Friday, 13 March 2020

Sakina Shabbir Dossaji is interviewed by Author Brenda Mohammed, Regional Director, Operations, Motivational Strips

Dear Readers,

Today I am interviewing SAKINA SHABBIR DOSSAJI, a brilliant and lovely poetess from Tanzania.

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a teacher by profession and a poetess by passion.
I am a mother of three, born and raised in Kenya, married and living in Tanzania.

How did you get started on your writing journey?

I discovered my writing skills when I was 13yrs old.
At school, we were required to submit poems for a poetry competition.
My teacher used to smile whenever she read it and that made seven of my classmates ask me to write for them consecutively.
Thereafter, I used to write on paper and give it to my friends to read during social gatherings.
Anxiously, I would search their faces for validation.
I used to post my writings on the school literary boards and pin some on bulletin boards in the community hall.
It thrilled me when readers would line up to read them.
There were a few international mailing groups where I used to post my Poems, viz Akhbar e Burhani and Malumaat.
Later on, I read my poems on stage, and never missed an opportunity to showcase my talent.
I also made inspirational videos and posted them on social media.

Are there any poets or writers who influenced you?

My father was my mentor.
He personally guided me on how to write essays, debate points, and strengthen my vocabulary.
He would bring home the Reader’s Digest often.
My sister encouraged me to keep on writing.
Both of them are poets.
When I was a little girl, newspapers and activity books appealed to me.
I loved watching Shakespeare plays and read Rumi quotes.
I enjoyed reading books by Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, Sydney Sheldon, and Danielle Steele, and always dreamt of being an author.

Are you a member of any Literature Forums and how have they influenced you?

A dear poet friend introduced me to Motivational Strips Global Forum, and it changed my life forever with its admirable teamwork and intellectual admin board. It opened doorways for golden opportunities and a reputed platform to share my work.
Acknowledgment, recognition, and appreciation became part of my literary journey.
The Forum encouraged, boosted and lent power to my wings.
I was appointed Moderator for Tanzania by the Founder Shiju H.Pallithazheth, who plays a major role in guidance and literary growth.
World Nation Writers’ Union, Kazakhstan, an Associate of Motivational Strips, honoured me with membership.
They are highly acclaimed and I have won many awards from them.

How to Write for Success is another Literary forum that provides enlightenment for members.
I have participated in their three bestselling anthologies which all made Amazon Bestseller No 1 in Poetries and Anthologies.
It was indeed an honour to be named a bestselling co-author three times in a row.
Recently, I have been publishing articles in the national newspaper of Tanzania, The Citizen Newspaper.

Do you have plans to write a novel. What is it about?

I certainly plan to write a novel that shall enthrall the reader from the start.
It is going to be about love, betrayal, suspense, tears, and joy.
Romance genres are my favourite.
I also plan to publish my poems in a book.

Where did inspiration for this come from?

I used to admire the author’s glossy pictures at the back of their books and kept dreaming of mine since I was just nine.
Readers of my work encouraged me to do the same and often asked, “Have you thought of writing a book?”
My latest inspiration is best selling author, Brenda Mohammed of Trinidad, the Founder of How to Write for Success Literary Forum.
She has been constantly advising me to publish a book.
Winning accolades for poetry, articles, and short stories have added fervour to my dream to be a published author.
I am inspired by nature, humanity, spiritualism.
I love art, travelling, philosophy, and cookery.

Who do you think would like your story and what kind of readership are you aiming for?

My first novel will be suitable for adults, and I may write a book of bedtime stories for young adults.

What is the message you will be trying to get across in your book?

The books will highlight [1]that there are consequences for every choice we make, [2]the importance of being true to one another,
[3]How to cherish your blessings and not take them for granted and [4] Nothing can break the spirit of an emboldened woman.

What is your writing process like?

I think of a topic, begin with the first line, and the rest of it flows.
I don’t pre-plan.
Once done, I read it again and edit the sentences.
It is the same with poetry.
In cases of factual articles, I do some research and then draft it.

How do you go about editing your work?

There is often very little editing to do.
I often stick with my original lines.
I only look for grammatical errors and search for synonyms to make better sentences.

Is there something about the writing process you wish someone had told you before?

Good or bad, writing is a learning process to explore on your own and I have thoroughly loved the journey.

Every reader has a unique method.

There is no comparison but as you keep writing, lessons keep unfolding, making you into a better writer day by day.

The discovery is entirely yours to make, at your own pace.

What is your advice for writers?

Writer's block is a temporary phase.
Keep penning, be consistent, and explore new genres.
Always know that there are two kinds of people; those who give constructive criticism, and others who are discouraging.
Your work is specially crafted by you,
it is unique in its own way.
Take pride in your work.
Keep reading and writing and do not forget to encourage your fellow writers.
Remember an award is just encouragement, and a gesture of appreciation.
There is no competition, no comparison.
The only competition is with your own self, as you strive to become better each day.

What are your social accounts if people want to connect with you?

My Instagram handle is @sd.words; My Facebook page is Sakina's Poetry Petals; My Personal Facebook page is Sakina Shabs.

YouTube Channel: Sakina's Poetry Petals.


Sakina S. Dossaji was born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya.
She is currently residing in Tanga, Tanzania with her husband and 3 children.
A teacher by profession, and a poetess by passion, she loves to write poetry, stories, articles, and conduct activity clubs for kids at ‘Kids Curiosity Club’.
She is a Moderator for Tanzania at Motivational Strips, the world’s most active and qualitative writers forum, where she has gained qualitative literary experience and leadership qualities.
Additionally, she is a privileged member of World Nations Writers' Union Kazakhstan and a member of the Alumni of North American Montessori.Centre.
She acquired her literature skills at Aga Khan High School, Mombasa, and inherited skills mostly from her father whose passion lies in writing English song lyrics, poems, articles, and creating crossword puzzles.
Her favourite pastime includes reading, creating motivational videos, writing poetry, playing word games like scrabble, Make-up art, listening to songs and making new friends.
She received the ‘Global Literature Guardian Award’ by Motivational Strips and the same was endorsed by World Nations Writers Union and Union Hispanomundial de Escritores. Motivational Strips also conferred upon her the ‘Order of Shakespeare Medal’.
Sakina was also a recipient of the ‘Temirqazyq’ award for the best poet/writer of the world in 2018. The award holds much respect.
She has also been a jury member for the much-coveted award ’Bold Gold Pen’ instituted by Motivational Strips.
In 2019 she was appointed as the President representing Tanzania for Union Hispanomundial De Escritores (UHE), Peru.
She is co-author of Amazon No 1 Bestsellers, A Spark of Hope Volumes 1 and 2, Anthologies for Saving Lives and Break the Silence: An Anthology against Domestic Violence.
She has been featured in many other anthologies, magazines, and newspapers.
Thus, Sakina holds a very vital part in contributing qualitative literary practices around the world.

Thank you Sakina Shabs for enlightening us on your writing journey.


  1. Talented writer. Keep it up sakina.

    1. Thank you so much. Truly appreciate it🌼🌸

  2. Wow.. Sakina shabs i love all your poems... Keep going soul mate..

    1. Am glad you like them. Thank you soulmate, too💝💕

  3. You will always be an Inspiration to all Writers, emerging and accomplished. Thank you for being you.

    1. Thank you so much sir. It means a lot. Blessings and love.

  4. proud of u, my friend...keep up the great work

  5. Keep writing good to know about you, inspiration

  6. Keep writing good to know about you, inspiration