ON HER UNIVERSITY EDUCATION
DN: What did you study in the university?
SE: I studied Mass Communication at the University of Nnamdi Azikiwe, Awka.
DN: Did you have a problem with your family when you selected that course?
SE: I did not have a problem. Actually, I started with a Diploma in Law. I love Law so much but I discovered that studying Mass Communication would give me the foot with which to try other things. That is why I decided to go for a degree in Mass Communication. I had my parents’ support all the way.
DN: I have watched a lot of movies about the crazy things that university students do over there—drugs, immorality, non-commitment to their academic work to mention a few. Is that portrayal the reality on the ground?
SE: The portrayal is not the exact scenario here. Sometimes Nollywood exaggerates their stories and characters. For example, some movies show university students ‘half dressed’ in lecture halls, but the truth is that most universities here do not allow indecent dressing to school. Security will stop you at the gate and if you are inside a car you may pass the gate, but you cannot enter any office or lecture hall. But that is not to say that immorality, drugs, non-commitment to studies and so on does not exist. A lot happens.
DN: Any memorable (and horrifying) incident you witnessed as a student?
SE: One day during my third year, I took a cab to school because I was late for a quiz. The driver headed to an unknown destination. When I asked him, he said I should relax… he was speeding. We ended up in a deserted place near an uncompleted building. He stepped out and asked me to wait inside which I agreed. Only God knows how he forgot to lock the car. By the time he came back, I was far away and he couldn’t catch up with me.
Another memorable incident was the day we did a speech presentation exercise in class on the topic ‘Who are you’. When my turn came, I walked up to the stage smiling then I started talking. Up till this day I cannot figure out what happened there (laughs) but before I left the stage, the lecturer stood up and started clapping and my course mates joined her. She (the lecturer) asked me to write down everything I had said and give to her. I scored the highest in that course.
DN: How did you manage to come out unscathed?
SE: Coming out unscathed was not my own making. It was God’s doing.
DN: Any tips for university students who are (maybe understandably) under so much bad pressure?
SE: My advice is, they should put God first in everything that they do, mind the companies they choose to keep; they shouldn’t join the bandwagon no matter how tempting it is and remember what you went to the university to do and take it seriously.
ON ARRIVALS AND SOJOURN MEDIA (ASM)
DN: I must admit that ASM impressed me totally the very first time I visited the site. Good work. For how long had you nursed the idea?
SE: Thank you. The idea came up towards the end of 2010. We started working on it immediately and that is what resulted to the launch of AS magazine (print) maiden edition. It was a tour magazine that covered just Awka, Anambra state Nigeria where my school is located since there was no time to leave school and travel to other states for research.
DN: Why the name Arrivals & Sojourn?
SE: The name represents our goal for setting up ASM. It means coming and staying__ and staying in a particular place for sometime. Our goals are to show a peoples culture and their tourist attraction sites.
DN: What do you want the site to become?
SE: We are taking it one step at a time. There is a lot we want to put up in the site__ tourist attraction sites in Africa, a list of good hotels and eateries in Africa where tourists can spend their time and a business directory.
DN: Who do you work with?
SE: We have a team of web developers with my elder brother as the team head. They are responsible for structuring and updating the site based on the management’s decision.
DN: What do you do on the site?
SE: Writing articles for ‘Soul to Soul’ et al.
DN: What career do you intend to settle down on?
SE: I want to settle down as a TV presenter.
DN: What is your philosophy of life?
SE: Never look down on anyone; not even a newborn baby because they might just stand in a test. In a nutshell, humility is the name.
Sochima Ezeoke is one of the founders of https://www.asmedianig.com
Image credits: Sochima Ezeoke.