A Konnect Africa Interview with Izere Imosemi: Lawyer and Freelance Writer
Hello there, trust you are doing well.
It is another Konnect Africa interview. Today, we are featuring a Freelance Writer. Not long ago, while reading one of Nigeria’s dailies, I stumbled on an article written by our Guest in today’s interview. I was impressed with her delivery and made a mental note to get in touch with her.
Somehow, I didn’t get around doing so until I stumbled on yet another one of her articles a few weeks later. I was so impressed yet again that I immediately dispatched an email to her. I often read the Punch newspaper. That email has gone full circle and has given birth to this interview.
So without much ado, join me in welcoming Izere Imosemi to Konnect Africa. I tell you, there is a whole lot to learn from this interview. So, take a chill pill and enjoy it all. Cheers!
Tell us about Izere Imosemi – family, ethnicity, education, career….
I was born in Lagos , and I am the third child in a family of seven. I had my first degree in law from Ambrose Alli University and a post graduate degree also in law, from the University of Lagos.
You are a columnist in the Punch Newspapers in Nigeria. What inspired it and how did you land the gig?
I am actually not a columnist in Punch. I more or less do a lot of freelancing with my writing. I recently wrote a legal piece for publication in ThisDay, and I do a lot of writing online, particularly on my blog izereng.com, where I blog about different issues, every Monday morning. Regarding inspiration, I guess it’s the environment we live in and the issues and challenges we face every day as Nigerians, and then sometimes, I have funny ideas “dancing in my head” and I get restless, until I put pen to paper or hands to keyboard.
Would you call yourself a Writer?
Well, I trained as a lawyer so I would say, I am a lawyer who writes.
What has been your experience so far since you started writing for the newspaper?
It’s been interesting, and very enlightening. I remember when I wrote my first piece sometime in the year 2012, I think, and it went viral online, and then I got a lot of response from many young Nigerians, commenting on the write-up and it was being discussed on various blogs and fora online. I was happy that young people were asking the right questions and discussing the issues raised in the write up.
I believe it is extremely necessary that we continue creating conversations and discussions that affect the future of young people in this country.
What would you say is the most important ingredient for uncommon success in writing for a national newspaper?
I believe the ingredient for success in any aspect of life would be hard work, consistency and diligence.
Izere Imosemi is also a Lawyer, in fact, a Partner in a Law Firm. How does she combine her legal profession with being a freelance writer?
I used to be a partner in a law-firm I started with two of my friends, shortly after we were called to the Bar, however as we grew in the profession, we are still young lawyers though, we developed different interests and parted ways.
I presently, head the legal department in a financial advisory firm in Lagos. In terms of combining law practice with my writing, I try very hard to make judicious use of my after work hours and my weekends. Sometimes I am successful, other times, I am unsuccessful. I am learning to be disciplined and structure my time.
Where do you see your writing exploits 5 years from now?
I am currently working on a number of private projects, which would be made public soon enough. I hope izereng.com becomes the “go to place” for young cerebral minds, for people seeking to be inspired, and for people who just want to rant about the issues in their lives.
Some people reading this interview might be interested in writing for a newspaper. Where can they start? What are the first steps they should take?
I believe the times we live in, offers immeasurable opportunities and prospects. I always tell myself perfectionism is the enemy of progress, for anyone who wishes to write anything, start where you are, with what you have. You can start a blog, there are many online avenues like KonnectAfrica.net that offer great platforms for writing, and most importantly you do not have to be perfect before you start.
If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ [websites, books, materials] you’d recommend, which would you include and why?
For books, I would recommend the Bible, because it is the Bible, and the Alcehmist because, it gets you thinking about yourself and what your true part in life is.
I also watch a lot of Ted-talks, and commencements speeches, to keep myself constantly motivated. I read up on what young people in different parts of the world are doing to put my aspirations in perspective, and remind myself that I am still far from where I should be.
What are three things you’ve told yourself that kept you going during your darkest hour?
I often tell myself, perfectionism is the enemy of progress, there is space for everyone to shine and God is on my side, so I am wining already.
What is your inspiration? What keeps you going?
The fear of not maximizing my talents and skills.
How important have mentors been in helping you get to where you are today? Any mentors?
I have just one mentor and he keeps encouraging me to write more often. He also helps to review some of my work from time to time. I am still working on getting one or two more though.
I think it’s important for young people to have mentors because you get to learn from life experiences of people you respect and admire.
For you, Life is..
full of prospects and opportunities.
Africa will rise when…
merit and hard work is recognized and rewarded.
What words of wisdom or advice would you like to leave with the youths of Africa? Inspire a young African in a sentence;
Do not give up, do not be a victim, we can still outwit our environment, in spite of limitations.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Keep up the good work, KonnectAfrica.Net and thank you for interviewing me.
You are welcome Izere.
Do you have any questions? Please feel free to ask in the comments below.
© 2016, Arise Arizechi. All rights reserved.
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