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Four lessons I have learnt about answering questions in a conversation.

1. ” I don’t know” is a refreshingly valid and perfectly acceptable answer to any question for which you don’t know it’s answer. If you don’t know, don’t make things up.

2. Do not readily assume you know the motive behind a question. That’s what the fish on your plate did with the hook and the bait.

3. Don’t lie, but always remember that people don’t always want to, or have the ability to handle the truth. The opposite of ‘truth’ is not always falsehood, sometimes it is (timed) ‘silence’.

4. A long uncomfortable silence before a thoughtful answer is better than a swift but careless response. Nobody remembers how long it took to say something thoughtful but a stupid comment can live forever.

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Tolu Akinyemi

Tolu' Akinyemi was born in Akure, the capital city of Ondo State, Nigeria.

His writings have appeared in a number of notable anthologies such as 'Verses From The Sun', an Association of Nigerian Authors anthology, 'A Way With Words' (2014 & 2016), a Great British Write Off Anthology and other printed and online outlets. His poetry play 'The Big Society'; written for The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, London was performed at The Greenwich-Lewisham Young People's Theatre, London. In 2017, he was named on the 'Nigerian Writers' Awards' list of '100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers under 40' and also won the 'Poetry Writer of the Year' Award. In March 2017 he obtained an 'Exceptional Talent Endorsement' as a writer, from the Arts Council England.

You can find Tolu on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (@poetolu). He believes in 'The Big Bang Theory' TV Show, Google and Jesus. Tolu currently lives in London, England.

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