5 Influencers Tell Their Inspiring Stories – (ALL CU GRADUATES)
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]h did I say 5? Sorry, they were meant to be 5, but let us see how well you take this, and then we’ll decide whether to release the other two. One of my goals on this blog is to inspire people with my stories and the stories of others, so, I brought together what I would call a community of Covenant University graduates whom I believe have cut out a name for themselves in their industry, and I hope the stories below inspire you.
Deborah Odumegwu, popularly known as Pinkie Debbie graduated from Covenant University with a degree in Policy & Strategic Studies, and she recently broke the Guinness Book of Record as “the longest dance by an individual” – by dancing for 150 hours which is approximately 7 days. Read her story below and get inspired.
Question: Why dancing?
Answer: Dance has been everything to me. Most times when things seem not to be working, dance always put an extra spice to my life. It changed everything academically, psychologically, socially, even spiritually because, when I’m with God, it is the best way to express my gratitude to God. Dance is like my biggest offering to God, and trust me after that God always does wonders.
Question: What motivates you?
Answer: My biggest motivation is GOD and MYSLEF.
Why? You might ask.. In life people look for every opportunity to bring you down and trust me the only solution is to stand tall and believe only in yourself and go with what you believe in and trust God. There is something that has always been my biggest motivation- which is GOD’s GRACE. You know when things happen in mysterious ways and you give gratitude to God, things just fall in place, and it might be hard but the fact that I know God’s Grace exist it keeps pushing me to believe that there’s always gonna be a happy ending.
Question: What probed you to break the world record?
Answer: The dance aspect of the entertainment world has been one of a kind, where people believe every female dancer is a whore or that “all she can do is to be naked on TV and twerk” Although, when I got into the industry I saw a lot of that, but that was not the plan I had for myself.
I wanted people to understand that dance is not just for people that can dance well; it’s for people that believe in it as a craft not just as a source of income.
Also, I realized that the way the industry works; you are believed not to make it if you don’t meet some requirements or if you don’t meet some Oga at the top.
Basically, I wanted people to believe in themselves, that they do not have to go through the “Godfatherism” trail to make it, as long as you know what you are doing, you are dedicated, and you have God you will be fine.
The fact that I denied myself sleep and pleasure was so I could make people see that they can do things, because it seemed impossible for a girl like me with a small body to do such a thing, but I wanted people to see the pain and discomfort in trying to put myself out there even though I am not as good as most people, I just wanted to inspire people to push themselves out there. It was more of an empowerment program.
Question: Do you have a school for dancing?
Answer: I do not have a dance school yet, but that is one of my projects this year. Truth be told, I am pushing out the “Pinkie Debbie Empire” which will be encompassing a lot of things that has to do with my brand and alot of collaborations in the industry. You will all see it soon; it is a step at a time.
Question: What is your encouragement to other dancers?
Answer: Believe in yourself, keep pushing, there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you have God, you are determined and you are focused, everything will fall in place as long as you believe in yourself. Learn to do something out of your comfort zone and be creative, because this days abnormal is what sells in the market, an example is the song; “Mans Not Hot”. Just be real and be unique, do not form.
2. Chris Rio
Christopher Uriri Onoyovwi also known as Chris Rio, was one of the top 8 finalist of The Voice Nigeria 2017. He is a songwriter & recording artiste. He creates and performs music for a living and he studied Biotechnology at Covenant University, and I hope you get inspired by his journey:
Question: Why music?
Answer: I think I’ve always loved music. I’ve always been fascinated by singers and then I realized I could sing too. I think it was divine providence, one day I said to myself, this is what I wanna do and it’s been that way ever since.
Question: How did you start?
Answer: A friend of mine in secondary school made me write my first song after he came to school one day with a book full of his original songs he’d written. I was like damn, I wanna try this. What was just some random experiment soon became my greatest escape and favorite habit. I’ve now lost count on the number of songs I’ve written.
Question: What is the best part of being a musician/ an artist?
Answer: For me, it’s the fulfillment that comes from being able to create something out of almost nothing. And then watching people fall in love with your little idea, it’s beautiful. Music is such a beautiful art and I’m glad I get the chance to create it.
Question: What motivates and inspires you?
