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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Meet Goodluck Chiemelie Okechukwu, the Young Nigerian who aspires to rewrite the African narrative

Goodluck Chiemelie Okechukwu is from Azigbo in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State. He attended a variety of primary schools because his father was a priest and was frequently transferred from one station to another. Goodluck briefly attended DMGS before the Onitsha Hausa-Igbo clash of 2006. His parents decided to send him to a boarding school, St Christopher’s Junior Seminary 3-3 Onitsha. He graduated in 2012 and got admitted to Anambra State University the same year where he completed in 2016.

Currently, Goodluck does freelance journalism and writing. He writes movies, biographies and general prose. He also runs a blog, nkutheatre.com and still pursues a Diploma in Broadcast Journalism at Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos State. A movie he wrote, Shape Of You, was released in November, 2018.

As a kid, Goodluck wanted to become a Bishop.

“Funny though, but that was much drawn from the atmosphere and energy around me,” he narrated.

“By Junior high school 3 to Senior high school 1, I had developed the path to follow. I wrote down and drew a comprehensive plan of becoming a Lawyer and/or an actor in Hollywood. Please feel free to laugh at me,” he joked.

At a point, Goodluck thought of becoming a lecturer but currently he is with full velocity pressing towards Media and Journalism.

“Now I write, I speak and then I dream and you know one important thing? It is that dreams never die. Tomorrow I might replace Femi Falana or Jet Li. It is not over till it is over in the coffin” he said.

Now follow us as we discuss his plans for the future:

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What are you into currently?

 The truth is that the picture is not yet complete, some dots and hue needs still be added. But I am given to the pen, in prose, Journalism, in media, and it is through that channel, through the power of pushed narrative that I hope to shape my society. In democracies, information is very important. That is why freedom of the press is a non-negotiable principle in the system. Now it is my purpose to endeavor the availability of necessary and important information to the society, not just because every story deserve justice or because the masses merits knowledge, it is because through knowing that actions are ignited, actions that are generally applied to the reformation and constant rehabilitation a society needs to attain greatness.

What was your motivation?
The motivation varies but primarily, I looked inside and saw what I am good at, what gives me satisfaction and fulfillment, what gives me zest; and then I resolved to use it towards the greater good. And you know, the best life lived is that put to service of humanity. Writing, Journalism is a very important ingredient for the balance of the society. Writing brings certainty to knowledge. Journalism through its technologies and channels ensures the adequate distribution of these knowledge and information to the necessary audience. It is a calling, and that’s my motivation.

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What are some of the challenges to what you are doing?

For Journalism in general, there is hardly an insurance system that leverages the life of the brave journalist who wants to dig deeper to harvest dangerous stories that holds justice at ransom. The reward system is not too encouraging and this affects the quality of journalism available to our society. The motivation is low. As for literary writing, the challenges of publishing and sufficient distribution remain an undying issue. It is from this reason that many writers leave the country, for societies where their art are very well appreciated.

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Are you involved in any projects now?

The nature of what I do demands secrecy until fruition. My works are shy of public until the time is ripe for unveiling. But I already said a movie I wrote, edited by the renowned actor, scriptwriter and director Emeka Amakaeze. That notwithstanding be sure that many things are down the pipeline.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I see myself doing exploits. I see myself replicating a fusion of what Christine Amanpour and Anderson Cooper does at CNN here in Nigeria, perhaps at Channels TV or any reputable Media company. Also I might be abroad, reporting internationally for African Media giant. This is because at the bedrock of my aspiration is a purpose for a united or strong media firm for Africa that tells the African story the way it is—without ulterior motives or condescension. It is my goal to rewrite the African narrative.

Where there times you thought you could no more continue in life?

I am not sure if this equates to me having contemplated suicide. I haven’t admired taking my life, the pull to the other side has no such grip on me. Yet many times has been when I am tired and lacking the vision or belief to carry on, seeing no reasons to continue living but I always ask myself: is it then better to die? No is the answer. I am a very curious person but I hate uncertainty and what lies after death is unknown. I know if I work hard and smart, put to so many other principles I will come out on top, I know sometimes I will fail but will fly eventually if I keep trying. But I don’t know what’s up or next after death. This keeps me going.

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Who has had the greatest influence on your life?
My mother. In as much as I take more of my intrinsic traits from my father but my mother is the person who grounded and baked my character. Unfortunately I began to discover the magnitude of her influence on me after her accident. Then there is one man: Immanuel Ibeh-James Anyanwu. It is a distant influence, it started from admiration and is almost graduating to worship. He lives the dream I nurse for my art and person. And he is kind of mentoring me right now.

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If you had the chance to change one decision you made in life, what would it be?

I wouldn’t pick a certain decision, I rather will say I would change some of my outlook in life in the past. I would have been more daring and adventurous at a certain point in my life. Then i shouldn’t have had much expectation on some people.

You advice for others who wish to become like you

I told you I have a lot of things taken from my mother right? In my University project research work dedication I wrote “and to my mum who her life spells the grammar of determination and perseverance.” So if I have anything to tell anyone who aspire to be like me, it is to among many other things, be determined and persevering. So long you have dreams and plans, you will get there.

Thank you

You are welcome

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