Ngozi | Writer, editor and communications professional | As a freelance writer, I cover gender, human rights, culture, and feminism | With close to four years of experience in communications for development, my work focuses on creating strategic communications and partnerships, using digital media tools and channels | Founder and editor of Poda-Poda Stories, a digital platform sharing Sierra Leonean literature | FRIDA Young Feminist Fund Media Fellow (2018) | FRIDA Advisor and Moremi Africa Leadership Fellow | Sierra Leone
Instagram: @ngozicole and @podapodasl
1) THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
I have been doing a lot of creative work in the past 12 months, and the best part is growing my platform Poda-Poda Stories, which is a digital platform curating Sierra Leonean literature. It's been amazing to work on creative projects, listen to podcasts like Ctrl Alt Delete and Reframe to Create, which focus on thriving creatively. I've also discovered The Artists Way by Julian Cameron, which has helped me in my journey so far.
2) THE WORST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS? Nothing terrible has happened, I really can't recall a personal thing that I can say is the worst thing. Of course COVID-19 has affected us globally , especially in the way we interact with each other. There is limited movement and I've also missed some traveling opportunities. 3) YOUR BIGGEST WISH FOR THE NEAR FUTURE? My biggest wish is to be able to live a life of creative freedom, and also be compensated adequately for it. Creatives put so much work out there ans we do it solely out of passion. I really want to see the creative sector properly compensate writers, artists, and curators. 4) YOUR BIGGEST WORRY FOR THE NEAR FUTURE? My biggest worry is that the world will try to go "back to normal", when clearly, "normal" wasn't really working. Arundhati Roy wrote an essay in the early days of the pandemic, and she mentioned, " This (pandemic) one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next." 5) A CONTEMPORARY WOMAN YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRE? Mo Abudu, the CEO of Ebony Life Studio in Nigeria. Her work ethic, the way she's helped to transform Nollywood and shape storytelling on the continent-it's amazing. I also have a little dream that I'll work with her one day or interview her-or both!
6) A ONE-SENTENCE MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMEN? Bet on yourself.
THE WORLD HAS BEEN CHANGING DRAMATICALLY IN RECENT MONTHS, HOW ARE YOU COPING? I'm coping through the pandemic by being gentle with myself. I actually really like my space , so lockdowns and social distancing etc. during COVID wasn't really a problem for me. In many ways, I've been able to look inwards, figure out what I really like, what gives me peace and eliminate what disturbs my peace. I've also found so many beautiful connections online and done virtual interviews as well.