The Great Beginning
The book starts with a bang in 2020 before travelling back to 2002, where we meet young Nadine Obiageli Ngozi Nwaturuegwu in Oxford with her dad Ezekiel. She appears to be an entitled rich brat who scrunches up her nose at the tiniest scent of coffee. I was a little offended, because who doesn’t like the smell of coffee?
She quickly meets a new friend, Stella Matthews, and they both become the best of friends. Nadine introduces Stella to Nigerian cuisine, while Stella’s family becomes her surrogate family while she’s studying at Bella Ray College. Nadine is an ambitious girl with big dreams, and parents who are happy to support her.
The first thing I noticed that was unusual, is Nadine’s relationship with her father. Culturally, Nigeria is a patriarchal society and, therefore, girls are to be married off. So boys are favourites while girls have to be silent, good wives when they grow up. In Forever There For You, Nadine and her father are close, and Ezekiel has shown that Nadine is loved.
While Chioma herself does not have a good relationship with her father, she wants Nadine to have one. She says:
‘Despite not having any experience of a good father, I knew I needed Nadine’s father to be good and for them to have a safe, healthy relationship. I refused to believe that no Nigerian man had a great relationship with his daughter but I didn’t know what that looked like. So, I researched and called on things I’d seen in the media.’
Two years after she lands in the UK, Nadine meets Raymond, and they are happy together. Things begin to change after Nadine attends her cousin’s wedding. Amid the drama and family arguments, Nadine realises that her parents have opinions about her future life partner, and it shakes her to her core. Torn between what she wants and the expectations of her family and community, Nadine seeks refuge in religion.
On the surface, we see Nadine projects herself as a successful and outgoing person. She studies hard to become a lawyer, and she’s found a man who is also a practicing Christian. Her world seems perfect to all, so no one thinks to ask her if anything was wrong, or if she is struggling internally. Nadine has good relationships with her colleagues and maintains her close friendship with best friend, Stella.
However, somewhere in the story, Nadine is not okay. She knows she is being abused by her husband. The scenes are graphic and the author describes her pain and humiliation in detail. When she reaches out for help, her pleas are stonewalled by her own mother and her support system. This is the reality that many abuse victim’s face: the failure of systems that are supposed to help. Chioma knows this, because she has experienced it herself:
‘Forever There For You is the book I wish existed when I was growing up. Some call it a cautionary tale but in some ways, it’s hope. That your outcome doesn’t necessarily have to be a direct reflection of, or a segue from your past.
When you grow up with a father who hates you, a narcissistic mother who empowers him and tells you that “this is what happens in other homes so if you talk about it outside, nobody will believe you or care”, or in an environment where your churchgoing parents have no problem with you being told at least three times a day that you are “ugly, stupid, fat (I’ve NEVER been overweight), useless and will never make it in life” – you need hope that your present doesn’t always have to be your future. Even if it’s a cautionary tale.’
In the end, Nadine’s story ends with a brief highlight before crashing down into a cruel twist of fate. It was supposed to be a happy ending for our heroine, who has battled her own doubts to call quits in a relationship. While most of us will think that girls like Nadine should know better, the author has painted a stark and honest picture on how most girls will feel when in that situation: it is not just about themselves they are thinking about.
My Thoughts versus Chioma’s
In most Asian cultures, girls are taught that men are under a lot of pressure and girls should just accept and bear the burden. Or sometimes, we’ve made our bed so now we have to lie in it. Even though the continents are far apart geographically, somehow the cultures and belief system are so similar, I wonder if we have been brainwashed into thinking this is normal. Forever There For You is an example of how people are conditioned into accepting what they know to be untrue.
I am in awe of the story — it shows that we can be strong and smart, yet still accept the humiliation and pain because our peers and family expect us to. Nadine knows she is being abused by her husband, and as a lawyer, she could have divorced his ass. But when her mother tells her to persevere, and her church sisters tell her she has to accept, she does it despite knowing it is wrong. So, if you are looking at a victim of abuse asking for help, or a sign, don’t turn away and say that everything will be fine. You validating the feeling and suspicion that something is not right might save a life.
Chioma notes: ‘Nigeria is not a society that’s kind to women so some women feel compelled to carry and perpetuate a burden to prove their womanhood through great and unnecessary suffering. That thing of self-preservation that should work in normal human beings is missing from the psyche of many Nigerian women. So the worse it hurts, the more relevant they feel.
