By Damiete Braide

Mrs Oluchi Chukwuma-Ojeh is a teacher and author, who recently launched her debut book, Breaking Out of Mediocrity. Also, she is working hard to launch her second book before the end of the year.

According to Mrs Chukwuma-Ojeh, “I have made mistakes in life that got me down, and it took reading the Book of Proverbs and inspirational books to help me out. So I would say I have always been an encouragement, and I believe in motivating and inspiring people to greatness.

“As a teacher, I have been privileged to handle cases outside academia, for instance, students with low esteem, lack of drive and more. I took to motivational writing to reach out to young people and share my story to change their mindset and approach to life because the most difficult stage is transition to adulthood and should be guided adequately.”

Asked about her growing up days, the author said it wasn’t fun, “Growing up those days in the north using a thick double lens as a result of bad sight and the name calling or mockery since it was strange seeing a little girl with such lenses automatically kept me low and humiliated.

“Some of my classmates called me ‘Blind Bartimaeus’, and broke my lenses intentionally to hurt me since I looked different. It was until I discovered myself and affirmed I was not disadvantaged, which made me write my first book, Breaking out of Mediocrity.

“The book addresses the problem of low self esteem, which must have resulted from the feeling of not being enough or stigmatised. No matter how stucked-up you are in life, you have the ability to break free, and it’s a personal decision.”

Chukwuma-Ojeh disclosed that, as a first-time writer, publishing herself wouldn’t be a good idea, so she decided to publish her book through a publishing house, Kevbes Book Haven Publishing.

On her schedule, Chukwumah-Ojeh noted it was quite tight, so she used a simple strategy tagged WOTG (Write On The Go). She explained:  “Therefore, I literally write on the go. As inspiration comes, I put it down immediately with my phone’s WPS. Break times at work and night times at home was dedicated to writing to meet my daily target.

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“Once I achieve my daily task, I attend to my online business and family. It is tasking but achievable once my mind is fixed on a goal with the help of an accountability partner (my book coach) giving me the needed push.

“God created us all uniquely with great talent, so I actually don’t have a favourite time to write. I simply see uniqueness in every piece of writing I come across. I look forward to writing my second book before the end of this year by God’s grace, and I hope to take my time to write the book. The research on my book cuts across other books such as the Bible and, of course, the internet.

“I participated in Teacher’s Naija Reality TV show in 2021, and it was amazing. It gave me the opportunity to meet great minds, learn and unlearn. The games and tasks given were thought provoking – one I can’t forget easily was the field activity, which focused on identifying weak learners in the class; they are mostly hidden, and it takes close observation to fish them out and carry them along.

“Secondly, the pool side game, tagged ‘Your School Must Not Fall’, focused on the importance of unity in building the educational sector. It’s a collective responsibility of the government, school owners, parents and teachers. The teaching profession needs more attention if we must get the best education in our country. Imagine there wasn’t much support for a programme like that.

“For the Teachers Naija Reality TV show I went for, the winner went home with two million naira when compared to a popular reality show where the winner goes home with over N50m. That’s a clear instance on what will value more in the country. Annual reward for readers will greatly revive the reading culture and breed a better society of great leaders in Africa.

“Although I didn’t win, I don’t think I will go for competitions again in the future, not for any specific reason.

I will say my inspiration comes from God and the passion to reach out to as many as possible, considering the increasing state of depression in the world especially amongst young people through their transitional period to adulthood.

“I believe in motivation, introducing rewards will go a long way towards increasing the reading culture in the country. There is always this push to do more when rewards are attached to an activity. I believe an attractive reward will revive reading culture.”