On this exclusive writers interview, we had author, poet, lawyer and disability advocate, Affiong Ene-Obong share her life and purpose with us. As one of our values is to energize writers by shinning lights on them, we are inspired by Affy, by her resolve not to let her physical state dictate her overall outlook towards life and this is one way we get to tell the world about this beautiful yet intelligent, godly and purposeful young woman.
On this edition of exclusive writers interview, we go from the more busy details to the fun part of the interview and if you are already salivating for what they were, read on.
Exclusive Writers Interview With Affiong Ene-Obong
Tell us about you, who is Affiong Ene-Obong?
I am lawyer, author, poet and disability advocate. I earnestly desire to inspire, impact and transform lives with her gifts. I am intentional about living purposefully and transforming lives each day. My first book, ‘A Life Called Forever’ is a collection of inspirational poems which was beautifully written to inspire and impact lives.
My second book – a novel is focused on encouraging kids, women with special needs. It’s a book for those with special needs and all who love them. My début novel would be published this year. In my spare time, I love reading, editing, researching, learning new skills and languages.
Can you tell us about your nativity as a Nigerian?
I’m from Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State, the first capital of Nigeria, a state rich in culture, known for hospitality, tranquility and unity. A city popularly called ‘Canaan City.’ I’m the second child. Growing up was an amazing experience because I have the best parents and siblings any child could wish for.
How would you compare growing up in Nigeria back then and now?
Growing up in Nigeria in my early years and now cannot be compared. There’s been a drastic change in every way. Raising kids, parenting, teachings are different.
What was your educational experience like?
I must say it was an amazing experience. I made friends, learned, unlearned, re-learned and that has shaped my life to become the best woman I can possibly be.
What do you think is the major discouragement for young people today in Nigeria?
That should be unemployment.
Elucidate on that please.
Education is a key to sustainable development of any nation. Many posses good knowledge and skills, but how can they harness and apply the knowledge if they aren’t employed?
You’re a lawyer, a writer and many other things, was law your choice from the start?
Yes, it was. I knew I had a passion for it.
Wow, so where did you catch the fire of writing?
Writing is innate.
Alright but when would you say you were inspired to pursue writing along your law practice?
Writing is innate. Law practice is a different ball game and it can’t stop me from chasing my greatness. I have a finger in every pie.
Great, seeing that you do all these, how do you manage your time and still keep tab on your personal and social life?
Time management is important. I have learned to prioritize, unwind and live my life to the fullest.
Awesome! You have a collection of poems, what are they centered on?
My first book, ‘ A Life Called Forever is a collection of inspirational poems which was beautifully written to inspire, impact and transform lives. This book is a collection of poems and witty musings which will be a delight to all.
6 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD READ MY BOOK
- The poems spark curiosity, introduce innovation and open opportunities.
- The poems stretch your mind and make you think.
- The poems teach you how to deal with your emotions.
- The poems change your perception about the world.
- The poems inspire you to live better.
- The poems resonate with everyone.
What inspired your choice of theme?
The theme was inspired by my earnest desire to live purposefully; inspiring others to live better one day at a time.
People don’t know about your physical challenges, were you born this way?
Yes I was. But with the help of my loving parents Mr. and Mrs Ene-Obong, and my siblings I was given enough care, love and support to overcome the challenges that could have stopped any kid in similar situation. I want to use this opportunity to tell parents to stand with and support their kids with special needs, show faith in their abilities, and let them explore their gifts and talents.
What were the earliest difficulties you had to deal with?
Everyone has challenges. I have learned over the years to live, love and life would be lovely. Life is what you make of it and the choices you make spice it up.
How did you overcome these?
I have overcome challenges by living, loving, praying and believing nothing is impossible with God.
And your give-back project, can we hear about it?
I’m working on a give back project for women and kids with special needs. The whole idea is to showcase affirmative people with special needs face and not gloss over their difficulties. We need to inspire them to make the most of it. And for those who are fit, those with special needs can also inspire them. Women would share their stories on how they have overcome trying times through Christ. Parents who have kids with special needs need to know how to show love to them, affirming their values and building confidence.
I have also understood based on stories shared that women with special needs should be given unrequited love. Foundations and NGOs established for kids and women with special needs need create platforms for them to express themselves. These foundations can also create awareness through advertisement in the magazine for people to know more about training centers or schools for their kids, create awareness on disability rights, organize disability awareness campaign. I also have other give back writing projects.
How can others support?
All forms of support would be appreciated.
As a writer, what do you consider as the greatest challenge?
As a writer, the greatest challenge is writer’s block.
How do you overcome this?
The only change that can be made is writing. No matter how long it takes, consistency is key.
About your upcoming novel, can you wet our appetite?
My début is on giving women and kids with special needs love, roots and wings. It’s a book for those with special needs and all who love them.
What should we expect from it?
It promises to be enthralling, exciting and impactful.
How do you manage it all?
God has been at the center of it all, without Him I can do nothing.
How has being physically challenged impacted on your creativity?
Being a special person has made me realize I can do all things; it has made appreciate self-love and taught me to embrace my uniqueness. Owning my story and loving me has been the best decision I ever made. Being a special person has made me believe I can bring something new and valuable into existence.
What do you advice others who wear similar shoes?
You can be more, there’s a place for you. Live a uniquely different life.
What is your favorite Nigerian meal?
I don’t have a favorite Nigerian meal.
A book, chocolate or a movie, which will you go for first?
A book first.
What’s your weirdest experience as a writer?
I haven’t had any weird experience.
Who are your role model and mentor?
I have a long list of mentors.
Fast forward to five years from now, what would your profile read?
Award winning author and poet, founder of the AL magazine and talk show and intellectual property law expert.
Which superhuman power would you wish to have?
A superhuman power? That should be super speed, strength.
Are you married or single?
What is the one single trait you desire in a spouse?
A God-fearing spouse.
An Indian, a Chinese or a Mexican who will you stay with for a day?
If you got stranded on an island, what is the one thing you will choose to have with you?
One thing – a book, one person – my soul mate.
Thanks for being with us on this. We wish you more energy, creativity and artistry.
Thanks for having me. I sincerely appreciate.
Have you been inspired by Affy’s testimonials? Share to encourage every special person out there especially those who wish to be writers.
To get a copy of the book, contact 09086565884.
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