Some churched women don’t know what to do with a sane, drama-free, kind man who is not abusive and doesn’t give them cause to offer prayers in distress – because they’ve not been equipped to be with such a man. Just like a lot of churched men are genuinely confused by, so hostile to, women who don’t tolerate abuse.
From what I know and have seen, a lot of churches pay lip service to “Leave (an abusive situation) first, pray from a distance” so abuse still happens in homes and there are a lot of so-called Christian, Nigerian women who are one punch, one slap or one shove away from being an RIP hashtag on social media.’
Verdict on Forever There For You
When asked about her message to all the victims of abuse out there, Chioma Nnani says: “Abuse is ALWAYS the abuser’s fault. Choose you, quietly plan your escape and leave without looking back.”
Forever There For You is available in Kobo, through Chioma’s company: Fearless Storyteller. She chooses this name because ‘I can literally be the only one in a place with a different opinion about a thing and not be bothered cos I’m not hungry for anyone’s approval. And in Nigeria when you’re like that, they say, “Ah, this one, she no dey fear” which means “This person is fearless, she’s not afraid.”
It is a perfect name for the author, who is not afraid to paint things the way she sees it. Hence, if you are not afraid to look at the ugly side of abuse, Forever There For You is an engaging book that is riveting, yet sad at the same time.
Read the rest of the interview here:
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I know that you have done interviews about Forever There For You, and I know it is not drawn from your own experience, but it felt real. What inspired you to pick Nadine as an example that domestic violence can happen to anyone?
I grew up in a heavily abusive environment; the only way I wasn’t abused was sexual. But we weren’t poor in the sense of poor like couldn’t afford meals or clothes or expensive schools; we were pretty middle-class. So, the idea that domestic violence cannot happen to you unless you grow up in what Americans would call ‘the projects’ or what the British would call ‘a council estate’ was ridiculous to me because I grew up knowing different. I went to the BEST and the most expensive (at the time) kindergarten/nursery/primary school in the State in Nigeria where I grew up, cos like I said before – we weren’t poor. And as far as I know, nobody outside the house ever suspected I was abused!
Yet, when I started doing research for the character of Nadine, (I already knew she was going to go through it in her adulthood and that was initially supposed to be the point of the story but) I started coming up against opinions suggesting that a woman can’t be with an abusive partner as an adult unless she’s poor and/or had abuse modelled for her as a child! Like why else would she think that’s normal, history repeats itself but there’s nothing to repeat if there’s no history. I knew from both research and personal experience that was (excuse my language) bullsh*t.
I’d always known something was wrong with the way I was treated as a child (it was so bad that I thought I was adopted, then I started to pray I’d find out I was adopted cos that would sort of make sense but no such luck cos I definitely wasn’t adopted) and I’d always wanted to do something about it. I’ve written from a very young age, maybe 6 and that was an outlet for me. I was very quiet as a child, I barely spoke (cos I was told I had nothing useful to say) but I was pretty precocious and literature was my first love. I can still remember being 5years old and reading newspapers and that was before primary school! I feel (and it’s been my experience as I run a publishing company) that unless they plagiarised or outrightly stole someone’s work, every writer’s first story is the story they want to tell or they were born to tell. It may not be autobiographical but that first book or song is the essence of their soul; what they truly want to say. It’s who they really are (including what they’re thinking and feeling, what they truly care about, and how their minds really work) before branding and marketing experts/agents get involved.
Even before I thought FOREVER THERE FOR YOU would happen, I had heard “Write the story you want to read, that you wish already existed” and that’s what I did. I played a lot with characters, events, motivations, locations and all that but FOREVER THERE FOR YOU is the book I wish existed when I was growing up. Some call it a cautionary tale but in some ways, it’s hope. That your outcome doesn’t necessarily have to be a direct reflection of, or a segue from your past. When you grow up with a father who hates you, a narcissistic mother who empowers him and tells you that “this is what happens in other homes so if you talk about it outside, nobody will believe you or care”, or in an environment where your churchgoing parents have no problem with you being told at least three times a day that you are “ugly, stupid, fat (I’ve NEVER been overweight), useless and will never make it in life” – you need hope that your present doesn’t always have to be your future. Even if it’s a cautionary tale.
When some people go through something or are going through it, they eat or shop. I write. FOREVER THERE FOR YOU was my initial response to the abuse I had gone through in the place where I should have been safe, the character of Nadine was my well-researched based on personal experience response to (quite frankly) ignorant people who said, “Only poor, uneducated people from a background of abuse can find themselves in an abusive marriage/relationship as adults cos they don’t know anything else” – and somehow the story has resonated with people who are either in abusive marriages/relationships, or those who work with abused women.
