MENU

Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer

UTPB+student+and+writer%2C+Emmanuel+Katele%2C+19%2C+from+his+hometown+of+Congo%2C+Africa%2C+was+actually+a+refugee.+He+is+interviewed+by+a+fellow+UTPB+international+student.+
UTPB student and writer, Emmanuel Katele, 19, from his hometown of Congo, Africa, was actually a refugee. He is interviewed by a fellow UTPB international student.

UTPB student and writer, Emmanuel Katele, 19, from his hometown of Congo, Africa, was actually a refugee. He is interviewed by a fellow UTPB international student.

Jorge Carlos Arrabal Garcia.

Jorge Carlos Arrabal Garcia.

UTPB student and writer, Emmanuel Katele, 19, from his hometown of Congo, Africa, was actually a refugee. He is interviewed by a fellow UTPB international student.

Jorge Carlos Arrabal Garcia, Guest Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Jorge Carlos Arrabal Garcia.
UTPB student and writer, Emmanuel Katele, 19, from his hometown of Congo, Africa, was actually a refugee. He is interviewed by a fellow UTPB international student.

Jorge Carlos Arrabal Garcia, a fellow international student from Spain, is the writer of this story. Here he is photographed in Berlin, Germany.

When I decided to begin this assignment, I was not very keen on it. I thought it would be boring, but I was completely wrong. After doing the interview and getting to know fellow University of Texas of the Permian Basin student Emmanuel Katele, my interviewee, I learned a lot and enjoyed doing it. It was satisfactory for me to see that he was really excited about the interview since he is not a professional writer and he is not used to showing his work to many people.

First of all, I had been in my room for one hour before I met the interviewee and I started to prepare the questions I would ask him during the interview. It was going to be my first time interviewing a person so I was quite nervous. I wanted to do it professionally so I divided all the questions into sections. It did not take me too long to come up with a series of good questions so that I could get a lot of information. By the time I had to go to his room, I had everything perfectly prepared and ready to begin the work. I walked all the way into his room imagining how the interview would be. I was a little bit afraid that he or I would not be comfortable while doing it, which made me much more nervous. However, once I came into his room, took a seat and started chatting, that nervousness disappeared and turned into confidence.

When I came into his room, the first thing that I saw surprised me: he had sheets of paper on his walls, which were full of ideas for his next stories. Some of them were crossed out because he had decided those were not good ideas or because he had already written something about it. He also had some paintings because he told me that sometimes he enjoys trying to represent the setting where his stories take place. His room was tidy except for his desk, it was all messed up. He had hundreds of pieces of paper and pens and pencils all over the desk. It seemed strange to me since I had always thought that writers were very tidy and could not work with such a mess. But I supposed that every writer is in a different world and has his or her own habits concerning writing. He tried to organize his desk a little bit in order to let me place my computer there. I started it up and began to ask him questions. The first ones were the typical questions about himself and his background, such as his name, age, country of origin and residence and current occupation. He answered me that he is named Emmanuel Katele, he is only 19 years old and he comes from Congo (Africa), but he moved to the United States in 2008 because he and his parents were refugees and came here in order to seek for a better life. He remembers the time when he lived in Congo with nostalgia because he left almost all his family there, and he is sure that he will go back there one day. Currently, he is a student at UTPB completing a major in Biology and a minor in British Literature.

After making the preliminary questions, I started making more complex questions which were more connected to his writing career. I asked him about how, when and why he started writing, and if someone had encouraged him to start doing it. He answered that he began writing at the age of 15 because he read the best-seller trilogy Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien and those books “charmed” him since the very first moment. After that, he decided he wanted to try to join the world of writing and started writing his first fiction stories. He said: “As regards to the person who encouraged me, I would never have started writing if my high school English teacher had not pushed me to do it.” This assertion shocked me as he seemed to be moved by those memories. As the interview went on, he was more and more excited about every question, showing how important writing was for him. Thus, I decided to raise one of the most interesting questions for me: What does writing mean for you? He took a bit longer to answer this one. He eventually said: “It means everything I have ever wanted to be, but I was afraid I would not achieve it.” It left me speechless for a few seconds. He continued saying that writing had helped in the past and helps him at present in very different ways, but basically, he uses writing as a way of disappearing from the tangible world and being born in a new one where he is the ruler and he can shape it as he desires.

When it came to his own work, he looked a bit more nervous. I asked him about what piece of writing he considers to be his best one. The name of the piece is “Apple.” It is a poem in which he tells us in the first person about him walking in a forest where he finds a tree that has a golden apple. It seems to be very appealing but he realizes that someone else has already bitten it, therefore he does not want it anymore and, disappointed, he goes away. He provided me with the piece:

Apple

Walking in forest alone along the rising morning

I found myself moderately mourning

For reasons now recollected not in mind;

But what I recall and can’t leave behind

Is the fruit I saw prevailing fairest;

It was so different, very unlike the rest.

It wore not the color of red, but that of gold

Enticing it hung, my heart desired to hold,

To eat, to have for myself its existence.

It hung adorned. With little resistance

I set up about the tall tree to obtain

Its child. I arrived but only to abstain

From it. As disappointment took attained

Of me after seeing that it had already been

                                                   Taken a bite out of.

As we continued chatting, I asked him about his writing process, something very subjective, as it depends on the writer, so I was eager to know his response. He told me that he always writes down his ideas on a piece of paper and sticks them on the wall. He always writes focusing on a particular idea, he does not improvise. After that, he uses the brainstorming technique and comes up with possible topics he can write about. And, finally, he connects those ideas in order to create the whole story. When he has finished this process, he usually asks his teacher to revise it and give him some advice.

The last question I asked him was whether he wants to become a professional writer one day or he just write as a hobby. He concisely answered: “I definitely want to become a professional writer. Because not only do I love writing, but also it is my motivation to continue writing every day.” I could even feel his determination and confidence. I do not know if he will be able to make it in the future, but I could assure that he would make the greatest effort in order to accomplish his goal.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer

    News

    Donate blood for a good cause

  • Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer

    News

    UTPB lauded nationally for having same faculty teach on campus and online courses

  • News

    UT in DC forum to foster collaboration between higher ed and defense community

  • Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer

    News

    UTPB men make 2017 Cross-Country All-Conference performers

  • Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer

    News

    Falcons Fly as They Bring Home the ‘W’

  • Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer

    News

    UTPB nursing program celebrates four-year mark

  • Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer

    News

  • Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer

    News

    ‘Boom or Bust’ book club gets creative with Frankenstein

  • Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer

    News

    Distinguished Professor from Oregon to present lecture on climate and energy

  • Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer

    Letters to the Editor

    Letter to the Editor on Confederate Statues gets responses

The student news site of The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
Refugee from Congo, Africa, succeeding as Biology/English student and aspiring writer