Thursday, October 1, 2009

Interview Thursday: "Nigeria's way forward is not through more foreign development projects or individuals from abroad..."-Pyoowata

I have always loved this lady. I have always admire are passion for change. She is a force to be reckoned with in blogshpere. I was even so glad when she agreed to share with us on Interview Thursday! Welcome our popular Pyoowata- Nneoma Nwachukwu on today's 49th Independence anniversary of Nigeria!
Can we meet you?
Online-wise, I can be found at or As for what I'm up to now, I recently finished my MPH degree in Epidemiology and I am in medical school on the East coast (of the US that is). On a more personal note, I am an Ohuhu native hailing from Umuawa Alaocha, Umuahia North LGA. (Specific enough?…should I include the compound address?).
When I am not in school or blogging, I enjoy leisurely walks on the beach….no, but on a more serious note, I usually can be found in the company of my three amazing younger brothers (who are quite big, so don't mess with me...). And shout-out to the oldest one who will be blogging from Iraq starting middle of October- . I know, shameless plug…

What is your vision of a New Nigeria?
A new Nigeria...well at forty-nine years old, we are still relatively new. Needless to say, there is incredible room for improvement. Basic working infrastructure would be nice - better roads, constant power and the like. But more importantly the New Nigeria will concentrate on investing in our home-grown intellectual capital. Ongoing tension between ASUU and the national government does nothing but further cripple our future. Invest in education and prevent national embarrassments, such as sending the first lady to represent us at international Atomic Energy conferences, (when we all know, she has NO business stepping foot there; please correct me if I’m wrong).

What do you wish to achieve with Nigerians talk blog?
Few months ago, Olumide, of, and I played around with some ideas of how to get an increased number of Nigerians to participate in the blogosphere. Besides serving as an outlet for people to share their stories, we have also witnessed several instances in which the Nigerian blogosphere has served as an avenue for effecting change. Imagine the possibilities when a larger and an even more diverse group of Nigerians can be found keying in their thoughts, ideas, and opinions on a variety of issues. We of wish to document the progress of current Nigerian bloggers and assist in fostering an environment in which even more Nigerians blogging. Thanks for featuring our advert for more contributors to our site. While we welcome the addition of veteran bloggers, we hope to feature novice bloggers. Be on the lookout for posts from our latest crop of contributors. We're excited about the direction our site is taking and soon we'll feature articles explicitly on blogging for the benefit of new and old bloggers alike.
How have you as an individual passionate about a better Nigeria contribute to its development and what more do you wish to do?
I wish to SAVE AFRICA....please (hint...sarcasm alert). I have recently come to the conclusion that no one nor any particular group of people is going to save us. Personally, I have not done much to "save" Nigeria nor contribute much to its development. Neither do I think that I will ever be in a position to do so. Nigeria's way forward is not through more foreign development projects or individuals from abroad, like myself, telling Nigeria you need such-and-such program or project to develop the nation - which is what I used to believe. They help, at times; but a random assortment of development projects littered here and there is not going to bring Nigeria where it NEEDS to be.
Is Nigeria unsaveable, forever doomed to retain the title of all that backwards and corrupt in the world? Of course not. Our way forward requires the participation of the 140 million plus people on this planet who call themselves Nigerians - everyone. Nigeria's problem at this stage our history is one of responsibility. A countless number of Nigerians are indeed quite selfless. Daily we see hundreds of market women come out early in the morning to work and provide for their families - the same for men and youths, hustling for the sake of providing for their homes and their communities. These are the ones who daily develop Nigeria. The sad thing is that the elected public servants fail to adhere to this national ethic. As I have admitted in my blog and elsewhere, yes, many of Nigeria's problems are deeply rooted in our sordid colonial past. However, at this point it is time to hold our leaders accountable.

