15 Questions with Azazel

Winner of the most controversial blogger award in the just concluded Nigerian blog Awards, Azazel though a relative newcomer on blogsville is well known in these parts. Known for his brazen "truth" speaking ways, i decided to dig a little deeper and see what i can uncover about our most controversial blogger.

Tell us a little about yourself?
Well I like to describe myself as a lie who always tells the truth. Honestly, I do not know what else to say about myself. That quote is the only way I’ve described myself to anybody I come across, it might not make sense to those who read it but it makes perfect sense to me. Every time I read it, I remember what I am and I immediately become at peace with myself.

How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging since September 7, 2009 so basically 9 months. I am a relative newbie to blogsville but most people seem to think I’ve been here for a minute

What would you say is the main purpose of your blog?
I feel that the purpose of my blog is to discuss and talk about issues that people normally hesitate to talk about. No topic is taboo, no issue sensitive and I would rather slice my wrists than censor any topic written by any of my contributors. I abhor censorship in every form.

Who picked the name “Truth don die” and why? 
I picked the name “truth don die” and the inspiration came from Femi Kuti’s song Truth Don Die. At that particular time of my life, I was going through different experiences and reading a lot of books and it just felt like the truth did not matter anymore to most people. I felt that most people preferred to be sane with lies than mad with the truth so the name Truth Don Die appealed to me.

How did you meet the other authors of your blog “Truth don die” particularly Enoch? You seem to share the same views with him, are you all close friends?
Enoch is an inspiration to me, that dude is totally smart and every time I have some issue that bothers me deeply I hit him up for his expert advice. I met Enoch through blogsville, Afrikim is my good friend and boss lol, Eke is my friend from facebook who also has a blog of his own, sadly I forget the name of the blog now. The Messiah is a friend of mine and to say that I am awed with the brilliance of that guy is an understatement, he is just too much. The Realist has been my friend on facebook almost since I joined facebook which has been for a minute. I and the Realist think alike but sometimes he prefers to straddle the fence too much. Otunba is my good friend, love that guy to death even though we once had a falling out because of my religious leanings but then we reconciled.

The name Azazel is synonymous with controversy on blogsville. Your blog won the most controversial blog award on the just concluded Nigerian bloggers award. Are you normally this abrasive in real life or do you just sound this way on your blog?
Umm...... yeah in real life sometimes I tend to be controversial, but I am more of a relaxed person.

Do the people you interact with daily in your everyday life know or feel that you are a bit of a controversial person like those on blogsville think? 
 Umm....... nah not really, I mean most people know I have a blog but am not really that controversial with everybody in real life. I argue, I debate but am also a relaxed sombori who loves his peace with a capital L. But the people I interact with daily are cool with me, granted I have lost enough cousins/family members and good friends because of my controversial nature but that is to be expected. I have learnt to live with it, and as my cousin usually tells me, “Agaracha must always come home” meaning “If they leave, they will always come back”.

Do you consider yourself a Christian? If not, what religion do you identify with? 
 LOL at do I consider myself a Christian. That really made me laugh, I was raised Christian, but no I am not a Christian. As for my religious affiliation I like to consider myself as a QUESTIONER. I believe in the power of questioning and through questioning one can arrive at the truth. I am a member of the church of Questioning

You seem to have a gripe with Christians and Christianity, what exactly is your issue with Christianity? 
I have no issue with Christians or Christianity or any religion, I just like asking questions about different religions and since I was raised Christian I happen to have more Christian questions than lets say Islamic questions. I came across this quote that says “If all the Christians who have called other Christians “not really a Christian” were to vanish, there would be no Christians left”. This quote makes me laugh because it’s so true, just the other day I overheard two women arguing saying that Mormons are not really Christians that they are a sect, some think Jehovah’s witnesses are not Christians as well, even some others think Catholics are not truly Christians and the whole thing is just a perfect source of humor for me.

What exactly are your views on religion?
Hmm well on my views on religion, I just feel that religion has brought about more misery than happiness. For example, a Christian man cannot marry a muslim woman in peace without people yapping or it leading to either the man or the woman being disowned by their family members. Shouldn’t religion be about love and love alone? For example why should I follow the religion of my family? I sincerely believe that everybody on earth should do two things alone, their “believing and their dying” and anybody who decides to choose what you should believe in or what you should not believe in should go and kick rocks.

I think it would be a fair statement to say you like to play devil’s advocate from your blog posts and comments on blogsville. You seem to always want to pick the least popular view and support it just for the sake of controversy. Is that really the case?
I mean the devil also deserves a lawyer does he not? Every man or spriritual being deserves a lawyer or an advocate. I don’t know if any of you have watched the movie “12 men” where there were 12 jurors in the movie, and all of them voted to convict the defendant except one man who disagreed with their verdict and that one man got all of them to question why they thought the defendant was guilty and at the end all of them voted to acquit the defendant. I sort of get my inspiration from that, most times I might know what the right answer is, but I still ask questions to make sure that everybody knows why exactly they believe or agree with what they agree with. I love asking questions a lot, so I ask questions even of those people who agree with me. Furthermore, no day passes by in which I do not question my beliefs or analyse them to the full extent, if new evidence presents itself I am always willing to refine my beliefs.

Do you think the way you present your views on Christianity is a turn off to some readers?  
Maybe it is, maybe it’s not but I’ve learn that the best way to lose your mojo for blogging is giving a crap about what your readers care about. I tell people that I would rather respect the believer than respect the belief anyday. Everybody is entitled to an opinion/belief but not every belief/opinion is entitled to my respect.

In terms of picking a life partner, what spiritual beliefs must your future wife have? Can she be a committed Christian or does she have to have views that are similar to yours? 
If my wife is Christian/Muslim/Buddhist or whatever me no care. As long as she doesn’t let her religion disturb my sanity, I am cool. Don’t invite me to no church events cause me I won’t go, I wouldn’t mind if my children were raised Christian/Muslim etc as long as they are free when they grow older to choose what they want to believe in I won’t trip.

What do you think is the number one problem in the world? What would u do if u were asked to prescribe the solution? 
I think that the number one problem in the world right now is “Egotism”. I came across a quote that says “Egotism is the serpent that lies at the heart of human misery”. There’s a whole lot of egotistical people out there and most of the time humility is lacking in almost every aspect of their lives. I promote social events such as parties, concerts etc and I’ve noticed/observed how one’s ego can ruin a relationship or an event. My solution would be for everybody to get to know themselves innately, know your weaknesses and always be alert for times when people will try to use your pride to get you to do something you wouldn’t normally do. This is a good quote that I thought I would share, “When Men/Women elevate you they are setting you up for a huge crash, beware of becoming intoxicated by your own imagined importance”.

Your blog is titled “Truth don die” and in a recent blog entry you stated that saying the truth is very important to you even at the expense of disrespecting the dead? Don’t you think there is distinction between being honest and tactful and being deliberately mean and hurtful?
There is a huge distinction and personally am not the type to say mean and hurtful stuff just for the sake of keeping it real, but then I also do not hold any grudges against people who say mean and hurtful stuff but still keep it honest. As long as Honesty is the end goal, then the ends justify the means in my opinion. I would rather be unhappy and know the truth, than be happy and live a lie.

I would like to end the interview by saying congrats on your recent win in the Nigerian blog Awards. You certainly are an interesting addition to blogsville. 

I hope this interview was able to shed a little more light on what Azazel is about. Questions and comments are welcome.