Ijeoma Ucheibe is a legal practitioner, HR professional, mediapreneur and curator of The Bagus NG, a literary platform promoting African literature with an informal feel.
When she’s not writing an academic paper or marketing books online, Ijeoma reviews books on the award-winning Classic FM 97.3 #BookOnReview show with Benjamin Okoh every Saturday at 9pm. She also has a #PidginReviews series where she reviews African titles in Nigerian Pidgin English and reads a chapter of her latest reads in the #AijayReads series.
RLN: What led you into the African Literary space, was it your passion for literature or the need to change the status quo? Who were your early influences?
IU: First and most importantly, the passion for African literature. My early influences came from reading books from The African Writers Series and Pacesetters series.
RLN: What has been the major highlight of your involvement in African Literature in the last decade?
IU: Founding and curating literary goodies on The Bagus NG.
RLN: How has your career as a lawyer impacted your love for literature?
IU: It has come in helpful especially with signing contracts. Lol.
RLN: As a lover of literature and a voracious reader, what makes a book appealing to you?
IU: The book cover and then the synopsis.
RLN: Any advice for new authors who are trying to find their feet in the over-saturated literary space?
IU: Be true to yourself. Plus have a wow story for the reader.
RLN: As a media personality and curator who has used her platform to promote African voices, how do you think an Author can best position themselves for visibility using the media as a great partner?
IU: Tolu, this is a trade secret o.
RLN: What makes The Bagus NG different from other similar arts organisations?
IU: The Bagus NG is Africa’s foremost literary hub and we are sold out to promotion of strictly African literature.
RLN: How do you manage your differing engagements, law, media and Arts?
IU: Time management and productivity apps come in handy in this regard.
RLN: How do you think the private sector can get more involved in changing the narrative for African Authors? And how can the government (Nigeria & Other African Countries) support African Arts & Literature to ensure African Authors stand tall in World literature?
IU: We need every kind of support especially in changing the laws on intellectual property to adequately protect and cater to creatives especially authors in Nigeria and the continent.
RLN: Where do you see African Literature in the next decade?
IU: I see it taking over the globe. In every sense of that word.