I’ve had women who were stuck in abusive marriages reach out to me and say, “Thank you for saving my life. I’ve been in an abusive marriage for 18years, but I read your book and I’ve now filed for divorce.”
You said that language was a challenge when you were writing the book, however I was cringing about the arguments between Nadine and her mom and her “sisters” at the church, because that would be the sort of argument my mom and some of my peers would give me. Did you find it confronting to write those parts?
To be honest, it was cathartic. I knew I would get blowback from church people who are abusers or abuse-enablers or sufferers of Stockholm Syndrome (and I did) but I’ve heard variations of those arguments between Nadine and her mother, and between Nadine and her “church sisters”. Not always the exact same words but the same sentiments, I’ve heard them in religious women’s groups and in Nollywood movies.
Nollywood is what we call the Nigerian film industry, and back in the day, so in the 90s and early 00s, Nollywood was run by misogynistic men in a society that wasn’t very kind to women. From what I’ve been told, Harvey Weinstein had nothing on some of these men. But I think the Nigerian situation was worse because the men were also the writers and the producers as well as the directors of what Americans would refer to as indie productions cos we didn’t have anything even vaguely resembling a studio system at the time.
A writer can be pretty powerful if they’re given the space and the latitude to express themselves, but when they’re also the financier (so a producer) and the director, that’s a real triple threat. They’re not just shaping popular opinion by presenting something new but they can perpetuate a stereotype with their productions – such that viewers see whatever is onscreen as normal or aspirational. And if that writer/producer/director is an a**hole or doesn’t think much of women, what kind of stuff do you think he’s going to put out?
Back in the day when women in Nollywood could only be actresses and assistants, there were some terrible stories told and stereotypes being perpetuated. Bear in mind that this was before social media so celebrities didn’t have a place to exercise their own right of reply, even if it was the work of a PR person. So, these writer/producer/director folk were gods. They didn’t just have technical ability and directing skills, they could start a rumour or refuse to clarify a story because they’ve got a beef with an actress who had an opinion, and that would be the end of her career because nobody else would want to work with her. And distributors wouldn’t want to carry movies featuring that actress. A lot of moviewatchers in Nigeria (bless them) don’t know the difference between fact and fiction, so the actress would also lose her fans or even fiance. Remember she has no social media or publicist to say, “Hey, this is what really happened, so-and-so is lying against me”. Now, some people in the public eye do choose not to respond even via their own channels (social media, blog or agent) but it’s a choice. Back then, the option wasn’t even there. And magazine columnists and editors were often envious of the pretty actress in the public eye or just looking for a ‘good story’ (read as salacious gossip that would sell) so they’d be in cahoots with movie producers and distributors. And she couldn’t go to them, either. In the meantime, there would be at least fifty other chics lining up to take that actress’ place to tell the reductive stories that a writer/producer/director comes up with. Which was mainly that a good woman had to suffer to prove her goodness – including stay in an abusive marriage and pray for her abuser to change, no matter how bad it got or how many times he landed her in hospital.
At some point, it’s difficult to say which came first – the egg or the chicken – so did we see this in real life and start acting them out in movies so everyone thinks it’s OK, or did we first watch it in a movie and think, “Oh, that’s what’s supposed to happen in an African marriage” so we perpetuate it. But at the time I wrote FOREVER THERE FOR YOU, abuse condoned in churches, victims being gaslighted and people being actively discouraged from marrying outside their tribe – were all the norms.
I want to say that things have changed over time and I don’t have exact statistics or anything but now, you do get cases of women who lie against a man that he beat them cos they know it’ll whip people up into a frenzy, especially if they put photos on social media, so they can destroy his reputation and divorce him without being questioned. But abuse against women is still a thing in some places and religious sects/denominations frequented by Nigerians (even the ones abroad). Just a few weeks ago, a very popular gospel singer in Nigeria (Osinachi Nwachukwu) died and what we’re hearing now is that it was a result of her being violently abused by her husband who’s a pastor, on the regular (physically and financially), that she had been told by some people who knew of the abuse to leave on multiple occasions, but she said she was praying and god would change her husband.
