Opportunities for Young Professional Women in the Creative Industry
A talk about career opportunites for young women in the creative industry with Eugenia Abu, Chioma Ogbozor and Simi Fajemirokun.
Date: Thursday 22, June 2017
Time: 10am to 1pm
Venue: British Council, Plot 3645, IBB Way, Maitama, Abuja
Eugenia Abu @ 50
Role modeling and mentoring have been identified as critical tools towards nurturing Nigerian future leaders who will make the nation proud.
This was the opinion expressed by friends and well-wishers of ace broadcaster and creative writer Eugenia Abu as she turns fifty and a number of activities including a dinner in her honour were used to drive home the message.
The day belonged to Eugenia Abu at the Sheu Musa Yar adua centre where friends and well-wishers gathered to celebrate her 50th birthday at a public lecture titled BEING THE BEST YOU CAN BE.
Obviously a lot of people gathered to celebrate and had so much to say but not one to be outwitted, she showed just why her skills as a broadcaster and mentor to Nigeria's younger generation continues to endear her to many.
The evening provided opportunity to make merry, sway to some old tunes, sample out the latest fashion trends and listen to some truth especially as it relates to preparing another generation that would take over from the celebrant.
Many at the dinner party lamented the near absence of a mentorship tradition that had seen many young people treading the wrong path and ending up as tools in the hands of mischief makers.
The evening still belonged to Eugenia Abu for her accolades poured.
Apart from making a mark in broadcast journalism, Eugenia Abu has continued to inspire the younger generation through her mentoring activities evident in her creative writing class for under fifteen children.
She is also a poet, columnist and motivational speaker.
The Treasured Writers (TTW)
The Treasured Writers (TTW) is an annual summer writing workshop for children between ages 7 to 14. It lasts between 6 to 7 days and has events like picnics, skills acquisition exercises and prize giving ceremonies.
You can contact us for details of the next edition.
Breakfast in honour of 2013 Caine Prize shortlisted Writers
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim & El-Nathan John
The Eugenia Abu Centre hosted a breakfast in honour of the 2013 Caine Prize shortlisted writers. All four of the five shorlisted writers were from Nigeria with two of them based in Abuja.
The two shorlisted from Abuja are:
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and El-Nathan John.
The event was hosted at the Blucabana, Abuja.
Eugenia Abu Voted Most Inspiring Woman
Ace broadcaster and writer, Mrs. Eugenia Abu was Thursday night voted Nigeria's Most Inspiring Woman at the Vlisco 'Be Your Dream' Awards ceremony held in Abuja.
The event was part of the fabric company's celebration of Women's Month 2013.
Mrs. Abu was the favourite amongst voters from a well-heeled list that included renowned actress Mrs. Joke Silva; broadcaster and politician Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa; celebrated writer, Miss Chimamanda Adichie ; and former head of the MDG Office and development expert, Hajia Amina Az-Zubair.
Yvonne Chioke, Regional Representative of Vlisco, awarded the grand prize to Mrs. Abu which includes a trip to Holland (and a visit to the Vlisco factory). All the other nominees were equally honoured.
The event held at the International Conference Centre (ICC) and was hosted by Eku Edewor of 53 Extra and comedian Dr. Success Ayuba. Also present was Zeera Banu, ECOWAS Queen 2012. TFK Couture provided the designs for the runway show.
There were three more winners of the evening: Binta Shuaibu, Folashade Odetola and Ogechukwu Orabo all took home sewing machines courtesy Vlisco's Fashion Dream Award. Music grand-dame, Onyeka Onwenu, brought the audience to its feet with favourites like 'Ekwe', 'Missing You' and 'Let There Peace'. She closed the event with 'One Love.'
In August 2013, the Award winners of Congo, Benin, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria (Eugenia Abu), Ivory Coast and Togo arrived in the Netherlands for a 3-day visit. This inspirational trip, full of cultural and educational activities, was part of the first prize.
The ladies, also known as our Brand Ambassadors 2013, will provide the knowledge and experiences they gain during their visit to The Netherlands to women in their homeland and abroad.
- View the video of their trip to The Netherlands below -
Eugenia Abu on Nigeria's literary success story at the Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden
Eugenia Abu, for 17 years a news anchor on national television, is one of Nigeria's most recognisable faces. She now divides her time between writing books - poetry, fiction and non-fiction - and teaching and mentoring.. In the Blink of an Eye is the collection of essays that won her the ANA/NDCC Flora Nwapa prize in 2008. Her collection of poems, Don't look at me like that, also garnered much acclaim.
Eugenia Abu recently visited NAI, Sweden to talk about literature and share her views on her long career in the mass media.
On top of writing books, teaching and mentoring, you also have weekly columns in two national newspapers. How do you find the time?
'I wish I had the answer to this myself, finding time is difficult. I think it is passion that drives it. You know, when you love your work you do it without thinking about it. I tend to get a lot of work done in the night. I dedicate two nights a week to writing until very late and I get a lot of work done then. The other one is timing and balance ... I just concluded the children's writing workshop a day before I set out on this trip. It is called The Treasured Writers, for children aged 7-14 years, and it happens one week every summer.'
Talking about your literary boot-camp for children, in the age of text messaging and social media, are young people in Nigeria still interested in traditional forms of reading and writing?
'Young people are not reading as much as they used to, I agree with that. But when I teach, I teach 7-14 year-olds. It's important to catch them young when they are like a sponge - whatever you tell them they are interested. I tell them that it is important to read books because you need to be able to read well in order to write well. They are also very imaginative and they write the most brilliant sentences and are so inspiring. So, together, we learn from each other during the summer workshops, I enjoy it very much.'
Nigeria has produced a number of top international writers in recent years. Are there elements in Nigerian culture that make your country such fertile ground for literary talent?
'I think it can be attributed to the energy of Nigeria, the culture and the communities. The culture in my place (Abuja) is totally different from the culture in another person's place. But there are also things that bind us together as a people: our food, the way we eat it, the way we visit people who have had children, our community spirit, our dances, our traditional festivals. We also have oral tradition - a lot of stories about animals, for example, which our grandfathers and grandmothers told us by moonlight. That is not lost. These stories are still being told to our children. We are a people of storytellers.'
You also have a passion for mentorship, something you have described as a fast-track to building human capacity in Africa. Could you say something about your philosophy regarding mentorship?
'In Nigeria there is a tradition that when you move away to live in another city or to get married, they give you a cousin to come with you to learn from you. The young cousin goes to school but lives with you and learns from you: how to receive guests, not to be rude - it is a whole new school. At Christmas, Easter she goes home to her family. This is a traditional form of mentorship. But also in modern society I find that a lot of young graduates need also, apart from what they learn in university, to learn from life, from work. So I take on quite a lot of young people, maybe about eight a year. They spend two to three months with me and learn to organise an office space, to work in a multicultural environment, to deal with office hierarchy and to manage someone who is your boss. I encourage them to read, I buy them books and pay for IT training and leadership courses.'
Who do you turn to yourself when you need guidance?
'What I find is that I reenergise through my family. And as young girl I adored my father, I thought he was the most educated, best-looking man in the entire world. My father was an educationist and had a big library, which gave me the opportunity to read a lot as a very young girl. My mom also was a very special woman, who was constantly giving. She was a nurse. I found that she was able to connect with a lot of people and give back to society. My own immediate family now is very supportive and without them it would have been very hard for me to achieve a lot of the things I have done.'