Amaka- Kwenu Executive


What is your Igbo name?
Nwamaka (but everyone calls me Amaka)

What is the meaning of your Igbo name?
A child is good/special

What State are you from?

How long have you been a member of ICSN?
Just under 2 years

How did you first hear about ICSN and why did you decide to come?
I was looking for language courses and came across ICSN during that search. Decided to come to one of the GHM’s and realised there was a lot more to the organisation than just language schools

What has been your favourite meeting, event or experience to date at ICSN and why?
I would have to say Ogene and Chop. BBQ is always going to be a favourite of mine but this was something special – great music, food and vibes My second favourite event was the Olympics. It was a great venue and everyone got into the friendly competitive spirit. It was a great day for families and enough competition to keep the adults entertained as well.

What  Executive position do you hold and what does your role involve?
I am Kwenu Executive and this involves producing the monthly edition of Kwenu, our online newsletter. Finding articles, contributors and content, that reflect and complement other ICSN initiatives as well as promoting our Igbo culture – and then bringing it all together in a readable and interesting format

What do you plan to do within your role in the over the next year? 
I want to grow the number of regular contributors. I would like to work more closely with other Execs, including a contribution each month from one of the Exec team. I also want to continue curating the content so that it ties in closely with the GHM theme and other ICSN events. I would also like to continue growing the readership levels.

What are you looking forward to most being in the exec? 
Getting to know my other team members better; contributions to some exciting events; being part of a team and helping ICSN grow and develop

What motivated you to run to be part of the exec?
I wanted to give something back to ICSN. I was struck on my first few visits how friendly, welcoming and open everybody was and this is a feeling I would like to return to other new members

What position did you hold before and when? 
I was Kwenu Editor in the last tenure 2016-17

Why did you decide to run again?
I felt like i wasn’t finished with Kwenu – it can still go further forward and develop more and I would like to contribute to that

What new/different  will you bring to your role this time?
As I said above, I want to collaborate more with other Execs and other members.

What do you do for work?
I work for an Insight and Strategy Consultancy

How did you get into this line of work?
In a pretty unorthodox way. I originally studied law and worked in law firms for a few year. Decided it wasn’t for me and wanted a change in career. A friend of mine told me about a company she knew that would be perfect for me, I had a look into it and what they did and realised she was right! Applied, got a job there and have loved it ever since

Any advice to anyone wanting to get into your field?
Be curious about people and what makes them tick. Travel – your experiences in other cultures and people will be invaluable. Pick up a language if you can (although not obligatory). And do some internships to makes sure it is the right career for you and that you find a company that suits you

What are your plans for the future career wise?
To continue doing a job that I love

What is your favourite dish (pick one Nigerian and one non Nigerian)? Can you make either of them?
Nigerian soups – definitely Bitterleaf but for general dishes without a doubt jollof rice with coleslaw and meat stew. My favourite non-nigerian dish is probably anything Greek. I love the simplicity of their cooking, coupled with fresh ingredients and lots of bbq’d meat!

Please tell us about one of your favourite pastimes/hobbies? What do you like about it? How often? 
I’ve recently fallen in love with yoga. I never really liked it before, couldn’t get to grips with all the specified breathing coupled with odd names for each position. But preservance can cure many misgivings and now that I have managed to get the hang of all the silly names, I’ve discovered I actually rather like it! I try to do it as often as possible, but a couple times a week at a minimum.

Surprise me with an unusual random fact about yourself?
I studied for my Masters degree in the Netherlands and

Do you speak Igbo? If yes, how would you describe your skill level? If not, do you plan to learn? 
No. Although that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried. I have completed the basic language school course twice now, but don’t seem to have made much process. Perhaps 3rd time lucky!

If you were to have a dinner party and could invite three people to join you, who would they be and why (can be people you know or famous people both dead / alive)?
This is a hard question as there are lots of people. But I think I would have to choose both of my grandfathers, as they both died before I had an opportunity to get to know them. And I know I am only supposed to invite one other person, but I think I would have to invite both of my parents so they could spend time with their father’s too

Why did you decide to run for a position in the exec team? 
Having been a member of ICSN for around a year I decided it was time to give back. I had received such a warm welcome from the previous Exec team when I first joined, and it had made such an impression on me that I wanted to be able to pass this experience on to other new joiners

Why did you choose your current role? 
Having had lots of previous experience in writing and editing, I thought this was the role that I would enjoy most and was best suited to my skill set