Dr (Mrs.) Ejiro Joyce Otive-Igbuzor is a minister, wife entrepreneur and proud mother of two amazing children, Ovie Ogheneyoma Otive-Igbuzor son, a graduate of economics and a daughter, Rukevwe Uriri Otive-Igbuzor, a law student. She Is relentless in her pursuit of success and passion for family and she manages to juggle all her duties seamlessly. A typical example of beauty and brains that every woman should look up to. in this interview with Omamuzo Efidhere she describes her journey through life and what she hopes to accomplish next.
Can we meet you?
I am Dr (Mrs.) Ejiro Joyce Otive-Igbuzor. I am a Pastor, serving as the Assistant General Overseer of Palace of Priests Assembly. I attended Aganbi Primary School in Eku and St Theresa’s College, Ughelli, Delta State. I am Microbiologist – with a BSc in Microbiology from the University of Ibadan; MSc Medical Microbiology from the University of Maiduguri and PhD Microbiology from the University of Ibadan with specialty in tuberculosis bacteriology and TB/HIV coinfection.
I started work, teaching biology in Maiduguri International Secondary School but within a short while I moved to become a Lecturer in Ramat Polytechnic in Maiduguri. After that, I got a job with the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) as a research fellow in the North East outstation. When my family relocated to Lagos in the year 2000, I got a transfer to NIMR headquarters in Yaba, Lagos. I worked in NIMR till November 2003 and left after I got a job in the development sector with the USAID-funded Policy Project as a Senior Program Officer. From there I got another job with the United Nations Development Funds for Women (UNIFEM). It is currently called UN WOMEN and I served as the Gender and HIV/AIDS Programme Coordinator for Anglophone West Africa.
From UNIFEM, I got a job as Country Director, Nigeria for a US-based, women-focused organization, Center for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA). I worked in CEDPA for a few years up till 2008 when I decided to leave and one of the reasons why I left was to have flexibility to do Ministry and still work. I had founded the Women Empowerment and Reproductive Health Centre (WERHC) a few years back while I was still in Lagos around 2000 – 2001 but we took off effectively more like 2002 and we were running it alongside working in NIMR as a Civil Servant at the time. So, I went back to run my NGO, WERHC and while running the NGO I also set up Emerald International Development Services (EIDS) which is a consultancy firm. So for me, setting up WERHC was more like having a platform to vent my passion for women’s rights, support young upcoming women, give them direction, focus and empower them with skills to excel in their various fields of endeavour and then Emerald is an income-generating Company through which we provide paid services to various clients in the development sector, United Nations agencies, Federal and State Governments and other clients across the world that require our services. Doing my own thing gave me the opportunity to grow my ministry. And by my ministry, I mean focusing on women’s development within the Christendom, teaching God’s Word and of course supporting my husband as a Pastor.
I was am the fourth child of Mr. Vincent Good Agbabune of Okpara Inland. My mother of blessed memory, Queen Mary Enaturu hailed from Kokori but I grew up with my maternal grandmother in Eku, so I spent my youthful years in Eku where I obtained my primary education and left for boarding house in St Theresa’s College, Ughelli for my secondary education. My Mum was pregnant with me when my Dad left the country to school in America. My Mum was also in Nursing School and after she had me, my grandmother, Madam Ohwofariere Ugborugbo picked me up as a baby and nursed me while my Mum went back to School. My grand mum became the first Mama that I knew. Ours was a love relationship. She paid for my education till my Dad returned from the US in 1975.
How did you get born again?
I grew up practically in church while living with my grandmother, though she was not going to church at the time. Thank God she gave her life to Christ before she passed on. I grew up in the Ugborugbo family compound in Eku and every child attended First Baptist church. I became very active in church. I was in the choir, as early as age seven, got baptized at age 10 and left for secondary school. Though my secondary school was a Catholic School, we could attend our various churches on Sundays and for me it was Baptist. So, I grew up in church practically but do not think that I understood the concept of being born again until I went to the University. The first university I attended was Bendel State University, Ekpoma where I joined a fellowship Youth for Christ (YFC) led by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. It was in Youth for Christ that I understood the concept of being born again and that was when I gave my life to Christ. After year one, I secured a transfer to University of Ibadan and continued as a Baptist though attending Pentecostal services and fellowships, occasionally.
What is your duty as the Assistant General Overseer of the Palace of Priest Assembly?
