Fresh off the hardback publication of their newest book You Made of Fool of Death With Your Beauty, Nigerian author Akwaeke Emezi was a guest on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Emezi discussed their writing, their foray into movie production, and shared some of their artwork.

Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show is a popular American TV show aired on the Comedy Central channel. Noah who is South Africa-born has interviewed other African authors, such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Tochi Onyebuchi.

Here are some highlights from the show.

On Loving Romance Fiction:

“I think it’s because I’m a reader of every genre. So I started reading romance novels when I was a kid growing up in Nigeria, and we would smuggle them to school because they were banned for being vulgar and inappropriate and they were like the Harlequin and Mills and Boons… and I really got into them as a kid, I think there’s something in there about being young and exploring your own sexuality. And then I came to the states when I was 16 for college and I discovered paranormal romance… and then I took a break from it but I came back around in the last couple of years and I found that the romance that was being written now was so different from what I grew up on and it had like so much representation in it and it had so much hope in it. You know you could read these love stories about people that society considers deviant whether because you’re black or queer or neurodivergent or you’re in a wheel chair, and they get happily-ever-after, and I was like: there’s a little magic in that.”

On the experimental style of their memoir Dear Senthuran:

“I just wanted to write a book that felt like the conversations I have with my friends. I think like these are the spaces in which you’re really honest and intimate because you’re speaking without a filter … and it strips down that artifice/wall, it’s a different kind of vulnerability. And also in writing in letters it’s like a citational practice for me in terms of community. And so to write the letters, it was a way of showing the world that ‘these are the people I think with, even if it’s not people that I know personally, these are the people I’m building worlds with and I wanted them to be recognized as well.”

Watch the full video here.



Photo via Emezi’s Instagram.