I Am Creative with Wana Wana
Three things will definitely catch your attention when you meet her for the first time, her size, her agility and most importantly her smile the last one being too infectious to ignore. I remember the first time I met her few years ago while working on the red carpet, most plus size ladies will whine about how big they look and how they are sure they won’t look great in pictures but not Wana. While I was thinking of a way to cajole her, she walks up to me all smiles and says “would you care to take a picture of me?” from that moment onward, I have never stopped taking pictures of her. .
So you can imagine how happy I was when she finally walked into the studio after bouts of arm-twisting and cajoling for this interview, I haven’t been this fascinated about a lady in a long while at least not since I met my better half.
As expected being someone who never leaves anything undone her makeup artist was on her way and we quickly got down to talking, the energy she brought into the studio was refreshing, it was hard to get our moment but we did. Introducing herself, she said “my name is Wana Odobang, I am a broadcaster, writer, poet and I decided to dabble into film making as well” that caught my attention so I probed more.
A short film called SHRINK to her credit, and Saving Lives Documentary project Sponsored by one of Nigeria’s biggest telecoms company and a web-series called ROOM 313 that addresses the lives of people in therapy so much defines who she is. Growing up in the midst of much older siblings as the last child made her listen to older conversations and this shaped her personality as a cultural and social anthropologist.
Her creative edge was possibly shaped by her sister who was a paint artist and a brother who was a cartoonist and a graphic designer way back when graphic designing was not beans, she became their muse. Armed with all this she moved to the University for the Creative Art in the UK to study Journalism which fortunately being a Creative Art University she was literally immersed in Creativity. She majored in radio journalism and had to do some photojournalism “the essay part of that which I felt more passion towards literally shaped me” she says.
She stumbled on poetry as a growing child while battling depression, a huge sense of isolation from being shipped abroad for her studies which led her to wanting to just write about her feelings, she had to start making sentences short in some sort of Morse Code so not everyone could decipher what she meant if they ever picked her book to read without her consent, it was a friend who made her realize how poetic those writings were and a new passion was born while she was 16.
With poetry she had to bring emotions to life during readings and recitals. “To combine all this as a creative, I employ proper time sharing strategy I see all my creative qualities as part of a project hence I very practical and meticulous I would say I am organised to a T. My regular day starts early, I work-out for about 30mins to an hour then I divide everything I have to do within time-frames based on level of importance and deadlines. Poetry is the only thing I do almost anytime and every time. I write down once it comes to me and recreate the thought process which is more mechanical”
She laughs as I ask about the shortest poem she has ever written “actually I wrote it few days ago she says. I was inspired by a broken flower I had seen earlier and it came to me that evening when I couldn’t sleep
“This is how you break a broken flower;
Peel her petals slowly till she’s empty of offering,
Suck her nectar till she’s void of sweetness
Set fire and burn her till she’s destroyed…….”
For creatives who want to make a successful career out of what they do, you must be in love with creativity and not just the idea of creativity. Be practical, evaluate and have a strategy, properly understand before you move in with an idea and be entrepreneurial. Diversity is key, learn as much as possible so you become an asset within your sphere.
There is no time frame on your dreams start learning what you need to function within that field now, baby steps are very important learn all you can and be whatever you want to be.
To my parting questions about her plans for the year, she says “it’s a whole lot but two of them are my new poetry album and definitely another short film…. while for the others you will have to wait to see”