Nigeria is not a society that’s kind to women so some women feel compelled to carry and perpetuate a burden to prove their womanhood through great and unnecessary suffering. That thing of self-preservation that should work in normal human beings is missing from the psyche of many Nigerian women. So the worse it hurts, the more relevant they feel. Some churched women don’t know what to do with a sane, drama-free, kind man who is not abusive and doesn’t give them cause to offer prayers in distress – because they’ve not been equipped to be with such a man. Just like a lot of churched men are genuinely confused by, so hostile to, women who don’t tolerate abuse. From what I know and have seen, a lot of churches pay lip service to “Leave (an abusive situation) first, pray from a distance” so abuse still happens in homes and there are a lot of so-called Christian, Nigerian women who are one punch, one slap or one shove away from being an RIP hashtag on social media.
The Nigerian justice system is slow, and that’s when it works at all. So, it often takes years for a case where a woman has died from being a victim of domestic violence, to get to trial. Sometimes, there’s politicians, pastors and other highly placed people working overtime to sweep it under the carpet. But when it does get to court, there are still no winners. There was this case we had of a youth pastor, Kolawole Arowolo who killed his wife, Titi but he told the court she stabbed herself 76 (seventy-six) TIMES! He’s still on death row. And even after that, some women in abusive situationships still listen/choose to “stay and pray”.
You mentioned you were abused as a child, and that made a lasting impact on you. Is that why Nadine has such a great relationship with her dad despite everyone in Nigeria was laughing at him?
When fleshing out the character of Nadine, the idea of “what kind of relationship did she have with her dad? What kind of a man is he?” was something I just had to include. Like I said before, I’d come up against opinions of you’d have to have an abusive father to end up with an abusive husband, and I knew that was ridiculous so I didn’t want to use that.
Despite not having any experience of a good father, I knew I needed Nadine’s father to be good and for them to have a safe, healthy relationship. I refused to believe that no Nigerian man had a great relationship with his daughter but I didn’t know what that looked like. So, I researched and called on things I’d seen in the media. There’s a place in FOREVER THERE FOR YOU where Nadine’s dad takes her to Paris, just before she has to go back to school and he thinks she’s going to start having boyfriends but while he’s gotten her used to a certain lifestyle because he has money, he recognises while that’s not the only thing a good guy might bring to a relationship, that sometimes sh*t happens. So, he tells her, “I brought you to Paris so that your memories will never be tainted cos you’d have seen the city of love for the first time with the only man who will always love you, no matter what.”
I totally stole that from Gwyneth Paltrow. I think it was shortly after her father died, that she gave an interview to Oprah and Gwyneth talked about how when her dad was alive, he had taken her to Paris for the first time in her life and told her that. And I wondered, “Gosh, what must that be like?” And it stuck with me.
When I was writing FOREVER THERE FOR YOU, I think I had been in a couple of relationships by that point so it made sense to me how a woman’s memory of a thing can be tainted because of who they associate with it. There are people who can’t enjoy a particular food or dessert or movie or restaurant or experience anymore because of how their relationship with the person who introduced them to it, has changed or how the relationship ended.
So, that initial Parisian trip was just one of the markers of the great relationship Nadine had with her dad. I thought it was really important for that to happen cos I knew I would send her to Paris later and she would be there with a boy but that relationship wouldn’t work out and it wouldn’t be his fault. Out of all the things I was going to put her through as a character, I didn’t want the discolouration if you like, of certain experiences to be part of the baggage I was giving her. I think experiences are really important, cos whether or not there’s money, it’s how a person makes us feel that sticks with us and sometimes informs our viewpoint of ourselves. I needed Nadine to have a great relationship with a man that would not change or be poisoned, no matter what. For some women, that is their dad. And when that happens, you find that this is not a man who gives a sh*t what society thinks.
In Nigeria, a lot of men are very sad if they have a girl or only a girl – cos society tells them to be sad. On some level, although I wasn’t married when the paperback of FOREVER THERE FOR YOU came out, I wrote that relationship between Nadine and her dad as a forbear of the healthy and safe relationship I hoped to see between my husband and my future daughter. Just because I didn’t have a particular good thing and it’s too late for that part of my story to change, doesn’t mean it’s impossible or that I couldn’t begin to plan in advance to ensure my descendants have that good thing as their normal. Even before I was sure that I wanted children or before I accepted my husband’s proposal, I knew that could only happen if I did whatever it took to make sure that my future daughter(s?) would know unconditional love from the father I provided.
Which makes Nadine’s story all the more tragic cos there’s people wondering, “How and why did this happen? She had a good dad who loved her unconditionally, why wasn’t that enough (to save her)?”
