Thursday, October 9, 2008

Interview Thursday: Featuring our own Chioma of Celebrate Africa

A young lady that is making a difference, along side her sister Oluchi are currently travelling around African continent by road. Chioma has so much to share about her trip. If this interview doesn't cover all you need to know, do not hesistate to visit her blog for more questions which I am sure she will answer gladly.... And also you will get day to day account of thier trip in each of the country they have visited via her blog


Standtall: Let's meet you?
Chioma: I never know how to answer this question. My name is Chioma Ogwuegbu, I am female. My current occupation is travelling. I am travelling around Africa by road with my sister, Oluchi Ogwuegbu. We plan to visit 30 countries in Africa and we’re currently in our 5th country, The Gambia.

Standtall: What inspired this your decision to see
Africa by road?
Chioma: It’s a mix of many things, my love for travelling, my desire to see Africa and my friend who is doing a similar trip around the world.

Standtall: How many months will this trip last for?
Chioma: The plan is to travel for 12 months, but from the look of things it might be a bit longer. We have visited 5 countries in 3 months, so if you do the maths, you’ll see that we need more than a year to do the trip.

The left image is from Burkina/ the right is from Senegal

Standtall: What have you learnt so far?
Chioma: This sounds like a cliché but it’s true, Africa’s greatest asset is her people.

Standtall: Any challenges?
Chioma: The main challenge has been crossing the borders; those immigrations officials have been trying to drive me crazy. If you’re going to do this trip, that’s one thing you have to be aware of but once you get past them, the whole adventure becomes worthwhile.

Standtall: How do you get funding for this trip
Chioma: The main funds have come from our savings, the rest has come from friends who believe in the dream and have been moved to donate. We have tried to show that it’s possible for young people to do this trip without having to rob the bank. Still, we welcome any donations and would like to have some kind of sponsorship.

Standtall: What's next after this trip?
Chioma: Another trip, this time with more people and all of them working with different media, i.e. film, photography, painting etc with the same message, Celebrate Africa. It’s going to be bigger than this one. We are also planning to start an African Travellers Network, where Africans interested in travelling can connect and support one another by providing basics like accommodation and a contact when you travel anywhere in Africa.

                        Image from Mali
Standtall: Can you share your ideology about life with us?
Chioma: Well I don’t know it’s really an ideology but I do believe that I am responsible for whatever happens to me and that I can create the life that I want. If I have a dream then I am going to do everything possible to live that dream. Nothing is impossible, just believe it and work towards it, it will be true for you. I also think that life is meant to be joyous and filledif with love and laughter, life is not hard.

Standtall: Where will you like to be in the next 5 yrs?
Chioma: Still travelling, still celebrating and still living life to the full.

Standtall: What’s your opinion about gender equality and women empowerment as part of MDGs goals?
Chioma: You know I worked in women’s development for 5 years so I am very partial to issues of gender equality. I believe that everybody has a right to be treated equally and that there should be an equal access to opportunities. I don’t even know why it’s an MDG, because you would think that everybody would just get it.

Standtall: Is Nigeria doing enough to attain this goal?
Chioma: Honestly, if you look at the efforts of civil society in Nigeria, and even the efforts of some individuals, you would say Nigeria is doing a lot. Then someone like Senator Ekaette comes along with her nudity bill and you begin to wonder if we’re still in the Iron Age. Our work is not done yet, everyone of us has a responsibility as Nigerians to ensure that women’s human rights are protected.

: Any last word?
Chioma: Thank you so much, Standtall for all your support and love, I am grateful to you and to many other people who have shown us so much support. When we decided to do this trip, it was just some silly girls dreaming but the overwhelming support has shown that we are on the right path. Thank you, thank you, thank you…
Standtall: You are welcome Chioma, you are a role model and an inspiration to us all.


Black Cat said...

Welcome back! I'm glad the course was good. Your interview with Chioma is very interesting, she's got spirit and a lovely optimistic outlook on life.

Are you fully well now? I hope so.

Thanks for your encouraging comment:) xxx

Gattina said...

Interesting, but she didn't tell anything about the extreme hard living conditions and the poverty in Africa. One of my friends was in Ivory coast and another in Congo and they were just horrified of what they had seen and this in the 21st century !

Rita said...

Another interesting interview, Standtall, you really helped us know more about Chioma. I am still amazed at how you do it. More palm oil to your elbows...:-) Please after your tenth interview, can I do an interview of you?

poeticallytinted said...

Fantastic interview. She's everything I thought she'd be and more. (you took out time to post this yesterday?) love you gurl. Keep strong.

princekay123 said...

Nice interview. Keep it up. How are your cats doing?

Aijay said...

Nice interview. Chioma is inspiring.
I love travelling.. I'll love to visit a couple of African countries...

Chioma said...

Hey Standtall, thanks for posting this. I´m grateful.
Those pictures dont do your blog justice though, i could send you the originals or maybe people can just visit the website for the pictures.
Thanks @ everyone for your kind comments, my trip is about celebrating africa so i´m not interested in pursuing stories about poverty, we have CNN for that.



hey girl! Nice interview. I have a friend who loves road tripping across the continent.

I wish I could but with my battalion, it won't happen anytime soon.

How body?


wow, @ Gattina. Um, uh, not sure what to say but feel compelled. So, I will say this in case you read it. Yes, in comparison to many developed countries there is indeed poverty on the African continent. However, there is great beauty in the places and the people. It all depends on what you are looking for.

Besides, there is poverty everywhere. In Nigeria, in Spain, in Japan and of course, right here in the seat of global power Washington, D.C. Trust me, when I say poverty in DC, I mean poverty that you might not even imagine in a developing nation. That is just the way the world is.

I am Nigerian and I've lived in the Ivory COast and the people are incredible. The music, the food, the beaches. The vegetation and farms there are the envy of West Africa. Anyway, hopefully some day, you will venture to some or a few African countries. Hopefully you will witness not just hardship, but pure unadulterated beauty. Please do not take this as an attack, I just felt compelled to offer an alternative view.

take care.

Grahamn Kracker said...

What an adventure!

I, too, have been a wanderer all my life, but, have yet to have the chance to wander Africa.

Standtall - so good to see you back and reporting. If, as I hope, I make it to Africa one day before too long, it will be because of you. Of course, my mission, should I make it there, will be to wander about and photograph African cats - beginning with yours.

And Chioma - I have been following her travels off and on, since first being introduced to them by Standtall way back when. She presents Africa in a way that I have never seen before - from the perspective of an African wanderer.

Very good to read that perspective.

The Invisible Man said...

Cool interview thanks..
Chioma and sis are really something!

Blue Eyed Blonde said...

Thanks Tee for showing Chioma to the world. She is doing an amazing job....and so are you!

Stani said...

nice interview here.

Chioma said...

@Solomonsydelle thanks for that well thought-out response to Gattina, that's what i would have said if i had the words.

James Tubman said...

this is why i love afrikan women

not only are you all the most beautiful women on the planet

but you all are very bright

i am in favor of her vision

i hope she also goes to the most desolate areas of afrika to see how those people are really struggling

i also hope she makes some documentaries and take lots and lots of pictures

yall need to teach the black women in the states something lol

Doja said...

Welcome back! Nice to see Africans visiting other African countries.

Vera Ezimora said...

Very interesting. Me likes!!! Standtall, I love these interviews of yours, for real. Did I tell you that already??

Buttercup said...

@ must be a wonderful n fulfillin experience so far..u n ur sis have inspired me to do the same!

@ standtall..well done! How r u?

Chioma said...

@ Buttercup, wow! when are you starting? All the best.


I am sure by now you have seen the BBC story -

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

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