My official duty is to act on behalf of my husband, the General Overseer in all his duties, spiritual duties (being an ordained Pastor myself) and Management of the Church. So, when he is not around, I take charge till he is back. Luckily our Ministers and staff are also up and doing and very supportive too. As an Assistant G.O., my spiritual duties also include uplifting my husband spiritually, praying for him for greater anointing, protection, wisdom and prosperity.
Because I have a flair for writing, I also do a lot of write-ups for the church. I write the Sunday School Manual titled: Possessing the Nations through Sunday School. My husband and I also write the Priests and Kings Daily Devotional Guide with occasional inputs from my daughter, Rukevwe. I also write tracts and I do a lot of promotions online.
Before we started this Ministry (Palace of Priests Assembly), I founded a women’s ministry called the Deborah’s International inspired by my passion for the character called Deborah in the Bible. In Judges 4 and 5, she was described as the wife of Lapidoth, a mother in Israel, a career woman, a professional, being a Judge, a warrior who led men to war and won and on top of all that, she was still known by her Ministry as a Prophetess. I see in her a lot of similarities with my life and my experience as a Minister. What I admire about the character of Deborah is the fact that despite everything she was, she did not abandon her calling. You know, we women often give excuses – ‘I am married, I do not have time for ministry; I have children, I am a career woman, I have a business to run’, and so on. In giving these excuses, we may be indirectly telling God, ‘you have been too good to me and now I don’t have time for you’.
As a wife, mother, career and professional woman who has seen it all, I have chosen to prioritize Ministry because in everything, my relationship with God comes first. My career growth came in quick successions. I was already leading a multi-million-dollar NGO in my thirties. I am never intimidated by money. I have also seen wealth dwindle rapidly. The only thing that endures both here and in the hereafter is our knowledge of Jesus, our relationship with Him and the assurance of eternity with Jesus. Every other thing is secondary. People often ask how I can combine all my secular activities with being a Pastor, a wife, a mother. My answer is that Ministry is number one and every other thing must fall in line or ship out. I also tell people that nothing about me is secular. I am a Spiritual being and I bring my spirituality into everything that I do – academics, my work, relationships, etc.
As a woman, you can be anything you want to be but wisdom dictates that you plan your life and not lose sight of your Ministry. That does not mean that I have found a perfect balance. Like one of my friends said, we joggle life, but God comes first. When it is time to focus on the children, we put our energy there fully; when it is time to do Ministry, we do it fully; when it is time to attend to our husbands, we attend to them fully. So, we joggle life as it comes but prioritization is very important and then planning, planning your time is very important and that is one of the reasons why by the grace of God, we can succeed at our level today.
To support my fellow women, I started a group called the Deborah’s International (DI), an inter-denominational group to share experiences, learn from each other, build skills and make them see that with proper planning and prioritization, we can all be successful wives, mothers, career or business women and still be successful in our worship of God and making our Ministries and callings sure. DI was not a church, it was open to every woman who was interested, and we met once in a Month. And then when this Church (PPA) was founded, the Women’s Fellowship of the Church decided to adopt the name Deborah Sisters. All those passions of grooming women, showing them possibilities, building their confidence to know that they are not meant to be down-trodden or looked down upon has paid off.
I have testimonies of women who have built solid businesses, including traveling abroad to purchase goods for sale. One of them has gone from being a full-time house wife to owning six shops in Abuja and buying land in Benin (her home state). Some of our members went back to school and are now trained and licensed professionals.
I also founded Professional Women’s Global Connect (PWGC), committed to training and mentoring young people to have competitive advantage in the labour market. As a way of giving back to society, we have a mentorship group for those interested in building skills in Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender.
In addition, we have formed a women’s prayer group called the Timbrel Battalion. Timbrel refers to tambourine and what we do is use praise for warfare. So once in a quarter, we bring women together and the church hall is usually too small for the multitude that attends this program. They come from different churches, we use praise as a weapon of warfare and it is always a refreshing time. It is usually an evening program. Our symbol is the tambourine. We have heard a lot of testimonies coming out of those meetings.
In terms of empowerment, my husband and I also have a foundation called the Ejiro and Otive Igbuzor Foundation. We empower not just women but business people. we started by giving seed grant to some people in our village many years ago and they ran a cooperative society successfully. So, we have extended to other villages and when I marked my fiftieth birthday in June, we also decided to start new groups by empowering mostly women in the church and other new people in the village. We gave them some seed grants to add to their businesses or to start new ones.