You mentioned you are based in Abuja, and you have studied in the UK (well, I read your Amazon profile). So from one migrant to another, do you find that you fit in one country better than the other, or you are just in the middle and you like both in different ways?
That’s an interesting question. There are things about both places that I like, and things that I don’t like about both Nigeria and the UK. When I was leaving Nigeria for the UK, I knew for a fact that I would return to Nigeria. I didn’t know when it would be and I didn’t necessarily like that fact, but I knew it would happen. In the UK, I got opportunities and exposure I know I wouldn’t have gotten in Nigeria so I’m grateful. The downside is I don’t know if it was racism or just ignorance intended to annoy but a lot of people called me the new Chimamanda. Like they couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that more than one female writer of Nigerian origin in existence, was writing about women’s rights, equality or feminist issues.
As an adult, I’ve read some of Chimamanda Adichie’s books and while to be honest, I can see why some people might be reminded of her work by mine or vice versa, we’re not the same and our experiences and writing styles are very different.
I think it’s similar to some things in the American or British music industry we’ve been hearing quite recently, where a woman of colour says she was unable to get into a band or a recording contract years ago cos the record label was like, “You’re really talented and pretty but we already have a Black girl.” Seriously? Even identical twins are permitted to be different so how can any sane person think two creatives who sort of maybe look alike, are the same? And having a Chi in my name, I don’t know if that made them think their views were valid and justifiable, it was weird and offensive cos I knew some didn’t see me or they chose not to.
In Nigeria, it’s funny cos some people see me as ‘too British’. I’ve actually been fired from a writing gig (for a “reality show”) ‘because I didn’t sound Nigerian enough’. I was so shocked, confused and embarrassed that I couldn’t tell my husband for a couple of days. I’m used to “If you do something bad or you’re an a**hole on set or location, you’ll get fired”, so the fact that I could be let go by people who were aware that prior to their hiring me, I’d been living in the UK for nearly a decade – that was a revelation that shook me.
On a personal level, I don’t let people’s feelings about my non-conformity bother me. I’ve never really fit in, even from when I was a child cos I have a tendency to ask questions that make people uncomfortable. Like Jade in the story “The One” in my second book, BECAUSE HOME IS… I fell in love with Abuja when it was just a place on a map to me and I’d never stepped foot in it. So, despite my feeling like an outsider in many ways, it’s home to me. I can do my job yet be anonymous; Abuja is not Lagos and I love that. It’s weird what you can achieve or hear when you dress down, take off your makeup, go to places nobody expects you to be and are quiet so nobody recognises your voice. What people say or think about me as a person is none of my business, so I don’t carry that burden; it’s theirs to labour under.
Career-wise, I feel like being an outlier of sorts in two different places at once, gives me an advantage I wouldn’t have had otherwise. When I first returned to Nigeria, one of the main things that frustrated me was the absence of the structures I’d taken for granted in the UK. I would be talking about things that so-called creative/artiste managers and PR people were totally clueless about, as they tried to push me in directions I definitely didn’t want to go.
The good thing about being in the UK is having physical proof of not just the existence but also the workability of certain systems and structures. The good thing about being in Nigeria, career-wise, and it’s also a tricky thing is having the audacity to believe that I can create something from scratch in Nigeria based on something I’ve already seen in the UK – even if nobody here knows what the hell I’m talking about. Sometimes, I’m lifting it, other times, I’m mixing and matching – so a bit of what I saw in the UK adapted to or mixed with something already existing in Nigeria.
When I started my first blog in Nigeria, gossip blogging (think Perez Hilton in the US) was all that people knew. But I didn’t have the stomach or interest for gossip so I chose to do something else. And I didn’t like the structure of blogs in Nigeria so I decided I wouldn’t do mine like that. I had some magazine experience in the UK, so what I ended up creating was a blogazine. Before I did it, it wasn’t done in Nigeria and I didn’t even know blogazine was a real word that existed in any dictionary. About a year after I launched my blogazine, I won the UK BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) Award for “Blog of The Year”, which was ironic given that 1) I’d NEVER won a BEFFTA when I was living in the UK and 2) I had been fired months earlier from the writing gig I’d thought would be my big break.
Because I wasn’t getting a lot of comments on the blog, I assumed people weren’t visiting or they were all in the UK. Then, I went to a meeting at a movie production company in Lagos and there was this guy I’d never seen before or since, who was like, “I know you. I know your blog cos I’m an IT designer and a client of mine showed me your blog. They asked me to design their blog like yours cos it looks different. I’ve been following your work since.”
