Angela Inyena Anietie
Success and breakthrough do not come by so easily as some would think. One has to work so hard, pray to God who is the governor and creator of all things, and then follow his lead, listen to the still small voice and learn from true and positive mentors.
My life has truly been shaped by my parents, Elder Anthony and Leah Igbikifamama Oju-Kienmie who are epitome of courage, hope, perseverance, love, joy, gentleness, modesty, hospitality and faith in God. Besides it has been further impacted by my childhood Sunday school teachers in the Salvation Army (an evangelical and social international organization that feeds the hungry and thirsty men and women with both spiritual and physical food), Pastors from different denominations, the committed teachers in St. Andrews State Primary School 1, Mile 1, Diobu, Port Harcourt, (1982-1986 sessions) and not the least, the electronic and print media chief among them the Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Rivers 99.1 FM, Port Harcourt my childhood station and ever remains the voice of experience), the Tide Newspaper (from 1982-till date) and other stations in Rivers state and beyond.
The media gave me a platform to also contribute to societal, developmental issues, issues affecting youths, parents, the economy, politics, health, education and so on and so forth. The media is actually a school as the media educate, inform and entertain. Here, I can add that the media also motivate. The voices we hear on the airwaves have ways of pinning one down to listen to programmes from start to finish.
I first heard about Rainbow Book Club (RBC) GCLF on Treasure 98.5FM, P.H in 2008 when I was busy preparing for the launch of my maiden book “The Total Girl’ in April, 2008 inPort Harcourt. This book was presented to the public by her Excellency, Dame Judith Amaechi, the wife of the executive governor of Rivers state. It was her first outing.
She advised me to liaise with the ministry of education and information for the sale of the book. I heeded her advice, did a letter to the former commissioner for education, Prof. Owate John, who was a source of encouragement to me. He appreciated the work ‘The Total girl’ which he attested to be a must read for all boys and girls.
It took barely one year for me to follow up the letter requesting the inclusion of the book in the list of recommended texts for secondary schools which I submitted since August, 2008. The letter passed through the different protocol and finally got its approval in 2009, October. It was listed under English Literature for JSS 1 and 11. Ever since I tried to move for its procurement by the ministry and haven’t succeeded yet. It would have been possible before now if protocol had paved way for me to see her Excellency one on one. The letters sent to the first lady through the state House of Assembly, E. S. I and Government House have no response yet. Getting a publisher to reproduce the work had also not yielded fruits. Although, I am still optimistic that someday it will become a thing of the past.
Her Excellency’s prayer at the book launch at NUJ Press centre,Moscow Road, on the fateful day, 26th April, 2008 yielded fruits. She had prophesied that the book “the Total Girl’ will go places. This prophecy came to fruition when I made application to the education ministries ofEdoand Ebonyi states and was approved just in 2009, September. Getting loans or having tripartite business nipped in the bud due to the problem in the banking sector then. Despite the challenge I am forever grateful to Dame Judith Amaechi, who inspired me o do more. Presently, I have 6 works to publish, having prepared them from 2007 till date and am still writing.
Epileptic power supply was yet another challenge that hindered me from following up the advert at the time. Then in 2009, Dr. Mrs. Elizabeth Donald Obot (my Christian mother from childhood) heard an announcement and advert concerning the festival on one of the radio stations and she called on me to log on to the website and book for the book fair. I did that, but what prevented us from paying the bills was as a result of insufficient copies of The Total Girl available. Then in 2010, I heard the advert again but could not attend the workshop due to health challenge. What will be, will be says the song writer! In my mind I actually taught I have totally missed out, but little did I comprehend that God was preparing me for a more fruitful participation at the Garden City Literary Festival of 2011.
During the general elections I left my Diobu residence where I registered at MGHS (formerly GGSS)Harbour Road, Town,Port Harcourtto stay over with a relative so I can effectively participate at the polls as a patriotic citizen.
The 2011 general elections was a wonderful experience for me. I was prepared, fully prepared. I went for the accreditation on time, voted and waited for my vote to be counted all through the days. I narrowly would have missed the presidential elections but as God would have it succeeded and did vote for President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan (GCFR) and his running mate, Architect Namadi Sambo. I would have been the most unhappy woman all through this year and years to come if I had not voted for them. The joy and gladness that flooded my soul all through the period launched me into a beautiful and miraculous experience.
On Sunday morning, 17th April, 2011 at about 2.30am atHarbour Road, I woke up from sleep, having had a dream. What was my dream all about?
I was in a women’s forum where her Excellency Dame Judith Amaechi was the guest of honour. It was a beautiful gathering where many trouped in to see things for themselves, celebrate and jubilate as well. Women from all walks of life where gathered. I was expected to perform: to make a speech as well as give a piece of music but was deprived and was intimidated from doing so by some groups of persons. Reluctantly, I was called upon by a few women to present an item a souvenir to the first lady who came forward to receive it. Before she did, she excused me, went behind the podium with her entourage, came back. Then I stretched my hands, towards her to present the souvenir, some of the women shouted at me, yelling “won’t you wait for her entourage? I stood focused. I never said a word. But I asked myself. “Am I not doing it right? This happened three consecutive times. The first lady was patient and was observing me. Finally, I gave her the souvenir, thanked her. In response, she appreciated my effort, encouraged me to be courageous, focused and never to stop striving. She gave me a beautiful and captivating smile and bade me goodbye, told me she will keep in touch. She waved others too and was led out by the security officers and her entourage. As I woke up, I prayed. I tapped my aunty who was having her quiet time and shared the dream with her. She encouraged me and told me God will certainly see me through the storms.###