August this year (2018), I also extended the empowerment to children. We organized a Girls Day Camp during the long holiday with the theme: Empowered to Claim My Space. We brought girls from all walks of life together and we used the curriculum to teach and train them to build their self-esteem and give them direction in life. We gave them a template for life planning to say, five years from now, where do you see yourself, what are the steps you need to take to get to that point and it was really very successful because most of the parents who allowed their children to come to that camp have given a lot of testimonies about how the children have matured with the kind of wisdom they got from the girls camp.
What is the role of a Pastor’s wife?
Honestly for me even being a Pastor’s wife is a ministry because once you are a Pastor’s wife, all eyes are on you. Whether you like it or not, people look at you from your dressing to your speech to the way you even behave at home. People want to see how you take care of members of your home. It is an all-round role. You become a role model.
It is a spiritual role most especially because as a Pastor’s wife, you need to be on your knees, not just for your husband which is your number one priority in terms of prayers but also for the congregation that he pastors because when he succeeds, then you succeed. Much of the roles the pastor’s wife plays are behind the scene. But that behind the scene role is very important because when you are on your knees praying, things begin to happen in your husband’s ministry and it is all to the glory of God at the end of the day. But as a Pastor’s wife you are also a mother of the church and other women are looking up to you, they come to you for counseling, sometimes they come to you for their physical needs. Somebody does not have food in their house, they expect that as Pastor’s wife, you should make provision. What we have done in this church is that we have put up a system in place and we have a Welfare Department to which we all contribute and from there, they can distribute to members. You can see that there is a bag of rice and other items in my office (laughs) it is all part of the welfare scheme.
What is the Priests Peace and Justice Initiative all about?
The Priests Peace and Justice Initiative (PPJ) is the social arm of the church (Palace of Priests Assembly). It is a non-governmental organization but it is faith based and what we are trying to do is that beyond the spiritual needs of people which the church attends to, every human being has some physical and emotional needs to be met, some understanding of what they need to do even as citizens of the country, their civic rights, roles and responsibilities. What we are trying to do is to build well-grounded members who are not only grounded spiritually but know how to live properly as citizens of a country. We are looking at ensuring that people participate in politics and governance, ensuring that people understand what corruption is, that is the ability to identify corruption then shun corruption just like our project says, but also speak up against corruption because one thing is to shun corruption, that is, ‘I won’t do it’ but another thing is to speak up against corruption, to say ‘look what you are doing is wrong and it should not be done’.
And within PPJ, the project we are implementing right now, supported by MacArthur Foundation is titled: Mobilizing Christians Against Corruption (MOCAC) aka The SHUN Corruption project. That project also has the women’s arm called Christian Women Against Corruption which is also inter- denominational because we opened it up to all denominations, especially Pentecostal churches. So, we come together as a forum for women. The first few meetings we’ve had were more on sensitizing the women to understand what corruption is. The way the country is today, corruption has been entrenched into every fabric of society and many people no longer know what constitutes corruption. So sometimes they do things innocently thinking it is right whereas it is wrong. We sensitized Christian women to identify corruption and what we did was to hold various panel discussions. We had people from different sectors; health, education, even the home front, business place, government regulatory body, etc. When the question of what constitutes corruption was raised, examples of different types came from different sectors. We also have trained them on how to mobilize against corruption. So eventually what we plan to do is to have a network of women working together to fight corruption actively in the various sectors where they operate.
Tell us about the peaceful demonstration you held recently to secure the release of Leah Sharibu?
Leah Sharibu is a little girl in Boko Haram’s custody and when her mates were released, they refused to let her go because she wouldn’t denounce her religion and we came out as a Church to demonstrate because we are proud of her, that a girl of her age has been able to stand strongly to proclaim that Jesus is Lord and she would not go back on her proclamation. We came out to show our solidarity for her parents, because we are all parents too, putting, ourselves in their shoes, for your child to be somewhere that you know nothing about, going through whatever, it is she is going through, we can only imagine what that little girl is subjected to at this time. We came out to add our voice to the voices of other Nigerians who have also called for her release but at the end of the day, like it or not, it is only the government of Nigeria and maybe a few international supporters that can negotiate her release so when more people come out to talk about it, we believe that the government will hear us and take action to secure her release.
