…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
Chiamaka Obuekwe isn’t just an adventurer but a patriotic one at that who at only 24, has found a niche for herself in tourism in Nigeria and is literally leaving no stone unturned to ensure her name is carved in stone in her home country – Lagos, Nigeria. Chiamaka’s interview will inspire and motivate you to “Go for it“… whatever IT is that you’re passionate about.
Who is Chiamaka Obuekwe?
Chiamaka Obuekwe aka Social Prefect is an adventurous, easy going, vibrant and extremely energetic young lady who is passionate about travel and tourism in Africa, especially within Nigeria. She is an International relations graduate from Covenant University. A Nigerian who loves Nigeria. She is the founder of Social Prefect. An integrated Nigerian travel brand that offers tourguide services, curated group travel and tourism experiences, also online publishing and travel content creation, just to mention a few. Chiamaka loves to write, dance, travel (of course) and make friends.
What do you consider your greatest achievement so far in life?
For now, my greatest achievement would be starting Social Prefect. The whole process has been one interesting journey and there’s no going back.
Hmm, well I don’t get embarrassed so much, I let things go easily but I’m sure I’ve had plenty moments people would call embarrassing. Probably when I took a group hiking. I slipped and fell down during the hike. It was really funny but also a bit embarrassing because I got stained with mud and dirt.
When did you decide to be a travel blogger/tour guide and what inspired it?
The decision came at the end of 2014 and I started my blog in January 2015. After blogging for a while, I got a lot of comments and requests from people to join my trips and tours and it seemed like a great idea, so I started organizing tours too. The initial plan was just to start blogging because I wanted to share my passion for travel with the world, but everything else just fell into place. I did not set out to be a tour guide per say, but that field chose me and I have accepted it wholeheartedly and I’m so glad for the idea and vision.
|Chiamaka (Tour Guide with some tourists.|
I used to say I have no fears, but then I actually do. My greatest fear would be loosing my eyes and legs because that means I would not be able to do what I’m passionate about anymore or the way I really want to because travel and tourism actively involves the use of those two body parts the most. I pray to God to keep me in total and complete health forever.
Where do you draw your strength from?
I draw my strength from God. Every time I spend time with God, I always feel rejuvenated, inspired and filled with fresh energy to accomplish a new task. I also draw my strength from travelling; when I discover new places and meet interesting people it just inspires me and teaches me to keep moving forwarding and wanting to do more. I also love to read good motivational books and quotes; they keep me charged up.
What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry?
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
I’ve learnt so many lessons from life, but one of the most important lessons is that ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’.
What is your favorite local destination to travel to?
My favorite local travel destination would be a state in the North. I can’t really choose one, I’m struggling between Bauchi and Abuja. Bauchi because of the
culture, palaces, nature, Yankari national park, the wild life and nice people. Abuja because of the scenic views of the hills and rocks, kilishi, fura and the awesome roads of course; It is my best place to retreat and relax in Nigeria.
I’m a lover of good quotes. But my all time favourite quote is Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson – Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. I know it’s quite long, but I love it and love sharing it.
Time travel or teleportation?
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as one of those who changed the face of tourism in Nigeria. I believe there’s so much that this Country has to offer. See other African countries like South Africa, Gambia, Kenya, Tanzania etc., all get the bulk of their GDP from Tourism, Even our neighbor Ghana attracts lots of foreign visitors, so why not Nigeria? There’s a lot of work to be done, but I believe it can be done and we can get to that level. Most importantly though, I would like to be remembered as one who cared about people. I want to leave a positive impact behind. I love people and really want to see them succeed, so I try my best to be an inspiration to as many people as I can and be kind to them, because really, what is life about, if not to care for other people ? I believe so much in this Zulu proverb ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu‘ which means ‘a person is a person because of other people‘.