Our firebrand journalist, Ethelbert Obinna Umeh, had an interesting chat with a social media analyst, media personality, Amanda Chisom. The Nimo-born damsel bared her mind on sundry issues criss-crossing her career, business, passions, motivation, criticism management, call for referendum, restructuring, relationship etc. Below are excerpts:
Who is Amanda Chisom?
Amanda is just an ordinary girl trying to make her dreams come true. I am from Nimo in Anambra State, I grew up in Port-Harcourt. I attended Nigerian Navy secondary School port Harcourt. I did my university education in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, I read ENTREPRENEURSHIP and another degree in public administration.
Then a post graduate diploma in public relations and still pushing further. I am an opinion blogger @www.amandachisom.com and on Facebook and also public and media relations consultant at Torchblaze media consults.
What does life mean to you? and what is your driving force?
Life is a gift that keeps giving to me, every day I am alive, I feel blessed to be alive and grateful for the gift of life. A lot of things drive me, my passions, my career, my family, the welfare of my unborn kids, my need to succeed and because of people who look up to me.
Most of your followers seem to adore your opinion, what is the secret behind it?
I really do not know about that, I just think I say what a lot of people are afraid to say or say what people resonate with. There are really no secret, people like what they like and not everybody like what I say.
You are obviously very active on Social Media, how do you combine your work as a social media strategist, writer, speaker, blogger, youth advocate, event manager, PR Consultant and student at the same time?
It is not easy do not ever let anybody tell you it is easy, from the time I wake up to when I sleep off, I am working, I do not have break times or time to do much in between. Sometimes I miss the quiet life I had before all this but I have learnt to love the life I live and learning to rest.
One thing that has helped me a lot is delegation. I train my staff to handle things like I would, take initiatives and run the business with or without me .So in some places I do supervisory work.
You always talk about, ‘Marry your kind and be hardworking’- could you throw more light on why you say so?
I honestly believe marriage should be between homogeneous species and people should stick to their kind. Life is too short to start learn another life style at an old age, already within people of same kind, there are variations so there is no need putting more variation.
Being with people of your kind helps you be better and gives room for more adjustment to the changes that a relationship as serious as marriage brings. A career -oriented person has no business marrying a traditional person who thinks the role of women is to be in the other room, the kitchen and the parlour or that a man is supposed to be the sole provider and grand commander of all. As much as life permits, we should stick to our kind.
Do you believe in referendum or restructuring?
I am very vocal about my preference for regional and fiscal autonomy against secession. I believe in the unity of Nigeria and the beauty of our diversity but I also find nothing wrong with referendum. People have the right to choose and the right to secede if their interest is not being serve. That said, I think both call for referendum and restructuring are not out of place.
Do you think Nigerian youths are ready to take up leadership positions?
Honestly I am not so sure but that will be me being narrow because whether they are ready or not, it must happen so while others focus on whether they are ready or not, I want to focus on teaching and mentoring them to be ready for the inevitable. Baby steps lead to giant steps so it is time the Nigeria youths took up leadership responsibility for everyone’s good.
How do you handle criticisms?
A lot of people assume I do not handle criticism well but it is not true, as long as you do not belittle me, insult me or do it with aggression, I take all criticism into consideration. I actually have a lot of people whose job is to criticise me with the aim to correct. I am averse to insults in the name of criticism and not sure I will ever like or accept it.
Is Amanda in a relationship?
Yes I am in a relationship with an amazing man and so far so good. We keep getting better every day and learning and unlearning.
What advice do you have for your fans?
Be you darlings, be the best you can be and do not ever stop working on your dreams. Be happy, life is too short not to be happy. Take every day as it come, love with your heart, drink water, rest and never give up.