The government oversees security in Nigeria, our constitution says, the welfare and security of Nigerians are the reasons that government exists. Government exists to protect the people. Boko Haram may be making some demands and the government could have a stand that they are not going to release funds to any terrorist group to secure the release of anyone but this is somebody’s child we are talking about and why Nigerians may be seeing her as just one girl out of the many, the parents are in pain and anguish so, I still want to appeal to the government of the day to use their security networks and whatever means of negotiation to bring about the release of Leah. We think that the government is not doing enough, or they are not talking about what they are doing for us to know that they are actually making enough effort. Government cannot be helpless, individuals can be helpless, but government cannot be seen to be helpless in a situation like this.
As a mother what word of advice do you have for the parents of Leah Sharibu?
I am appealing to them to remain calm even though I know how difficult it is to remain calm when your daughter is in a place where you don’t know. But I think the best we can do for them at this time is to comfort them, pray along with them because we are a spiritual body and we know that prayer changes all things. Even when people say, this is not something to pray about, we know it is something to pray about. The Bible says, ‘the heart of a king is in the hands of God’. God can touch their hearts and they will release her.
Tell us more about the program held recently in Abuja, Training of Pentecostal Leaders for Election Observers for Election Observation.
The training on election observation for Pentecostal leaders was done under the SHUN Corruption Project. Part of the work we have designed to do with MacArthur is to train Pentecostal leaders on how to participate to ensure credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria. So we brought Pentecostal leaders together first of all do tell them that it is important to participate in the political activities of the country but also that there are guidelines on election observation that they need to know and understand, the rules, the do’s and don’ts and we have some money set aside by the project to deploy election observers and when you deploy observers to the field on election day, what are you trying to do is ensure that the process is transparent and free because when anything is subjected to scrutiny, people become careful not to be indicted. Like other bodies, PPJ will submit its observation reports to INEC. Report from the Pentecostal sector will be credible because they are supposed to be people who are fair, honest, not people who can be bribed to change their report. That is why we met, and we went through the rules and guidelines for observers and how to capture their findings on election day.
Are you in support of the move that the church must vote and not leave politics for politicians?
Definitely! What does the Bible say? It says, ‘when the righteous rule, the people rejoice’. The church exists with a country and Christians can be politicians as well. That ‘the Church must vote’ is something we align with fully but even in addition to that, we are also promoting the fact that Christians should vie for positions and not to say politics is dirty and therefore leave it to dirty people to continue to rule us. No! If you want the country to change, Christians must begin to take up positions as well as cast their votes because like we often say in that sector, your vote is your power. We cannot just sit back and say we are praying for the country and not go out there and cast our votes. Selecting your leaders is part of your civic responsibility.
Congratulations as you just clocked 50, and you do not look like it, does this have to do with good genes, lifestyle or dieting?
I don’t know about not looking 50 (laughs). I personally believe in eating well – nutritious food; since I read Medical Microbiology, with my little knowledge of personal hygiene, good nutrition, exercise and those salient things about life, I do my best; I cannot say I am doing enough but there are some basic rules in my house with regards to personal hygiene, food and how things are handled and I bless God. As I grow older, I am trying to be more conscious of healthy habits. I have cut out sugar, I have cut out soda, I eat fewer carbs these days, I drink more water and I feel healthier. I also have a personal gifting in the area of Medicinal plants. Mysteriously, ever before I saw Aloe-Vera in real life, I have been dreaming of it since my secondary school days. I was stupefied the day I saw it at Tejuoso Market in Lagos. When I read about it, I found that it could address like 300 different conditions. Do you know that just chewing a bit of young Guava leaf cures diarrhea? Drinking young mango leaves boiled and left overnight reduces high blood pressure, and so on. I grow all these plants and many more in my compound in Abuja.
Is your life today a reflection of your childhood dreams?
Yes! I am not saying I have got everything but seriously speaking I am not far from my dreams. Interestingly as a young girl, I had always wanted to marry a Pastor, not that I had any Pastor I was targeting or eyeing, but that was my dream and when I met my husband, he was not a Pastor so there is a way God brings your dreams to pass even without you knowing how it happened. When I met my husband, he was not a Pastor but somewhere along the line, after many few years, we became ordained as Pastors. Even when we were going to Bible school those days in our former Church in Maiduguri, we weren’t going to Bible school to become Pastors. We just wanted to study the Bible to have in-depth understanding as we were Sunday School teachers in First Baptist Church, Maiduguri. But somewhere along the line the calling came, and my husband and I got ordained and here I am as a Pastor’s wife. So, when I look back to that early dream in my life and how I ended up being a Pastor’s wife, I know that it is just God taking the lead while I follow.
