I recently interviewed our Lagos Poet in person of Chidinma Osigwe for the blog, confident that readers would be delighted and excited to hear from her as she shares her story.
She is the brain behind the “The Conversation” event that takes place on the 1st of May every year.
Sit back and relax while we dive into the interview session. May you be inspired to give life to your life.
Mary: Thank you, Chidinma for accepting this interview.
It is my honour to have this opportunity to understand what more there is to you so maybe someone can learn from your experience.
First, let’s have an introduction to YOU – your story so to speak. Who is Chidinma Osigwe?
Chidinma: Thank you too Mary. I’m honored to be able to share a bit of my life with you.
I’m Chidinma Osigwe. A spoken word artist and an accountant both by profession. I love sharing my poetry via videos or live performances at events. I practice accounting working for an NGO as the administrative and Finance Officer asides other responsibilities at the NGO, I run other side hustles like business registration and tax filing for SMEs.
I’m passionate about young people earning a sustainable living doing what they love hence my decision to work with Street Project Foundation.
I’m from a family of 7 but I lost my dad August 2019 so we are currently 6.
Mary: Kindly accept my condolences on the loss of your dad.
Chidinma: Thanks a lot.
Mary: You are very welcome. So what was growing up like?
Chidinma: Not bad. I had an average life. I went to one of the best private schools in my area (Iju Ishaga). My parents were both pastors so I didn’t have a tough one growing up even though they had their lapses here and there.
Mary: Most children whose parents are pastors do portray the exact opposite of their parent’s way of life but that is not the same with you.
How was it being brought up as a pastor child?
Chidinma: Lol… People forget pastors’ children are human too and will be faced with youthful exuberance too. Anyways, I had struggles here and there. I struggled more with self-esteem so I was withdrawn and because I was a very brilliant child growing up, people were insecure around me so I didn’t have many friends. And I served more in church. So it was just different for me.
Mary: Don’t mind them o. lols…(smiles)
Hmn, so how were you able to overcome the insecurity and self esteem?
Chidinma: Hmn, it was a big struggle although I can’t categorically say this is how I overcame it. I just knew I outgrew it. Till date I’m still withdrawn. People think I’m not an introvert. But mehn I am.
Mary: woow. You sure don’t look like an extrovert.
What does passion mean to you? Are you pursuing your passion aggressively?
Chidinma: Thanks oooo.
Hmmmm, Passion is what you are created to do. Also, passion doesn’t end. I can’t even say I’ve discovered my passion in its entirety because I’m still on a journey. But I’m trying my best with the help of God.
Mary: I like the way you put it that you are still on a journey. Really, you can’t discover yourself fully at once, it is a step by step process with God guiding us through.
Mary: Can you please share with us about your life dreams and how you’ve gone in achieving them?
You just clocked a year older on May 1st. Have you ever felt like you are right on the track you may have set for yourself a few years back or felt like you aren’t doing enough of your best?
Chidinma: I want to be a generational blessing. I’ve not even started with my life’s dream yet. I am a spoken word artist and I want the whole world to hear God whenever I speak.
I know I’m on the right track. The feeling of not doing the best pops up but being able to overcome it is key if not it can result in pressure.
Mary: You speak about God, even while performing, fearlessly. Would you mind sharing with us your salvation story?
Chidinma: Hmn… I didn’t know God until I was 18. I grew up in the church environment, but I didn’t know God for myself until I had a personal encounter with God through an intense study of the word of God.
Mary: Hmnn.. many people grow up or even live in the church without knowing God.
Chidinma: Yes o. That’s because our parents have oversight here and there.
Mary: What kind of a lady would you say you are; a dreamer, a go-getter or a servant girl? And why?
Chidinma: I’m a go-getter ooo. I can wake up, think of something and do it immediately.
Mary: I like that vibe.
Who is your biggest inspiration? And why?
Chidinma: (Laughs) Hmmm. God o. I know it sounds cliché but mehn all I have is God and my family. At least it has dawn on me over time.
So my inspiration is God.
Mary: What is the vision and purpose behind “The Conversation’’ which you’ve brought to us like 2 years back?