I also presented a live, weekly radio show from Nigeria with a radio station in the UK in 2016. The station admitted they had never done it before they got me on board and prior to that, I wouldn’t have thought it possible. But like I said before, audacity.
Brand-building in Nigeria has been an interesting experience career-wise as I haven’t done it the traditional way (whether it’s with getting an agent/manager who claims they know what they’re doing but in reality wants to pimp me out to politicians and businessmen and women or me doing the kinds of shows some people prefer/demand/dictate women in the public eye do to satisfy a society that’s afraid of powerful women). I’ve built my own business, figured out my personal brand, decided what kind of projects I don’t want to do, and pretty much found a way to make people not know the truth about my personal life and partner while keeping them hidden in plain sight. I trained as a stage actress before I travelled to the UK to study Law so I’ve been able to pull some shockingly believable stunts to keep my personal business personal cos I’ve found that some people are so stupid and full of hate; if something bad they hope happened to you shows up on social media, they believe it. And as long as it means they leave me alone, I’m happy for them to believe what they like.
So, I don’t know if this answers your question but whether it’s the UK or Nigeria, I don’t fit into either place even if there are aspects of each that I enjoy and people believe whatever they’re told – whether it’s published by the DailyMail or a gossip blogger in Nigeria. For me, it’s been more about finding ways to thrive in both places.
If there is a message to all the victims of abuse out there, reading your book, what message do you want to give them?
Abuse is ALWAYS the abuser’s fault. Choose you, quietly plan your escape and leave without looking back.
Would you have a story for Stella her bestfriend? I would hope to see Stella get the happy ending Nadine didn’t manage to have =)
Wow! You know, I haven’t thought of a story for Stella like that. Stella actually happened because I needed Nadine to have a support system that would ironically fail her without meaning to.
Even some of Stella’s characteristics developed as a result of something; she was actually supposed to have two British parents. But the way I speak is with a lot of Americanisms, even though I spell the British way. I instinctively feel like the American way of spelling is wrong (like favor, favorite, color, center) but I read and watched a lot of American material in my late teens to early 20s. Meaning that I imbibed certain things to the point where British English and American English are both part of my vocabulary.
When FOREVER THERE FOR YOU was in the preview stage, that’s one of the notes one of the previewers came back with – this is riddled with Americanisms, we don’t talk like this in the UK, we don’t have in England. And because it was very hard work to make the separation in my mind but I felt the Americanisms would work in a story that’s partly set in England if there was a reason for the Americanisms, Stella became a kid with an American mother, an English dad, a rebellious streak, a New York twang plus a brother with a British accent.
Stella was never meant to be a main character. Although I tried to make her as well-rounded as possible, she exists in the world of FOREVER THERE FOR YOU in relation to Nadine. And Nadine’s story is done, there’s no sequel so…
And the stories that I tell, I don’t wrap them up for everyone. It’s not necessarily a cliffhanger else people will feel cheated, but whether they’re reading, watching or listening, there’s ALWAYS an element of “Omigod, what happens next?” for my audience. And they’re free to draw their own conclusion cos I don’t have all the answers.️
Why Fearless Storyteller?
There was nothing else? (laughs) No seriously, emm, back in the UK, I ran into this so-called pastor who said I was offensive to god cos I told stories. That I wasn’’ a true Christian cos I wasn’’ using my writing gift to write Bible over and over again.
After I recovered from my shock, I was like, “OK, I tell stories. I own it, I will actively monetise it and anyone who’’ uncomfortable with it isn’’ meant to be in my circle and that’’ OK.””
With the fearless bit, that was a word that kept coming up over and over again in relation to me. Which is ironic given that I was afraid of everything when I was a child.
But as an adult, I’’ not afraid to speak my mind, ask questions or do whatever I feel I need to do – no matter what anyone says or thinks. I can literally be the only one in a place with a different opinion about a thing and not be bothered cos I’’ not hungry for anyone’’ approval. And in Nigeria when you’’e like that, they say, ““h, this one, she no dey fear””which means ““his person is fearless, she’’ not afraid.””
So, when I decided to go from solo provider of storytelling services to an actual registered business, this was the most natural choice for a business name. And when some people hear it and when they meet me or read my work or hear me on TV/radio or podcast, they’e like, “ep, the name makes sense.”
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