In terms of career fulfilment, I am glad and thankful to God and my wonderful husband who has brought out the best in me. Some husbands suppress their wives. Mine uplifts me. He was the one who bought my admission forms for master’s and PhD and paid the fees. I learnt about women’s rights from him. As a typical Urhobo girl, I was Ok with the traditional structure and roles. Thank God for a husband who opened my eyes to see my potentials and who has always been there solidly to mound me into the success that I am today. Many men compete with their wives, my husband promotes me, opens doors for me and urges me on. Many men talk down on their wives, my husband never does. His selfless support increases my love and respect for him every day. Otive is the husband to have. My Mum had a turbulent marriage and I asked for a husband that would give me peace. Otive gives me peace and no amount of money can buy that.
I have always wanted to be a rich woman – not for any form of arrogance but for financial independence. Even as a child, I was never good at asking my parents for money. I am at good place today financially (of course my husband also supports me and pays a lot of bills. When I am broke, he is the only one I can cry to.). Women need to articulate sources of income and not just lay back and become liabilities.
Who are those who motivate you, what inspires you?
The fear of God is one thing that inspires me and the people I look up to, they are the people who have the fear of God. We have talked about Deborah, she is my first inspiration, my first love when it comes to Bible characters, but I like people like Joyce Meyer, Oprah Winfrey and Regina Brett, who despite everything they went through in their background have been able to rise above those barriers and they are where they are today. Joyce Meyer have a very successful Ministry despite all odds. I also respect people who can combine family with work and ministry. Those kinds of people inspire me.
How can a woman be a woman of honor and not a woman of dishonor?
The Bible says in a great house there are various vessels, vessels unto honor and vessels unto dishonor (2 Tim 2: 20-22). Now when you look at vessels unto dishonor carefully you will find out that it relates to people who are living their lives according to the flesh and in Gal. 5:16-2, the Bible says ‘walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh’ and lust of the flesh talks about different kinds of things- malice, unforgiveness, gossip, fornication/adultery, all kinds of negative things; those are the things that disqualify you in the House of God, that make you a vessel unto dishonor.
So, I think for you to be a vessel of honor you must have a relationship with the Holy Spirit and one thing I cherish so much in life is having that personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. He gives you wisdom, He helps you say the right things, think the right thoughts, and take the right decisions in life. So, for a woman to become a vessel unto honour, you need the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will help you chart a career path, direct you in all your earthly roles – as a mother, a wife, a professional or business woman, help you relate well with your husband, and church members, etc. When you are a vessel onto honour, you carry yourself with dignity (not pride) and you exude grace and excellence in all that you do.
How can women add value to the lives of others?
Before you can add value to the life of others you must have value in yourself. You must be a person of high moral standards, a person who brings excellence to everything he or she does. It is easy for you to then add value to other people’s lives because you cannot give what you do not have.
Are there limitations to what a woman can achieve?
There are no limitations to what a woman can achieve. The only limitation I see is the individual herself. So, if you look at yourself and you do not have the ‘can do’ spirit and you always see negativity around you and focus more on those negativities then there will be limitations to what you can achieve. Every woman has an excuse not to be their best, having to attend to your husband, children and work can be exerting but not good enough excuses not to excel. But for you to rise above any limitation you must be self-motivated. The thing with us women is that nobody is going to clap for you because you achieved success at the same level with a man but what a woman needs to put in to succeed at the same level as a man is much more because of these other responsibilities, especially in our culture where a woman is saddled with a lot of domestic responsibilities. So, you must just motivate yourself, you must set targets for yourself and then put in whatever it takes to meet those targets.
For me as an individual I put my entire life into everything that I do so when I do my consultancy work for example, I put all my life into it to bring out excellence and when I relate at home also I like to put everything into it to ensure that the home front does not suffer just because I am succeeding out there. Apart from God, family is number one.
How many people do you have working under you?
I am the Managing Director of Emerald International Development Services Limited, a Development Consulting Firm. We have Board of Directors, a Principal Consultant, a Manager, some ad hoc staff and Consultants that work with us from time to time depending on the expertise that we need at a time. We have up to twenty experts in various fields that we can call upon at any time to take up a service depending on the area that is needed.