Chidinma: The Conversation is a poetry event that congregates young people and lovers of poetry to share their work. It is majorly aimed at promoting poetry in Nigeria.
Mary: What is the most common mistake or challenge when it comes to being a spoken word artist or a poet?
Chidinma: Challenges are plenty. Most especially in Nigeria where poetry isn’t that common. Few people give us the value and respect we deserve.
Mary: Hmmn..what then keeps you moving?
Chidinma: Love for poetry. It’s a heart thing
Mary: That’s deep.
Have you ever experienced failure? How did you rise above it?
Chidinma: (Smiles) Yes of-course. Plenty times too. But growing up it wasn’t so. So the first time I failed, it was difficult to get over it. I technically moved on. And I tried again until I succeeded. Failure is a part of success, so we have to learn to accept it and most importantly shake it off and climb a little higher.
Mary: How do you stand tall in the face of fear that may want to stop you in the pursuit of your dreams?
Chidinma: If there’s fear, then that dream is big and it’s worth chasing. I face it afraid.
Mary: Face it afraid. Thank you for that word👌
Looking back, what could you have done differently maybe in your personal life, career or ministry? If you were to do it over, what would you change?
Chidinma: I don’t think there is anything I would have done differently. That is because God disrupted my plans at several stages of my life. You know, finishing secondary school at age 15 and planning to enter the University immediately and then my JAMB score was good at that time but the school won’t just pick me.
And then coming back to Lagos to write Post-Utme for the Polytechnic I chose with my very good JAMB score only for my brother to make a mistake in the application form by choosing Agricultural Technology. I read Chemistry and Physics for the first time in my life and I still passed the cut-off mark for Agricultural Technology. I even had someone, my aunt in the school who was willing to help me pull through so I could just get the admission, defer the submission of my WAEC result while writing WASCCE exam during my Year 1. And later on, just go back and submit and update my registration details. So I would have just used awaiting result.
But after everything, it still did not work out.
So If I say this is what I would have done differently, then I will just be making a big mistake because all things work for the plans and for the purpose of God’s will. So I don’t think there is anything I would have done differently because at the end of the day, God would still disrupt every man-made plan to fit in His will.
Truly, there are all wishful thoughts of maybe I should have done this when I should have this that would have made it faster.
But then, when I think it is getting faster, God is saying “No, this is not how I even want it to be. I want it to be faster or more slower”. At the end of the day, anything we think we may have done differently may have not been God’s plan for our lives.
God knows that we are not perfect and are prone to mistakes. That is why we run to Him especially when He disrupts our plans. We cannot know more than God at the point when we think we have it all figured out or heard God entirely.
I don’t think there is anything such as ‘hearing God entirely’ because life is a journey. God can tell you to go to Katsina and you would carry your bags to get going thinking you’ve heard the entirety of what you’re going to do only for God to tell you the street you will be living. When you think everything is fine and settled, He can tell to get your bags and start moving again.
I don’t think there is anything I would have done better anyways.
Mary: All things work together for the plans and purpose of God’s will.
Hmnn. He is the master planner that knows us far better than we think we do. He knows what’s best for us.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Chidinma: “Trust God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” It’s the word of God but it’s the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
Mary: Woow. Truly the best advice anyone needs to live a purposeful life
How are you making the best use of this compulsory ‘stay at home’ situation?
Chidinma: Watching Mount Zion movies, staying close to my family, especially my mother. My siblings and I have shot two spoken word videos available on my YouTube channel.
Praying with my family and studying.
Mary: That’s great to know
If a young adult walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give him/her your best, what would it be?
Mary: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Mary: Thank you for making out the time for this interview. I really appreciate your openness.
Thank you for making out the time for this interview. To my readers, still in the house is Chidinma Osigwe. Kindly visit her Youtube page to listen to some of her awesome videos and be blessed. You can also follow her on her Instagram, Facebook page.
Dear readers, you’ve heard and must have learnt a lot just like I did from Chidinma.
What dream would you work towards if fear were not a barrier? I would love to hear you in the comment section.