About Jerry Chiemeke
Jerry Chiemeke spent a total of six years trying to obtain a licence to practice law in Nigeria, and in fact did grab the licence in style, but is not afraid to watch a hobby overtake a career in his scale of preferences. His love for writing was triggered by a light-hearted sibling rivalry with his brother at age eight, and except for a five-year hiatus in his adolescence where video games gained his attention, he has held his pen ever since.
Jerry grew from writing love letters for secondary school peers to impress their love interests, and shortly after he turned twenty, decided to fully try his hands at opinion articles and shorts, inspired by Teju Cole's "Small Fates". His efforts were well received on Facebook, and thanks to some virtual nudging, decided to open a literary blog. The name, "Chi's Epistles", was actually inspired by an inbox message from a Facebook friend, who referred to the writings on his wall as epistles.
Jerry has a knack for infusing a lot of emotion and soul into his work. Critics have suggested that he is too sensitive and puts too much of himself in his art, but in his words, "if I don't feel it, they won't feel it, and I don't then see the need to write it down". His style has not gone unnoticed, with the likes of Brittle Paper, The Kalahari Review, The Musty Corner and Syn City accepting his short stories for publication. He has not lost his touch with opinion articles though; the likes of Viva Naija and True Nollywood Stories can attest to that. There is still room for academic scribbling in his thoughts however; his lawyerly background means that he cannot seem to leave legal articles alone.
He does not see himself as a poet, which is in itself ironic, considering the fact that two-thirds of his first book, "The Colours In These Leaves", is laced with poetry. The book, a non-fictional blend of prose, poems and rants, shows Jerry in his most sensitive and emotional state. He balances this out with "Bachelors Anonymous", a two-part light-hearted franchise based loosely on a fictional plot involving his Facebook friends.
Jerry is passionate about mental health, and volunteers at Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation set out to educate the public and erase stigmas in relation to mental illnesses. A chunk of the writing in “The Colours In These Leaves” dwells on mental health.
Jerry's background as a lawyer makes him long for a seat at both ends of the table, and as such he is not afraid to delve into critiquing. A movie enthusiast and lover of books, he is quick to lay out his opinions on time spent at the cinema, with focus on Nollywood movies. Loladeville.com loves his insights on the latest Nigerian box office clips, and the guys at Okadabooks always want to see him rip a book apart with his spot-on analysis. He also has an eye for detail, and in trying to make the world a better place, he takes the pain to edit and proofread works to make them worthy of publication.
Jerry loves his tea mugs, his headphones doused with alternative rock music, and his corner of the bus on long road trips.