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A Peek Into the Life Of… Chinedu Anarado – Communications Lead

BellaNaija.com

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We made a call for BellaNaija readers to be a part of a new exciting feature, titled ‘A Peek Into The Life Of‘ which the Features Team has been working on. {Click here if you missed it} We’ve been very excited by the feedback we’ve received and we’re happy with the submissions we’ve been receiving. It feels so good to get to know our readers better – what they do, and what makes them going in their individual careers. Our first feature was an actor,{click here if you missed it} but today, we’re bringing it even closer home. 

*ding ding ding*

Meet Chinedu Anarado, a communications lead in the development sector!

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At an Internally Displaced Persons Camp in the FCT – the story of these people brought me to tears

Job title Communications Lead on a development programme. I am based in Abuja

What you do specifically? My role is to give my organisation maximum exposure, communicate our impact and ensure we avoid bad press and also keep employees and funders constantly update through identified channels

Core responsibilities – Manage internal and external communication channels and platform, including providing key stakeholder message and information needs. – Synthesize programme impacts stories into media and communications content – Manage programme social media handles and website – Plan and deploy PR and communications campaign plans – Disseminate programme research products – Support the design and development of knowledge management products; case studies, documentary production, success stories etc – Media relations

How long have you been at this job? 30 months

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with some participants of our Peace Club in Bichi Community, Kano State
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Office Retreat in Enugu

Highlights of your job My organisation works to improve conflict management mechanisms in Nigeria and reduce violence and its impact on vulnerable persons, and teach people how to better manage conflict to prevent escalation into violence. We do this in four ways; working with government agencies to improve security governance, addressing economic drivers of conflict, address violence against women and girls, and then research, media and advocacy.

We work in 8 states including Borno and Yobe States (yes, we go to war zones), and my role cuts across all four work areas in the eight states and we also work a lot with civil society groups.

I have to do this to be able to adequately extend communication support to the programme components and to be able to generate the information that I convert to content. I travel quite often and this brings me face to face with the poorest poor of the country. You will be amazed at the level of poverty and illiteracy in this country.

But you will also drool at how BEAUTIFUL this country is. If only we can overcome our challenges and harness our diversity effectively. I come face to face with the division and disunity among security agencies, the reality of unemployment and the destruction of livelihoods as a result of conflict stares me in the face, the grim reality of violence against women, girls and disabled persons and how traditional practises harm teenage girls and subdue women.

But I have also met people who are doing amazing stuff. It encourages me. It gives me the belief that we will get something. But people need to travel more, especially up North; this country is damn beautiful and amazing. Sadly the security situation doesn’t encourage travel.

Downsides of your job The security risk I am exposed to; the fact that communications is not always appreciated or given priority. People don’t really think you job is important until they need information or want exposure, the pay isn’t too wonderful compared to my counterparts in the private sector. Working with civil society groups and community based organisations can be downright FRUSTRATING. Also, the fact that my job is on a fixed terms basis, which means no job security

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? Brand management and marketing and I still hope to cross over. I love branding

On a scale of 1-10, how would you grade your skill set at this job? 7.5

I’m living my career dream. Yes? No? Yes (partly, there are other stuff I do still love to do)

If No… please share your career dream I do still love to do this job in other parts of Africa and the world. Loads of expatriates come here to work, because their governments fund the work we do. It is job opportunities for their nationals. I am making efforts towards to get an opportunity to work outside Nigeria someday soonest and I do also hope to go into marketing and business at some point in life. – I love cars. So I help people buy from the US and import into Nigeria. So when I am not doing my work, I am on US auction sites bidding on cars or negotiating deals.

Wow! Chinedu touches lives at his day job and his side hustle is so cool! We love it! So let’s take a closer look into his daily schedule. Ready?

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At a Community mediation platform meeting between farmers and herdsmen in Ciromawa Community, Kano State
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Going on air for a radio programme

• Typical Busy Work Day

4.30am – 7.30am: Wake up, say my prayers, sleep back again (early morning nap to dey sweet), wake up again and boil water, Watch CNN and then Channels TV Sunrise daily and then bathe.

7.30am – 9.30am: Off to work, may or may not have breakfast, check up mails and things I left from previous day, weekly briefing or Monday meetings. (8.30 – 9.30 on Mondays only), draw up a to-do list for the day/week.

9.30am – 11.30am – Review web contents, review online newspapers for any mentions, review programme activity calendar to see if any event if happening.

12noon – 3pm: Light Brunch, social media updates, respond to emails requiring attention, where able, I prefer fixing external meetings at this time, chase consultants or vendors working on any materials, do reviews and send in for high level approval.

4pm – 5pm: Do web content updates, draft short blog news, get approval and post online, share on social media, other routine functions like monthly/quarterly reports, chasing invoices and media houses/journalists also happen here.

5pm – 7pm: Depending on work load, I could leave office at this time; head straight to the gym, some light workout, head home or church, depending or hangout on Friday evenings.

7.30pm – 11pm: Light dinner or fruits, go on LIB, Bella Naija, Nairaland (if I don’t have time to skim thru them during the day, IAAI and Copart for the car deals. BBM chats and phone calls, try to read a book, play candy crush, watch football (like tonight) and sleep off. I also do my writings at this time too.

