Thursday, September 11, 2008

Interview Thursday: An Important Guest

Hi all, how are you doing? I am currently being treated for malaria and typhoid. It will pass, I will be fine. Thanks for all your kind comments and concern. The ulcer will be managed too. *wink*

I am bringing to you a very unique and engimatic blogger. Our own Rita is here to share with us her life, career and a lot of other wonderful things. Standall husband is out of town hence the suspended interview. Rita's interview is very rich. Thanks a lot for sharing RITA. Here we go:

Standtall: Can we meet you?
Rita: Oh sure…I am Rita Esuru Okoroafor (nee Onyige). I studied Petroleum Engineering and I currently work as a Petroleum Engineer in a servicing company. I am married to Husband Rita. I enjoy writing.

Standtall: As an Engineer, are women rare in your field?
Rita: Compared to many other professions, yes. However, within the engineering profession, there are some areas where one can find a good balance in number of women. Examples of such are office-based roles. Though I have seen a growth in female engineers over the years, I still think that there could be more women in this field. 

Standtall: Why do you think women are rare in your field?
Rita: First of all, it has to do with what we have been told from time past – a woman’s place is in the kitchen. Some women did not go to school. For those who went to school, Engineering was not in the top 10 preferred profession. Secondly, it has to do with the perception of the profession. People believe that Engineering is a man’s course and is all about repairing cars or carrying heavy tools. Unless she is a tomboy, she usually has no place. Engineering is simply the application of scientific and technical knowledge to the design, analysis, and/or construction of works for practical purposes. A woman does not have to be involved in the construction part of engineering. A woman can practice engineering as a lecturer. Thirdly, women are not aware that they can actually be successful engineers and successful home makers. A woman can get the engineering job she wants based on her priorities – either high paying or flexible working hours. 

Standtall: How can we encourage more women to pursue a career in your field?
Rita: There are various ways to do that: -
1. Enlightenment and awareness such as having programs or TV shows that talk about women in the engineering profession, and how they can effectively have a work-life balance. Such an awareness program could show the different roles of an engineer.
2. Catching them young: - Having career fairs for students in secondary schools and universities. This is one of the things I tried to achieve during my youth-service year.
3. Sponsoring females: - there are a lot of talented females out there with untapped potentials because they do not have money to go to school. I taught in Otu-Jeremi, in Ughelli south LGA, Delta State. I saw young intelligent girls who had to drop out of school; because there was no money for fees. They could only have dreams like “I want to go to University one day” but those dreams remain unrealized.
4. Mentoring: - Each one of us (male or female) can mentor 1 female. You will be amazed at how the rate of purpose driven women will increase.
5. Encouraging women: - in such ways as having genuine plans of gender diversity in schools and organizations.
 There are some initiatives for young women that I hope we can replicate in Nigeria:-
GRADE: Girls Reaching and Developing Excellence: -
Attracting Women to Technical Professions: Click here

Standtall: Do you believe in women/girls empowerment?
Yes I do, very much so…but with the clause that females understand that there is equality in worth but hierarchy in authority. I feel women should be empowered, but not to the point of disrespecting men or feeling they are better than men. Women empowerment should start in homes and families. Parents should not make their daughters feel less because they are females. Then Women empowerment should move to the society. Women should never be looked down on, whether single or married, widowed or single mother, young or old, educated or not. Government should be actively involved in women empowerment schemes.

Standtall: You maintain and update 3 blogs regularly, how are you able to do so as a career woman, wife, and (mother?)
Rita: It’s four blogs now (J )…I love writing…and I don’t have my own children yet…
I am all that I am first because of strength and direction from God. He teaches me how to manage my time and prioritize. I am still a work in progress. Secondly, I have a very considerate, encouraging and supportive husband. He encourages me to be all I want to be yet reminds me not to overwork myself. Thirdly, I apply passion in everything I have to do: - Career, Writing, Family and every other area of my life. That is my fuel.

Standtall: Name 5 bloggers you admire...
Rita: Na wa Standtall, in a whole blogsville? in no particular order
Naapali: - for the great things he’s doing in human lives; Aloted: - who appears loyal and friendly, Oluwadee: - very encouraging and passionate about God, Afrobabe: - who appears receptive, smart and has a good sense of humour, Naijalines: - appears very wise and witty, and Parakeet: -easy-going and sensitive… (she mentioned six instead of five, no p, you have the floor)

Standtall: What was life like growing up in PH?
Rita: Quiet but fun. I had a lot of security. I grew up in the University of Port Harcourt campus. I attended the university’s nursery, primary, secondary schools and university. My world was very small but offered all I needed to be who I am today. My dad was overprotective (he had 6 daughters…) so he protected us in this small world. There were times I wished I could see beyond this world but since I could not, I imagined it. And wrote a lot about it. I was never alone because I have a large family. I also had lots of friends that I hardly ever had a best friend. Port Harcourt used to be a peaceful town until now.

Standtall: What's your favourite color?
Rita:Purple…in any shade that exists. It’s almost a weakness.

