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Thursday, June 13, 2024

A woman who doesn’t push hard for what she wants will remain unsung —Prolific writer Ngozi Ebubedike-Ahumibe

In the realm of storytelling, where words weave mesmerizing tapestries of imagination, we encounter a remarkable figure—a literary luminary whose pen dances upon the pages, enchanting all who read her work.

Mrs. Ngozi Ebubedike-Ahumibe is a passionate wordsmith who has carved her name in the literary world with 15 published books. Beyond her literary achievements, she serves as an inspiring mentor, empowering aspiring writers to find their voice and unleash their creativity.

Today, she graciously shares her journey with Iya Magazine. So, get ready to be inspired.

My name is Ngozi Ebubedike-Ahumibe, and I was born in the late 1960s in the eastern part of Nigeria, precisely in Anambra State. I am the firstborn in a family of nine children.

my father had earnestly prayed for a male child, but when I was born, he accepted me wholeheartedly

The significant thing about my birth is that my father had earnestly prayed for a male child, but when I came into the world, he accepted me wholeheartedly and loved me until his dying day. It was through his diary that I discovered this heartfelt truth.

Early life
Growing up was fun. My parents were entrepreneurs, and we were well catered for. I was raised by strict and highly religious parents. My upbringing was marked by their unwavering standards, as they would tolerate no less from their children. However, it was my grandmother who truly left an indelible mark on my young heart. She was a resilient, courageous, enterprising, and caring woman. I lived with her when my parents relocated to Lagos State, and I learned a lot from her.

Education
Formal education played a pivotal role in shaping my path. I attended the Local Authority Primary School in Araromi, Olodi Apapa, Lagos. After completing my common entrance examination, I went to Abbot Girls Secondary School, Ihiala, in Anambra State.

It was a boarding school, and I enjoyed my days in the dormitory. I also learned how to adjust and interact with people from different backgrounds. I still remember how we used to go to the stream after school hours and the stories of ghosts and bush babies. Looking back, I must confess that it was wonderful.

I was a very intelligent student who played some leadership roles. From Class One to Four, I was a member of the Food Committee Group; and in Class Five, I was appointed as the Social Prefect.

Formal education played a pivotal role in shaping my path

After completing my secondary school education, I proceeded to the Institute of Management and Technology, in Enugu to obtain my OND certificate. Then I obtained my HND in Mass Communication at the Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State.

Career
As a child, my dream was clear — I wanted to become a writer. Even during my primary school days, I was known as a voracious reader and a captivating storyteller. People around me would eagerly gather to listen to my tales. This passion for writing led me to pursue my dream.

After graduating from the Federal Polytechnic in Oko, I worked as a journalist for more than 25 years. After my brief stint with Vanguard, I also worked with some publishing outfits because I had a dream to own a magazine. Those experiences taught me a lot about running a publishing establishment.

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Today, I have retired from active journalism and didn’t own any magazine. However, I started my own company called Ladyzizi Bookworld. We are into the professional editing, formatting, and publishing of books. I also have a Zizipen blog where I write articles on relationships, do book reviews, and interview authors. In addition, I work as a relationship writer for Rulers’ World, a magazine based in Ibadan.

I worked as a journalist for more than 25 years. The experience taught me a lot about running a publishing establishment

Challenges
As a writer, I must confess that it is very frustrating to write a book and make no sales. In the beginning, I experienced low sales and was very bothered about it. A friend of mine once said to me, “Why are you always wasting your time writing a new book when you have not sold the previous ones?” Well, I was discouraged, but since writing is something that I’m passionate about, I kept doing it.

Another challenge was printing my books in hard copy. The money wasn’t there. I have a lot of things vying for my financial attention, and printing my books was relegated to the background. Alternatively, I started publishing e-books on online stores and learned how to do basic book formatting and design.

Printing a book the traditional way is very expensive, and sometimes, you might end up having copies of your book stocked up. I have been experimenting with how to do a print-on-demand book. Just recently, my company, Ladyzizi Bookworld, achieved that feat, and my children’s book titled, Water Everywhere, was printed. I was excited that I could print my books and those of other authors on a low budget.

Today, I have about 15 published books. Also, last year I went into poetry, and the journey so far has been amazing.

Self fulfilling moment
The most fulfilling aspect of my work lies in the impact it has on the relational life of the reader. As a romance writer, the people around me are my source of inspiration. Through my books, I have been able to entertain, educate, and inspire a lot of people, and whenever I receive positive feedback from the readers, I feel so happy.

I was excited that I could print my books and those of other authors on a low budget

Family
I was married to the late Dr. Justine Ahumibe, and I have two sons. My family members support my work as much as they can. My first son is a graphic designer, and he has taken over the designing of my book covers. And my siblings are my greatest cheerleaders. I also have wonderful friends who buy and comment on my books.

Feminism
To me, a feminist is a woman who pushes to stamp her identity, and fights for her right to be seen and heard. She also demands the opportunity to pursue her goals and achieve her dreams.

I used the words “push,fight, and demand” because, as a woman, if you don’t step out, if you don’t speak up or speak out, and if you don’t push hard for what you want, you will remain in the background, unheard and unsung. Then, in the end, you will die and be buried with your dreams. Is that what you want?

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Based on these, I will say I’m a feminist. I want my voice to be heard, I want to give wings to my dream and let it soar without limitation by man or society.

Awards and recognitions
As mentioned earlier, I started writing poetry last year. Usually, I would always say poetry is not my forte, but I challenged myself and did a 28-day poetry challenge. It was love poems only, and between last year and this year, my poetry has won awards and recognition from some online poetry groups. Also, I have had my poetry published in some international anthologies.

I’m a feminist. I want my voice to be heard. I want to give wings to my dream and let it soar without limitation by man or society

Leisure
I read romance and adventure novels. I listen to old school music. I’m not a movie person, but once in a while, I watch Tyler Perry’s movies and would love to meet the American romance writer, Danielle Steel. She is an author I greatly admire.

Word of advice
Every woman is packed with the potential for success. So, no matter what it takes, try to follow your dream. Don’t be anything other than yourself. Always be real, confident, and impactful.

Finally, I must confess that Iya Magazine is doing a lot to uplift women and expose them to the global spotlight. Keep up the good work!

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