Ebidenyefa Tarila Nikade is a wife, mother, Educationist, teen mentor, counselor, broadcast Journalist and public speaker who believes in creating platforms for young people to express themselves. She is passionate about women and children, especially the sexually abused; hence her writings are centred on such themes. She is the CEO of Creative Xpressions – a foundation set up to discover, inspire, encourage and assist youths realize their potential by providing a positive platform for them to express their thoughts, opinions, ideas and most of all their creativity.
You recently published two books, a poetry collection and a novel, in a month while some writers are struggling with one. How did you do it, especially in separate genres?
I had no inkling to become a writer. I was just an ‘above average ‘ student who loved literature. One can hardly grow up in Port Harcourt and not want to write about it in moments of inspiration. The decision to go all out to publish was preempted by my husband and fueled by an editor’s commendation in Yenagoa after reading my manuscripts. I couldn’t have done without God and my ever supportive husband.
How does writing, especially poetry come for you? Some people say it is spontaneous as led by the muse and others say it can be written whenever the poets wants to.
Sincerely, I can’t even tell how I write. I tell people that I am not an on- the- spot poet but whenever I choose to do poetry, it comes out really special even to my amazement. I love to write from wells of inspiration and deep emotions. For prose, it just flows when my ink gets to paper in those sacred moments of divine inspiration.
Gender issues have taken a front burner in public discourse in recent times and writers have been at the forefront. As a writer whose books focus on women, what is your perspective on gender equality?
My gender equality certainly has bounds especially within the marriage institution. Our roles have been spelt out from creation. Seeking equality is calling for competition in a union of mutual agreement where roles are supposed to be complementary.
Where I have a grouse with gender inequality is when a woman is denied her rights- education, promotion, job opportunities because she is a woman and the fact that women are perceived as sex toys hence they can be squeezed, smooched, raped and expected to accept it as part of being a woman.
How do you combine marriage with writing, advocacy, mentorship and public speaking?
I get caught in that euphoria when I’m booked for an event and then everybody at home knows it’s mummy’s time. As a broadcast Journalist, I go to the studio once a week and whenever my attention is needed. I do Teen mentorship and counselling mostly in church and specialized teen events.
Being a wife, mother and educationist is what I do every other day.
So, somehow I have a routine that ensures productivity in each of the given roles. Fortunately, public speaking is not every day.
What inspired you to begin the Spelling Bee challenge?
Spelling bee was born out of the need to spur children to love education boosting activities as against partying .We had an essay competition for secondary schools and the entries came in with a lot of spelling errors. Given the region we come from-already educationally disadvantaged, we felt the need to help the younger generation realize the importance of reading to improve their vocabularies as a veritable tool for personal development. It is best to catch them young.