I made a post rebutting the belief that women are "weaker sex", what's your take on this?
Yes, I enjoyed your post and I agree that women are quite strong and have proven themselves over and over again. I do think, that sometimes, this verse is taken out of its historical context. The verse in 1st Peter should more accurately be translated as the "weaker vessel," particularly in light of the physical abuse some men would put their women through in those times, and even now. The entire verse reads, "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner [vessel] ... so that nothing will hinder your prayers." Throughout the New Testament, great emphasis is placed on our relationship with others. If our relationship with others is amiss, communication between you and God would be hindered. Earlier in the Scriptures it says that if you have a dispute with your brother and you enter the temple to bring an offering - do an about-face, make up with him, then come back to present your gift to God. Same with your wife - if you do not treat your wife with the respect she deserves, particularly in the case of physical abuse, consider your prayers null and void. If anything, this verse was meant to protect women at the time, who were often subject to divorces by their partners at will and domestic violence. I have written extensively about abuse against women at my personal blog.

What do you consider as success?
One, success, for me personally, is living up to the goals I have personally set for myself, with my sanity intact. And the great thing is, since I am the one to set those goals, I can change them at will. Two, another major component of success is assisting others around me to reach their own personal goals...I know this sounds cliché-y, but seriously, I try to spend myself on behalf of others, when possible. Note emphasis on the words, "when possible"....for if point two clashes with my sanity, mentioned in point one, I have to back off. It took me quite some time to learn that.

Can we ever get rid of greedy and selfish leaders in Nigeria?
No. Just in the same way no other nation in the world has not yet been able to rid itself of all its greedy and selfish leaders within their own shores. This includes the United States, whose very foundations are built on a greed and selfishness that rivals that of Nigeria and most other, so-called corrupt nations and failed states. Greed and selfishness is not restricted to any one country nor people. Man is inherently selfish. I do believe, however, that we can curtail its pervasiveness in Nigerian leadership through sound regulations.

PDP currently has 49 aspirants for Governorship position in Anambra, do you think this number shows the fact that good leaders are emerging?
Aspirants for power and leadership have always been amongst us. Afghanistan, in their recent…err, “elections,” also featured more than forty contestants. The fact that there are 49 candidates for governorship in Anambra is merely reflective of PDP’s current state of confusion in Anambra. I personally, do not mind this for the fate of an entire state should not rest on the hands of a single political party. Unfortunately, Orji Uzor Kalu’s PPA, seems also to be in a state of disarray…so at this point I am not ready to kuru ndi a aka mara mma, either.*** Chxta has an amazing review on the history behind Anambra's current political climate that I linked to at The original post at his blog can be found here:
Do you foresee a free and fair election in 2011?
And to end this interview on an even more negative note. No, I do not forsee a free and fair election in 2011, not while Maurice Iwu, election rigger extraordinaire, remains on the INEC throne. If there is one challenge Nigeria has to face immediately – as in, tomorrow, - it would be the sacking of Professor Maurice “America-Should-Learn-From-Us” Iwu.


HYAW said...

wow! pyoo wata. nice to finally put a face to the blogger. i was thinking she was a guy

Myne Whitman said...

Nice interview, I didn't know she was behind Nigeriatalk. Goodluck to her, and yes oo bloggers for change.

Bill said...

Without a doubt, the US was founded on greed and selfishness - so strong that it enabled our founders to dispossess entire nations of their land and sustenance and to feel righteous about it.

It is a universal trait, I fear.

Enjoyed the interview and I admire the blogger.


aunty Nneoma!!! Speak on it. Always refreshing to learn more about fellow bloggers and particularly a blogger as passionate about Nigeria and the necessary solutions as Madam Pyoo Wata.

babe, you must change your blog name to reflect your fineness, nah! lol!

StandTall-The Activist said...

Yeah, that's Nneoma in da house!

Afronuts said...

She kinda reminds me of Asa.

Intelligent, smart and...cute.

tommeh said...

No doubt. she really has potentials. That's a positive thing to start up with.

For the love of me said...

I have always admired Nneoma. Way to go girl.

nneoma said...

wow, thanks all for the comments and encouragement! several of you, new and veteran bloggers, have served as my inspiration. will get back to blogging soon once things settle down at home. thanks againd standtall for the interview opportunity.

Blogger said...

Sprinter - Function One (160BPM)

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

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