At 50, what has life taught you?
One of the lessons that life has taught me is that no matter who loves and cares for you, success in life is like child birth, even when people love and support you, you are the one who must push. Another key lesson has to do with money. There is no amount of money that somebody can give to you to make you rich; you must articulate a source of income for yourself if you must become rich. Also, the greatest gift in life is a peaceful marriage and my greatest possession is the Holy Spirit.
Your advice to women who have one excuse or the other for not working.
It is to tell them that if they want excuses, they can go to the sea and fetch several buckets of excuses, but excuse can never be a substitute for success. And if they want to succeed, they must look beyond excuses. In fact, they should not use the gifts of God (husband, children, jobs, businesses) as excuse, like Adam telling God that the wife you gave to me brought the forbidden fruit to me. We should celebrate God for giving us children and not use them as excuses for failing. I think the problem is really with us as individuals, they need to plan their time and their lives, and for the women whose husbands do not want them to get out of the house, you can negotiate that. I have had to counsel a woman who said my husband does not want me to work and she was just there doing nothing until I spoke to her and one night, she woke her husband up and today she has like six shops in Abuja. Everything in life is negotiation, you can negotiate with your husband, let him see the value you bring. Also let him see that you are going out there to work will not result to your neglecting your family life because that is why many men do not want their wives to get out of the house.
What completes you more – Jewelry, shoes, bags, make up.
I am not a person that you can say fashion completes. What completes me is family. When my husband and children are happy and well taken care of, I am happy. But in terms of fashion, I dress well but mostly for comfort, you will never find me wearing something that is too tight just to impress anybody. During my fiftieth birthday, the organizing committee wanted me to do certain things like bring a makeup artist to do my makeup, but I told them I am going to go there as I am for my birthday because I do not want to look like someone else on my day. I do not care much about those things, jewelries, sometimes I wear fashion earrings. Of course, I have gold, but I don’t care about it whether it is there or not it is not a motivation. Family and my ability to hear God clearly are the things that complete me.
Awards gotten so far?
I shy away from awards. One of the things I didn’t tell you is that I write plays. And I have a script writer award. Compared to what I read in School – Medical Microbiology, it is strange that writing plays excite me. When I am writing a play, I don’t remember to eat, I just bury myself in it; it is a gift that I have.
When did you notice this gift?
Interestingly I noticed it many years ago even before I left the University. Unfortunately, I didn’t zero in on it because I am not an art or literature student. I read science all through but the script that I wrote that won an award is called Deadly Paradise and it was a play on HIV. When my husband read the first page. he told me that this play would win an award if I continued in the same tempo. And it did win.
Sometime, many years ago when NTA Maiduguri called for script writer to send in scripts, I just had my first child at that time, my husband came one day and announced to me that I have just won an award and I am like I did not apply for any award and he said if you put in that your script I know, it is going to win and I put it in and it won.
What year did you discover you could write?
In Secondary School, I started writing the story of my life. I have a very interesting, story book-like history. I never published it and I hope to do so someday soon. In 1991 when I went for youth service, I started writing again. I wrote and keep and not publish. But the one that won an award I wrote and completed it in 1995 and my husband ensured that it was published and launched in the year 2001 in Lagos.
After that I have been writing stage plays. During Obasanjo’s election, I wrote a play ‘Our Chance’ and it was used to mobilize youths in higher institution to participate in elections without violence. Nollywood stars, Ejike Esiegbu used the script, sponsored by the Centre for Democracy and Development to go around some higher institutions to mobilize young people. I am hoping that one day I would retire into writing fully. I plan that starting this year; I must go back to writing because if I do not bring out those books in my head, I won’t feel like I fulfilled destiny.
Have you gone for any certification?
This year, I planned to register in Oxford University for an online course on Creative Writing. Unfortunately, I missed the deadline because I was not following up, so the next time the opportunity comes up I will register. On my own I have done a paid Online Course on Creative Writing by a private firm. Part of why I have been slow with creative writing is that I lack the required confidence. I have the flair, I like to write but I did not study literature. I remember the first play I wrote and an NGO in Enugu Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL) used it for a Schools competition to mark a certain solidarity day, a reporter came to interview me and was asking if the play was a prose. I did not know what a prose was, because the only literature I did was to read ‘Things Fall Apart, Eze Goes to School, etc in junior secondary school. I have many stories to tell but I like to do things professionally, so I will get a training and forge ahead.