Today being the 1st of May at 8:19PM, I’m scared.
But knowing that the easiest way to conquer fear is to talk about it, I decided to share.
Today, I started something new. A platform for people in and around Owerri to share stories that are familiar. Raw, unrefined, un-adulterated, organic, fresh out of the box, stories – their stories.
I present to you:
At one of Chude Jideonwo’s session at #SMWLAGOS2018, he explained the need to share our stories and gave us the confidence that our realities matter. And that it doesn’t matter how unrealistic or exotic it might be – it’s our voice and we should make it count.
I remember asking him a question.
Me: I live in Owerri and was born and bred here, but people are often shocked when I tell them that because apparently ‘I’m too cool’. I typically identify as a Lagos, or Abuja girl. And that is because of the stereotypes associated with people living and existing in a particular environment.
But what is my reality and story is not synonymous with my environment. What if I’ve travelled to all the continent’s from books and movies such that those are the only realities familiar with me. Or the realities I choose to identify with? Does that make me any less patriotic? What if I’m not interested in sharing my Nigerian story and I just write fictions about living in Mexico when I’ve never been there,but because from my books I identify with them more than my Nigerianess or Africanness? Does that make me any less Nigerian.
Chude: Please if you’re reality exists in Mexico, tell that story. Don’t bother about being too African or Nigerian which is associated with ruggedness. Tell that story.
These were not his exact words as I do not remember them clearly, but they were very similar.
These words encouraged me to not be ashamed to have a voice, even though it might sound ridiculous.
An Owerri Babe.
This is a platform for people (especially females) living in Owerri to change those stereotypes and be their own voice.
There are no platforms for original content about Owerri, who is telling our story them? What do people know about us? What’s it like to be in this city?
That’s the idea.
Please join me on this journey and follow @anowerribabe on Instagram. There would be videos, interviews and lots of interesting stuff about this city. Also use the #anowerribabe for a feature.
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AN OWERRI BABE. Hey guys, motivated by the need to share our own stories, not some refined and/or adulterated version – I came up with this platform @anowerribabe for females (and males) in and from Owerri, Imo state to tell their stories and speak up. There's a cliche ideology attached with the people of this city, most especially targeted at the females which I tend to re-tell. The need to see us in a different light and most especially for the world to know what it's like to be born in a little city called Owerri. Let's take #OwerriToTheWorld. There would be interviews, video and lots of interesting topics on that platform. Please support by following @anowerribabe. Let's do this! We matter. I am Ugonna Eronini, from Awo Mbieri in Mbaitoli L.G.A, and I am #anowerribabe. . . . #Owerri #owerritotheworld #anowerribabe #inmeforyou #theugonna #senpaicollective
Owerri to the World!
Also Read: All Stories Matter.
P.S: I write this in uncertainty with traces of fear of the unknown. I’m scared of this new venture. But I’m counting on everyone to make this journey count and relying on my self-determination and Grace from my Almighty Father to see me through. I can’t do this alone.
Thank you all so much!