youth groups, policy makers & intellectuals. Scholars, researchers & academicians, historians, investors and lovers of African literature would also find the book very useful. While the book is centered on the people of the Niger Delta, the underlining message is a clarion call for the dignity of the black race and Africa’s development.

 

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