Amina Maikori is a broadcast journalist turned multimedia specialist but has always been a writer at heart. She’s written feature articles for Business Day Newspapers, guest blogged for Oklahoma City University and reviewed Wole Soyinka’s The Interpreters for the now defunct NEXT newspapers. Her broadcast story, ‘ The System’ was shortlisted, selected as one of 9 winning entries and published on Inspiration and FRCN as part of British Council’s Radiophonics project with Lancaster University, UK. Another story, ‘Pyeng’s Staking’ was published in Weekend Trust Newspapers.
Amina’s media Career started in Kaduna State Television (KStV) as a Newsroom artist while she was still a student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. After her NYSC, she interviewed for a job at 96.9 cool Fm where she eventually got to cover the Senate as a correspondent, including the U.S. Embassy, British High Commission, MTV base awards and PDP rallies. She also produced the 6.45am bulletins and co produced Nigeria Watch, a weekly program on current affairs. She also produced business bulletins, sports and entertainment, amongst others.
From there she moved to Network News 24(NN24) as a reporter and then show host and producer of a personality/ magazine program, ‘ Exclusive’. She also freelances as a writer for and has written ‘Gbagaun-Gbagaun’ an Educational Radio drama sponsored by ESSPIN. She has since moved to digital marketing and communications working in a multimedia capacity to promote activities at different times at the British Council in Nigeria, British High Commission, Maali, Oriental Express.
In May 2016, her collection of short stories, The Demystification Of Stephen was published on Amazon Kindle, Barnes &Noble, IBooks and Kobo.
SNAPSHOT OF MY CAREER
-Current Job – Author and MultiMedia Specialist
-Education- Queens College, Lagos, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria( BA Literature in English) Fellow Salzburg Global Fellowship, Austria. Member UK Chartered Institute Of Public Relations( CIPR)
-First Job- 9.6.9 Cool Fm( Senate Correspondent, Entertainment, and Diplomatic Reporter)
-Necessary Luxury- I won’t call it luxury per se but I always like to have a book and Mobile music when I’m away from home.
-Your Passion – Music, Writing, History
WHAT FUELS ME?
Determination – Life is full of challenges and sometimes your best-laid plans do not come to fruition. When that happens its time to take a break but not for long.
Knowledge- I like to be aware of what happens to me and I like to learn new things.
Original- I like to look at things from different perspective.
MY GREATEST INFLUENCE:
First my mother. I was kind of obsessed with magazines and TV so when I was about 9 she felt the experience in Television would do me world of good so she worked something out and I sort of interviewed for a children’s program. Every week I went to The Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) headquarters in Lagos for practice then recording -mostly as a member of the audience but on the few times I appeared on the panel I could be sure she was sitting down at home in front of the TV set , taking notes. When I got home though, she take me through blow by blow of things I didn’t get right and make suggestions. It was sort of my doing your math homework- not so exciting.
My father became more influential when she passed on. I was in my teens and by then he’d managed to convince my older siblings to study law at some point or the other. Me? I loved the media. When I applied for admission however, it was for Economics- which I got. English was my second choice and I remember getting that admission letter and my dad asked me, ‘ In 50 years what would you look back at and be happy you achieved?’ We eventually went to the school and changed my course to English. It’s easier because English isn’t a course people hustle for. The school board was probably excited to have an extra space in Economics. You see, that question my dad asked led me to writing a list of possibilities which I still refer to. And that list? That’s my competition.
MY TOP THREE ROLE MODELS:
Veteran Broadcaster, Eugenia Abu: She operates not just on Television but on several other media platforms as well. She manages to do it seamlessly.
Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama: For being everything a career woman should be and more. I’d need a whole page for this!
Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka: His book, ‘ The Interpreters’ is one of my top 5 books ever written. A lot of writers back then described the old African society but his was the contemporary African society in which he presented multiple characters to tell such a profound story. You realize that a lot of things going on in our African societies didn’t just start today. I wrote on critique on the book a few years ago , where I say more about the book. More importantly, he has had great influence on my style as a creative writer. I like to explore specific issues through various characters.
IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS…..
I was very excited to publish my book,’ The Demystification Of Stephen ‘ last year. So I hope to have finished work on at least two more books in five years. Aside from that I hope to use film to tell more African stories- there is so much that needs to be told.As mentioned earlier, I have that list I drew up as a teenager but has grown a little over the years. Some things I tried on it didn’t go as planned and others turn out great. I’m also lucky to have siblings who are happy to tailor their life experiences to my own interests and give me hard truths. Sometimes tough love is key. For my documentaries , my friend keeps reminding about documentaries I said I’d do. I’ve done corporate videos- that’s documentary of some sort but we are talking Nigerian and other African stories and I’m on it. Again, there’s my father who still tries to convince me that 4 more years adding Law to my portfolio would be a fantastic move. I doubt though it’s in the cards for me but never say never.
THE AFRICAN WOMAN’S CHALLENGE:
Well, they say there is a glass ceiling for women but growing up in a house full of men, I have never really taken notice. Of course I know it exists but I’ve never let that be my reality. I think though that there are many instances where women have been told to keep quiet, or endure harassment or stopped from taking up certain jobs because they are female and that’s just wrong. Having said that I have to confess that I am more of a humanist than a womanist. I think you don’t have to be female to go through setbacks. What I have begun however is a series of interviews on people who are making a difference. Its still early days but I hope they get inspired by some of the interviewees I have on. I also give random unsolicited advice to people I know and come across- from taxi drivers, to young models to camera men. I just hope someone doesn’t tell me to shut up some day!:)
WHAT I DO TO RELAX:
I love to laugh. Luckily some of my friends and most of my family members feel the same way so we hang out and do just that. I also love to travel both locally and internationally. It’s the quickest way to expand your mind. I listen to Music , I read fast paced novels and for inspiration I binge on the book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes-both in the Bible.
MY – I.C.E. [INSPIRE|CELEBRATE|EMPOWER] VISION
African women have been strong for a long time. A lot of women across the world are strong but to find that balance between being strong and gentle is no easy feat. A lot of African women have that. Another thing is the easy stride they’ve taken by moving away from the traditional roles of being the home keepers to now being that and in addition, sharing in the traditional male role of being the provider.
MY AFRICAN UNION PLANS:
I’d like to talk about Self awareness and worth using my experience as a journalist in Radio, TV and Corporate communications. You have to know where you are coming from to know where you are going to. Stories – whichever way they are told- are very powerful. Many Africans don’t know their background. If they did they’d make different choices. Sometimes their narrative need to be changed but they don’t know it. When you’ve had a negative vibe for so long you begin to embrace it as truth. Can you then imagine what happens if that negative voice is cut off and replaced by a more positive one that keeps telling you that you are a bundle of possibilities?
FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE:
Never be afraid to take risks. I keep trying new things because I am determined to be true to myself even if it means making mistakes along the way and being criticized for them. Mistakes are a form of risk and without risk it’s hard to buildup to the success you desire.
Also learn how to use the internet beyond social media. The digital space presents us with a world of opportunity from scholarships, to fellowships and collaborations a lot of us don’t seem to realise exist. If you are not very familiar with it, start with Google-type in the key words. They didn’t lie when they said Google is your friend.