In a world where multidimensionality is celebrated, Mary Ogechukwu Christiana Chuks stands as a remarkable embodiment of versatility and purpose. Artist, author, and CEO of MaryChuks.Com Limited in London; she is the driving force behind the Igbo-Yoruba Progressive Initiative in Nigeria.
Mary’s life story is a tapestry woven with cultural richness, artistic passion, and an unwavering commitment to making a positive difference. Today, she is here to share her life’s journey with Iya Magazine.
Please, may we know you?
My name is Mary Ogechukwu Christiana Chuks, and I am from Umuenechi, Nibo, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. I am a Nigerian-British citizen.
I am the firstborn and first daughter of my dad. I have four sisters and a brother. My parents waited 10 years before I was born, and I was given all the love they could provide to a destiny child that took her time before coming into this world. This is why they gave me the name Ogechukwu ka mma, meaning “God’s time is the best.”
What was growing up like?
My dad was a federal civil servant, and he was working in Ilorin, Kwara State. In the 1980s and ’90s, things were not as tough as they are today. At least, federal civil servants had access to free medical care, and their emoluments were enough to raise a family and educate their children.
I returned to the university to study dual degrees in Psychology and Philosophy
I attended Chapel Nursery Primary School and finished my basic education at Saint Michael’s Primary School. My secondary school was Saint Anthony’s Secondary School, all in Ilorin, Kwara State. We used to travel to Anambra State every year to meet with extended family members. Unfortunately, I lost my dad in 1994, and that contributed to my relocation to a new country.
What were the earliest influences you had?
I was loved and protected; so, most of the earliest influences were my Igbo culture, Yoruba culture because of our location, and religion, which was Christianity.
While growing up, what were your career dreams?
I wanted to be a lawyer, but later on, I realised I could achieve more in a multidisciplinary field.
Tell us about your art and writing career
I have always loved painting and artwork since my school days. I published my first book in 2011, titled Captain Rainbow and the Agents: Value My Vote. It’s a children’s book and part of a series. In addition to my artistic pursuits, I am a businesswoman who believes in constant growth. In 2017, I returned to the university to study double degrees in Psychology and Philosophy, and I graduated in June 2023. I am starting my PhD programme this October.
writing inspires me to impart knowledge
Have you experienced a self-fulfilling moment in your career?
Yes! That was when I published my first 40 books on Amazon and IngramSpark. Among them are 12 business psychology and philosophy books, a children’s book, a recipe book, poetry, a fiction novel, a psychological thriller, and more.
What inspires you as an author and artist?
I love to teach others what I know, and writing inspires me to impart knowledge. I am on all significant platforms because my audiences are from all over the world.
Do you see your work as lucrative and glamorous?
My focus and desire go beyond just being lucrative or glamorous. It’s about books, knowledge, and preparing the younger generation for a better tomorrow. Our younger ones need role models to look up to, and sending the wrong message could affect their young minds. Anything you do can be lucrative and glamorous; it’s all about the mindset.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In the near future, I dream of being a professor at one of the universities, teaching and writing academic papers. Also, I look forward to being addressed as Dr. Mary Chuks.
Are you a feminist?
Feminism is a socio-political movement advocating for the equal rights, opportunities, and treatment of all genders. Like any movement, it can be subject to various interpretations and applications, and there have been instances where individuals, including some women, have abused or misrepresented the term.
I am a social psychologist and do not see myself in the box of feminism because my brain has been trained to think in a multidimensional way.
As an African woman, I believe that I am physically strong and mentally capable of achieving whatever I set my heart on. Also, my journey is different from that of the other gender; therefore, there is no need for a competition.
I’m a social psychologist and do not see myself in the box of feminism because my brain has been trained to think in a multidimensional way
What is your ultimate goal in life?
It is to raise my children and make a positive impact on others. So far, I have been doing that through my charity foundation called Igbo-Yoruba Progressives. During COVID, we raised money to feed 200 families in Lagos State, Nigeria. We are currently running different projects, and the goal is to touch lives positively.
How do you relax?
I relax by listening to Nigerian music and reading my books. I also enjoy movies from different parts of the world.
Who would you love to meet most in the whole world?
There isn’t a specific person I would love to meet; instead, I am open to meeting anyone who can inspire and bring about positive change.
Finally, to every woman out there, Mary says, “Arise, take your rightful place and make a difference. Striving for financial independence, career development, and continual self-improvement are essential components of a fulfilling and empowered life.
“In today’s dynamic world, women are making significant strides in various fields, breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings. If they can do it, you too can. Nothing good comes easily, so, don’t ever give up.”