When your parents are two huge names in the Nigerian media industry, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to build your own brand but Sonia Irabor says that hasn’t been the case for her.
In this Q&A with Genevieve Magazine, the Genevieve Magazine Assistant Editor talks about a number of things, including the need to create a name away from her parents (publisher Betty Irabor and seasoned journalist Soni Irabor), owning a column in Genevieve at the age of 13 and much more.
See excerpts below.
On writing: My dad always encouraged me to write; right from when I was very young. I was always writing poems, short stories and the likes. Some of them featured in my primary school yearbook. So by the time I pitched the idea of a column for teenagers to my mum, I had a whole portfolio to show. I wrote a sample and she liked it. I came up with the name TeenZone because I’m “so original”. I had TeenZone for about four or five years before I decided to take a break and explore other things, but I never stopped writing. I began to explore stage and screen writing more when I got to University. I now have my column, Here’s The Thing in the magazine, and my other projects involve me creating through writing.
On her childhood: It was great! I spent a lot of time outdoors in our garden, playing pretend with my dogs. It was fun for me. I was a weird kid and my parents indulged me. I suppose weird might be too generic a word. My interests were slightly niche and so I spent a lot more time on my own or with my dogs than I did with my friends. I was very contained, I liked that. That meant that my mind had a lot of free reign to wander, and wander it did. I remember this time I tried to fly by climbing the massive water tank in our house while wearing a cape. That did not work out but it was fun to try.
On current projects: I do not know how much I can say about it, but I am a co-writer on a limited series comedy that should be out in February or March. I’m also working on a number of personal projects that I can’t say much about just yet. But I’m excited about how busy the year ahead looks.
On creating a name outside her parents: I don’t think I ever really needed to. My parents are their own entities, living their own successful lives. My brother and I have always existed outside of that. We have succeeded on the merit of our own talents and abilities. My failures have been entirely my own experiences. Sure, no person is an island, but I can’t discredit the significance of working hard to build one’s own path. As banal as that may read.
Photo Credit: Genevieve Magazine