Answer: I’m inspired by life in it’s entirety. The countless stories that we hear; the big things, the little things, the funny things. I’m appreciative of life and that in turn fuels my music. I’m also aware music is a powerful tool, so I want to use my tool to be a blessing to people and glorify God. The prospects are endless so it’s a truly exciting journey.
Question: How did you get in on TheVoice Nigeria?
Answer: My close friend Ojay actually got me in on it from season 1. He was really excited about it and he was brilliant on the show. I saw that and went “oh well, I’ll give this a shot too”. And here we are.
Question: How was your experience there?
It was amazing and nerve wracking, a real eye opener for me. Mostly fun. Performing live to millions of Nigerians, being on and off probation, watching contestants become family, bonding with people then dealing with eviction – it was worth it.
Question: What is your new single about?
Answer: My next single is a love song and I think it’s a beautiful love song. I write about a lot of different things but I’m restarting with this because it’s more generic and easily relatable. More details coming soon.
Question: Should we be expecting anything from you and J’dess?
Answer: Er, J’Dess and I have been working on a couple songs. I can’t give details now but they’re really special, and we’re trying to make sure the songs turn heads, so y’all please be patient with us. It’s coming #JRio
Question: Describe your job in one word
Question: What is your encouragement to upcoming artists/musicians?
Answer: My advice is don’t stop growing. Keep learning at all costs. If you want it bad and are consistent, it’ll come to you.
Question: Any additions?
Answer: This has been a pleasure. Thank you TheFisayo.com. To everyone reading this, I hope I have won your hearts & I’d love for you to come along with me on my journey. Join the #teamchrisrio family, your support is greatly appreciated.
Follow on Twitter/IG @chrisrio_
Snapchat – chrisrio116
Amaka Oguike, also known as Divamaka is a Human Resource Management graduate of Covenant University. She currently models, and one of her gigs got featured on Vogue!
Question: What was the feature about?
Answer: A friend of mine got called to a shoot and a second model was needed so she recommended me. We both got the job and the whole concept of the shoot was a documentary of the Nigerian Lifestyle with our cultural hairstyles like “Irun Kiko” – which was the featured hair style with African prints/attires.
Fast forward to two months later, Vogue got interested after seeing a few works and reached out to her (Busayo Olupona), and asked her for a feature on the entire shoot. And it happened that one of the videos featured on Vogue magazine USA happened to be my own, which was really mind blowing for me and I was speechless, and it was exciting for me because that was the first time I did a shoot with them having to make my hair the traditional way.
It was a new adventure for me, because it isn’t my regular kinda shoot. It was very different & unique. Asides from the video shoot, we did a photo shoot under the Ojuelegba bridge, and it was fun and exciting.
Question: Why did you start modeling?
Answer: I used to get a lot of compliments about my heights and a lot of people always said I should be a model, although I never really took it serious up until my 200 level in the University where I decided to participate in a fashion show, and I used it as an avenue to overcome my shyness at that time, because as a model you have to learn to be confident. Modeling has definitely helped build my confidence.
Question: What is your best job so far?
Answer: The thing is I have had so many experiences and they all have their different characteristics. But I would say my best job so far was the GTB fashion week obviously, I mean, when they picked me, I was happy, and they took care of us like we were eggs – they lodged us at exquisite hotels, and fed us food to our satisfaction. This was their first edition in 2016. Being part of the 1st edition was exciting for me.
Question: Advice for models:
Answer: You have to decide and think about it carefully, is this really the road or path you want to take? Why do you want to take this path? Trust me, it is not as glamorous as it is, there would be a lot of criticism and rejections, what goes on behind the scene is scary, so ask yourself why, if you have a genuine passion for it, then go for it. You also have to be hardworking, do a lot of research, try to network with people, be respectful and friendly, and my go-to advice is to always pray about every decision you want to make.
Another thing is consistency, always be consistent.
Question: Describe Your Job in One Word
Answer: Adventurous. Because I have done so many types of shoots at different location, so I’d say it has been very adventurous, fun & tasking.
Twitter/Facebook/IG: @ divamaka
Read previous interviews of other Covenant University graduates who are also making waves in their industries and get inspired;
By the way, let me know who you would like me to feature on my YouTube channel amongst these 5, so you can see more and hear more from them?
“Consistency is key.”