Ekpenyong Peace Henry🔔
A young lady I describe as an epitome of strength untold. She is an up-and-coming African writer, studying English language at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Her life has shown that behind those beautifully written words of a writer, lies a heart that has been through all and sundry.
Growing up in a society where the art of writing is regarded as the ‘third side of a coin’ which is believed to have little or no ‘significance’, the choice to write becomes a choice to fight; fighting a rescheduled schedule of war in a battle field where arrows of deterrent words fly by day and swords of a dilapidated economy puncture the zeal and will to write not just the rite but the right.
Rather than confine herself to the claws of self pity. Peace has chosen to infuse positivity (through her words) into not just her life but the lives of those around her.
A lovely piece written by Peace will be ‘the pioneer’ on ~ EXPRESS~SHUN today.
Here’s the inspiring story of her life as writer~~~~~~~~~~~~
MY JOURNEY THUS FAR AS A WRITER
I was asked to do this write up. It’s a challenge for me because it is meant to reveal my interest in writing, reawaken me and prepare me for new discoveries. Am I set for this? Yes, I think so, Yes, I know so.
My journey as a writer didn’t just start automatically. I didn’t just know I’m a writer, I wasn’t born one either, though the gift of writing was deposited in me by God, never knew this at the beginning of my life but with time I got to realize this.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN?
I first realized that I loved writing in my Junior Secondary school days. I loved it when the teacher dictates in class, oh I really like it even up till this moment. I also hated it when the teacher writes on the chalkboard because I barely could see it, it was later I discovered I had eye defects. I became the “fastest finger” in class because I could grasp things fast, immediately the teacher gets to his last sentence I am there and just when he is about to start the next sentence I begin with him. This is where it all started for me, I became excited and it was very interesting because being a new student I became the teacher’s favorite.*** I was later introduced to Literature in English and English Language, a platform where I could explore my mind, imagination to paint a picture either in essay writing, letter writing or in retelling and analyzing a story of a novel or poem. I enjoyed every bit of it because it was my foundational stage. I wasn’t mindful of the grades it earned me but was more fascinated about my write ups and storyline. I asked myself times without number if I was the one who wrote each piece.
Little did I know that these experiences was just a stirring of the waters deep inside me and there was more on my inside yet to be discovered. It became difficult to attain admission or entrance into a University in Nigeria. After several attempts, I got discouraged, depressed, broken and in despair. Loved ones didn’t help matters, they constantly nagged, complained, insulted and compared me with my other mates who had gone off to school and I became very frustrated. I locked myself in, was reserved, and resolved to self pity and condemnation because I wasn’t encouraged. Then I discovered BOOKS- Motivational and Inspirational books, they built me up encouraged me, gave me a reason to be hopeful and never give up. These boosted me and I became tough, in a bid to defend myself from constant deterrent words from those around me, I took to writing. I poured out my disappointment, frustration and grief on them and told them why I needed encouragement more than insults, they realized their mistakes and stylishly came to apologize but not the real way though. I felt light and free because I was able to unburden myself . Emotionally this was a healing process for me, I later channeled my negative writing habit I had and developed it into a positive one. I started writing to people on their birthdays. I’d write a whole profile about families, friends, and other close pals. I’d write about why I thought they stand out, why I cherished them and why I believed they’d go far in life and sometimes I even showed them steps in which they can attain these heights. How I did this I couldn’t explain? This new exercise was a breaking point for me because I felt fulfilled when I made people laugh, cry and gave them hope and encouraged. I also was amazed at my choice of words, arrangement of paragraphs and the content of my message amazed me. I realized I had great potentials so I made this a lifestyle. Every birthday, only few people got these though but they were close to my heart and my style of writing appalled me. I wrote people’s names into acronyms and I explained each letters in-depth. Some returned with tears in their eyes and appreciation cause they never knew or saw themselves the way I painted and described them. It gave me a sense of fulfillment, joy, happiness and I felt honored.
This was the start of something new for me, a turning point, so I made writing an hobby, a daily thing. I spoke on several issues like the nation, life, youths, lifestyle, children, parenting, love, death etc. I posted some of these on my Facebook page. Friends started insulting me “you can write for Africa”. Also got the opportunity to speak to youths in church through the “Youth Ushering Unit” which I spoke passionately. Ideas kept flowing in daily, I kept writing and if I got an urgency in whatever I had to write no matter how hard I procrastinated I wrote it down. I kept reading books and developed a reading lifestyle, I opened myself up to opportunities, attended seminars, trainings and was forever available to do anything to improve myself and writing skills.
When all is said and done I hope to be perfect, skilled, and more improved. A better version of who I am presently. I am a work in progress, open to new ideas, new adventures and experiences, new skill and development. I believe I’d get to where God has set for me if I keep pressing.
Thanks for making me do this. It was a time of refreshing and rehabilitation for me. God Bless You!!!!
God bless you to dear!!
Did I mention that Peace has a sonorous voice?
Yes!! She sings too!!
Glow on Peace
The world is in due need of the hue in you.
Let it shine!🥂