I Am Creative With Ayodeji Rotinwa
It gladdens my heart to see young Nigerians do amazing things so passionately. It makes me proud to be young and Nigerian. At least, I found something I can be proud of in a country where some of the older generations have nothing to teach but how to be corrupt and to be slaves to money and harbor no iota of humanity or human dignity (I sound angry and cranky right? it’s what happens when you don’t have light, no fuel to power your generator then you crawl through traffic caused by those queuing up to buy fuel burning off the little you have left in your own car, then getting into the office to meet some men waiting with a notice from the local government office for you to pay N30,000 as annual television license fee when I don’t even have one in the office and even if I do abeg how much is television tori Olorun?)
So it was a breath of fresh air listening to this young man talk, the first time I came across AyodejiRotinwa, he was writing a piece for ThisDay Style and was typing absent-mindedly on his phone between conversations. Following up with his works, I realized he is also one of the youngest contributors for FORBES, which got me interested, so I had to call, nudge, drag and literally threaten him for an interview.
“I will introduce myself first as a writer and a communication executive, I write for a couple of platforms from print to online and when I am not writing I work as a communications person at Rele Art Gallery so basically all I do is write, (he laughs ). I have always loved books while growing up, I read almost anything and everything to the point that you don’t give me food without a book even till now I find it challenging eating without a book I mean reading and writing is everything to me.”
“I have only dreamed of being a Diplomat all my life as a growing child so all I have ever done was work towards that direction even at school, I actually wrote it down that before 55years I would want to be the United Nations Secretary General. I studied International Law and Diplomacy at Babcock University just so I might stay on course and even when I graduated I did everything I could to be to Abuja so I could get started at the foreign affairs. I wasn’t joking about my dreams, I mean how can I when I have always been fascinated by one major career Diplomat in the person of Ibrahim Gambari but unfortunately it didn’t work out because I was posted to serve in Yobe, so in a way the plan kind of got sidetracked.”
As a local government temporary staff with very little to do considering in Mungoro, Yobe, he spentmost of his time at the Federal Media Centre in the town where they had few books, magazines and old newspapers to keep up with information. An ad in The Nation newspaper requesting for article submissions on something that had recently happened in the country made him rediscover his love for writing.
The insurgency issue in the North became fierce and he got redeployed to Lagos where he met an old friend few who introduced him to the Style Editor for ThisDay Newspapers who requested for an article with a deadline at midnight, he finished and sent it to her on his way home and she liked it and he started work the next day.
Soon he was writing on online and print platform even Airlines inflight Magazines as well as his blog. Few months later he started pitching to international publications because of the versatility of his writing.He ventured into screen and script writing, proposals, copywriting, etc. Writing and communications came easily to me as he opened himself to reading as much as he could.
“For me consistency actually opened me up to a lot of opportunities and I realized writing is elastic, it will only allow you to stretch as much as you are willing to stretch it. Don’t be limited by a particular genre of writing because the more you open up the more you will find out how far you can go and how much power and opportunities that exist within the context of writing. I mean from writing for blogs to putting words together for companies websites, proposals, business plans, speech writing, email drafting, it’s endless I didn’t even know what I was getting into till I started writing. I never saw it as special till I saw the unending need for writing and writers in everyday life, writing itself is life, its communication, it’s how knowledge is passed from generation to generation.”
His advice to people, “just write, start with what you have right now hold on to that little income generating venture and open up yourself to learning and more opportunities. What you have right now is the key to what you want to become. So write as much as you can aspire, research, learn, write and just keep up with the cycle, set your own limit and break that limit and continue the cycle again”.
The power of writing can impact decision making, a lady who once read his article on Lagos, changed her mind about relocating. Words have made campaigns like “Share a Coke with” or the Pepsi “Long throat” have transformed business and income for these brands, that’s the power of writing.
In his words, “every situation is an opportunity to do something, if you look inwards you can create opportunities, what you have now is enough to take you wherever you want to go, start it scared, start it afraid, that’s the fuel you need to take you wherever you want to go, there is no excuse because every unfulfilled plan is an opportunity to start something fresh, don’t be bothered by the pace of other people or their opportunities yours is right where you take it and use it.