Standtall: Where will you like to be in the next 2 years?
Rita: At home with the children, writing my best sellers and managing a consultancy firm for my husband and I. If you are Rita’s Boss, kindly disregard this statement, it was not meant for you… 

Standtall: (smiles) Can you share your likes and dislikes with us?
Rita: Likes: - Car racing games (oh yes), Dancing, Real ice-cream, Open people, Nature
Dislike: - Rain (we once lived in a house with leaking roof. No when rain falls, all I think of is how cold and soaked I felt those years), Phone calls at matrimonial hours (some people know when to call), Abuse (physical, mental, sexual, emotional, or verbal), knock-outs / fireworks (reminds me of how Daddy died), watching people I love being hurt.

Standtall: Thanks for sharing this moment with Standtall.
Is that a question (LOL)? And thank you too for the honour of being your candidate for Interview Thursday. Just want you to know you are one of the bloggers I admire: Standtall: -appears strong, resolute and dependable (Didn’t put your name up there before they think it is Bribery; Corruption). My words to women: - You are unique, priceless and of great worth…don’t let anyone or anything rob you from becoming all you were born to be…but remember to do things with moderation.

Standtall: my head just swell by what degree now. Thank you Rita for your time and for sharing with us.
Rita: (smiles)


aloted said...

As soon as I saw your comment i rushed here but men it took forever for your template to load! let me go and read now..seems i am first???

aloted said...


Rita...i will see u in camera ;)

I enjoyed reading this...was really informative....thanks!

Purple is my favorite colour too :D

Well done o standtall with the interview series

Esmeralda said...

this is very innovative Standtall! i like.

i've never been to Rita's blog, will do that now.

keep this up.

NigerianDramaQueen said...

I just discovered Rita's blog not too long ago and Im glad I did. I think it's unfair that some people are gifted in areas of both pure math and creative arts...she's an engineer and a not
I'm really enjoying your interviews btw. Very innovative!

Vera Ezimora said...

Awwwwwww. I really like this your blogger interviews, Standtall. Keep it up, please. We need to get to know our bloggers more.

When r u going 2 interview yourself? lol

Rita said...

Imagine that I found out about ur update from Parakeet's blog...Thanks, you really know how to present / package people and info... keep up the good work. We are still expecting Standtall Husband's interview...

Jaycee said...

Awwww...I loved reading the whole interview. I like the idea of empowering women and catching them young. I wouldn't mind joining an organization that mentors young women, sometime in the nearest future.

Didn't know Ms. Rita was married...*giggles*...hmmm!

funkola said...

get well soon.xxxxxxx

Attorneymom said...

Hey, Standtall. I hope you are feeling better. Get well soon.

You landed another great interview. Very informative. Keep up the great work.

rebecca said...

A House Of Cards


A house of cards

Is neat and small;

Shake the table,

It must fall.


Find the court cards

One by one;

Raise it, roof it,

Now it's done;

Shake the table!

That's the fun.

-----by runescape money

bArOquE said...

LOL@Phone Calls at matrimonial hours...please matrimonial hours falls between when and when?...nice interview, was in done in person?

Grahamn Kracker said...

Standtall! Here you have expressed all this concern for me and you yourself are fighting off malaria and typhoid! Two dreadful diseases that don;t even exist up here in Alaska!

And still you are making the blogging world bigger, interviewing people like Rita.

I enjoyed her story. I always enjoy reading about other writers, their hopes and challenges. My son (Toast Ed in the blog) is an engineer and where he works, there are almost as many woman engineers as men.

It wasn't like that when I was a kid. Nobody knew about female engineers then. If it can happen here, it can happen there.

Now, take care of yourself and get well, friend!

aloted said...

hope u are feeling better standtall?
it is well

Scheyenne Zigzag said...

Get well soon!

Free-flowing Florida said...

oh wow. it's very interesting dat i've found out a great many things abt rita 4rm dis interview dan i did 4rm her blog. good job standtall!

Jarrai said...

What a nice interview...very informative too.

Keep them coming standtall

Rita said...

@Standtall: Hope you're feeling better and you rested well this weekend. Take good care of urself...


@Baroque: Matrimonial hours is 9 to 9p.m to 6a.m

doll said...

nice interview so she is an engineer? is it because her favorite color is purple that her answers are in purple

EXSENO said...

I'm so sorry that you are so Ill, I hope that it all passes as soon as possible and you will feel well again. Take good care of yourself.

Rita said...

Standtall: You have received a blogville award. Please check my blog for details...

Ore said...

ST, I am enjoying your interview series. I second Rita: I am also looking forward to Standtall Husband's interview.

Don said...

Nice interview, Standtall. And I hope that you get well soon, Godspeed. You appear strong and convicted, I admire that.

Rita-real ice cream, there's nothing that compares to real ice cream, is it? And I never realized how much effort actually goes into maintaining so many blogs myself, until I was placed into a similar position.

poeticallytinted said...

RITA has not 1, not 2 but FOUR blogs. I feel so inadequate!!!! lol.
Keep up the phenomenal work ST. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!!!!(counting down). Don't ever ask me what bloggers i admire though, I'll end up mentioning everyone's name. Everyone is just so cool. Rita is cool raised to the power of (you guessed right) FOUR!!!!

Hi all, Please off to my blog or Uzezi's to learn how you can support 'Project Desiree'. Trust me you'll feel right about it.
Thanks. :)

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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