This is typical routine when there is no travel or meetings are light. I love the travel because the hotel stay gives the needed change of environment and a quiet places to think and write. It is almost impossible to do something cerebral at work; the intrusion can kill. Colleagues, phone calls (I can’t afford not to answer most of them and what not. But I love the team I work with, jovial and playful and yet we get stuff done. Check out our website to see what we do; www.nsrp-nigeria.org ***

Awww! Reading BellaNaija is part of Chinedu’s daily routine and we love it! Thank you for giving us a peek into your life. We wish you all the best in your endeavours.

19 Comments

  1. nnewisisi

    August 28, 2015 at 3:13 am

    My personal person. Good you got featured here . U do an amazing job, jovial and intelligent young man. Continue to shine and God will take you places

  2. Ify

    August 28, 2015 at 6:58 am

    I envy your world, Edu. Keep rocking!

  3. Ima

    August 28, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Nice one! Being a knowledge management professional in the development sector in Nigeria, I see some similarities between your work and mine. And I totally agree on three truths: the level of poverty and illiteracy in Nigeria, the unexplored beauty of this country, and the inability to get any work that requires deep thinking during the work day. I have resorted to, when I am not traveling, going to the office very early or sometimes working late. It does take a toll on one’s lifestyle though. And sometimes it feels like my work really makes no difference to the communities in which we work, and I have to reminding myself that change is not always perceptible, and keep pushing on. Someday…hopefully soon.

  4. Aijay

    August 28, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Ride on big bro. Keep touching lives and improving standards. Proud of ya

  5. iphie

    August 28, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I am glad you got featured here. Your level of intelligence is on another level Edu not forgetting you are religious and jovial too. God bless you and what you do. Kudos!

  6. Chikodi

    August 28, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Keep it up dear. He’s sure good at wt he does evn though I gt freaked wit fear whe never he calls to say he’s travelling North?

    • Fr Anene Anarado

      August 28, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Nothing in life is without risks. God will keep him safe!

  7. Nonso

    August 28, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Nice one my boy..n more grease to ur elbow.

  8. Ugoo Anarado

    August 28, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Bravo Edu! Looking at your job and life,i think James Baldwin had you in mind when he enthused that “It is your responsibility to change society if you think yourself as an educated person”. You are positively changing our society,we pray the good lord to bless and keep you! Soldier on bruv! You have our blessings!

  9. Mz Socially Awkward...

    August 28, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Very nice. ? And the different locations your work takes you must add so much variety to each assignment.

    I have my hat off to all the unseen hands that work in the humanitarian sector, especially in a country like Nigeria where the government unashamedly refuses to do its own part. The photo of little boys in the peace club really warmed my heart and I pray those little children get a chance to a full life without becoming brainwashed into strapping on a bomb for BH. Thanks for sharing some awareness about your work, Chinedu.

  10. mrs chidukane

    August 28, 2015 at 10:49 am

    This is so much better. Very detailed. I salute your courage. Any non-Northerner that can travel to the North at this time is brave. God bless and keep up the good work.

  11. Uchechi Nwosu

    August 28, 2015 at 11:49 am

    The most important thing is ur are living ur dreams and affecting lives. God will continue to inspire you.

  12. Fr Anene Anarado

    August 28, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Edu,you simply rock. May you keep touching lives with what you do. The sky is your limit!

  13. Nd

    August 28, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Waoh!Definitely going to be following this series on BN.
    @Edu,very apt interview. You are one true communication expert!
    I nor follow u go North sha.

  14. Nony Ok

    August 28, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I have learnt a thing or two from this “peek”. Nice one bro, keep it up!

  15. Duchess Maria

    August 28, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I loved this! Very interesting job and daily schedule that you have. You truly come off as intelligent and as someone who wants to make a difference. More grease to your elbows bro and may God keep you safe in all your travels.

    PS:- BN, I love this “Day in the Life” feature.

  16. Nedu

    August 29, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Guys guys, guys, tone down a bit before my head go scarrer!

    I so much appreciate your thoughts and encouragements. They are motivation for me especially in a line where this is in short supply and one has to find something to keep the drive up. Thank you so much to BN for featuring this and i would also love to see what other people’s life are like. Someone like Ms Socially Awkward who’s an authority on relationships *loling*.

    Anyway, let me try and address a few things you guys raised. And most of these will be from my perspective and also based one experience.

    I suspect the North has become a victim of its own medicine. But i also suspect that stereotypes are hugely driving perceptions of the region. Yes, there is poverty, there is illiteracy and hunger and disease too. But these people are also very nice and accommodating too. But they need help. The women of Northern Nigeria bear the brunt the most. Insurgency is also a product of radicalisation, which is why we try to use these peace club to address these issue.

    Nigerians should keep up pressure on State governors. Those guys can improve or destroy the lives of persons and they have gotten away with murder for long.

    Ima, i so agree with you on working early or late. Sometimes i even have to wake at night to be able to concentrate and be productive. This issue is also affecting my concentration too, cos at times, you mind wanders off, especially when you are reading.

    Finally, thanks to you guys, i do love to read your own stories to.

  17. Ephi

    August 31, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Blessed are the peacemakers…
    In your own way and using your skills, you are promoting peace. Really commendable. Well done.

  18. Kadbella

    October 2, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Hey Nedu, who would think i would ‘jam’ you here??? but great work.. keep doing the PR and your writing is a nice read… guess who!!!

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