10 Minutes With Elsie…Oya Start Blogging!

Once in a while, I like to interview foodies who inspire us; who inspire me. And today, I have Elsie Godwin on the beat 🙂

I met Elsie on Facebook. We had a lot of mutual friends so we decided to become social media friends. Elsie runs a Lifestyle and relationship blog with a show ‘Crux of the matter with Elsie’ to boot. As a young lady, she has achieved a lot for herself and has maintained a thriving career as a blogger, a writer and a radio and TV girl. Her blog is among the top ten blogs I follow. It’s not only because she does have great content, but the passion there in.

Let me talk about my friendship with Elsie. I am not sure how we became friends out side of social media, but our friendship is one with mutual respect and love for each other. We discuss our stand on social issues, we talk about boys, our career, goals and we fight like friends do. The good thing about our friendship is that mutual respect we have for each other. I started as a contributor on her blog until the “lazy” Chef gene possessed me. I remember when she reached out to me and wanted me to write for her blog. As usual, I asked what she was paying. She was honest with her stand and said “I just want to share your stories.” Nothing about her looked dishonest and I just fell in love with her personality and honesty.

Elsie remains very dear to me and I lack words to even describe the person that she is in so many words. We have the sort of friendship that just works and her love for food is undeniable. I remember when she told me she wanted a recipe for Okazi soup. Never in my wildest dreams did I think “this oyibo pepper” could cook. Forget all that fitfam serenren she is doing on Instagram; just put Okazi soup in front of her and she will shove that fitfam to the side in a heart beat.

When it comes to Elsie, I am forever encouraged with all she has had to endure as one whose parents passed away while she was still a very young girl. This world is lonely enough. The birth of of her radio show; then Tv show was a huge blessing. She worked so hard for it. I remember calling into her show and it felt so surreal. There’s no bigger blessing than being successful in your passion. The recent publishing of her E-book Oya start blogging is one part of her success that gladdens my heart. I remember when she consulted with me to tell her about my blogging experience. It was then she told me she was writing a book. The book describes blogging and why we should appreciate the art. With all these, you know I had to do an interview with her. Hopefully, you guys see why I rave about her and the woman she has grown to be.

NLC: You’re a Relationship, Literature and Lifestyle blogger in Nigeria. Where are you from in Nigeria?

Elsie: “I am from Abia state.”

NLC: How do you balance being a TV/Radio host, a blogger and a foodie?

Elsie: “LOL, there is really nothing to balance. They are all part of my existence. I need food to survive, I love gooood food and I do the bit of cooking I can, while going on with my life’s passion and hustle.”

NLC: You’re an obvious foodie. What’s your favorite food and how often do you get to cook/eat it?

Elsie: “If you asked me this question some 15 – 20years ago, I would have said “Bread and Fried egg” but right now, I don’t joke with swallows with tasty soups, I love plantain (Fried, cooked, roasted) etc. I think I just eat whatever I want to. It just must be tasty.”

NLC: How did you get your break into radio?

Elsie: “I had always wanted to have a show or shows running on radio and TV. I had (and still do have) idea of more than 5 shows running in my head daily. However, Crux of the Matter is one dear to my heart because everything relationship interests me. I love love, I love relationships, I love family and above all, I love seeing people happy. When you are happy and in love with yourself then you can live a healthy lifestyle which will in turn, affects people around you and contribute positivity to the society.

Though I nursed these thoughts and ideas for a long while, I wasn’t sure of how to go about them. I was searching for opportunities and reading up on how to get a radio show but you know this is Nigeria and every of such content available online are not Nigerianised. I am sure you understand what I mean by Nigerianised. As much as we have a booming entertainment industry here, it is not always black and white. Yes, reading those things will give you an idea of what you are up for, especially if you are like me who hopes to have an international show someday. However, in doing the little research, I realized that I had all I needed to position myself for recognition which will in turn, by the grace of God, attract the opportunity I desired. I had a platform (my blog) and my growing social media presence. So in April 2014, I started putting out podcasts, weekly, on my blog. This did not only position me, but helped me hone my skills.

I kept at it until either December 2015 or January 2016 (not very sure right now) when the managing director of Happening Radio, Joy Isi Bewaji, called me to have a show on the then about to be born Happening Radio. She told me she wasn’t looking for professionals but people with drive and passion to have programs on the platform in order to create interesting conversations. She told me the radio was going to be online but with hard work and persistence, it is the right way to go. Prior to that call, I had only met her once and that was when I invited her to speak on Feminism & Marriage at my event – Hangout with ELSiEiSY.

At that point I wasn’t sure. Yes, I wanted a radio show but online? Will Nigerians spend so much on data to listen to me on radio? Will they be ready to have conversations with me on air? Understanding the high rate of data prices in the country. I was very skeptical until I spoke to a friend and then colleague – Olumide. He told me to go for it and that the crowd I have on my blog and other social platform is enough to kick start an online radio, talk less of having listeners on a 1hr show online. Note that at this point, all I had was the idea… the name Crux of the Matter had not been born.

After convincing myself that I needed to do this and that whatever I do with this new platform will determine the realization of this idea and dreams I have, I asked my friends and fans for a name and behold, Crux of the Matter was born. The success of the show blew my mind and I have my fans to thank for this. This show grew to be the most listened relationship show online in Nigeria.”

NLC: How do you impact the community around you with your work?

Elsie: “I do my bit by discussing topics which can affect the next person whether directly or indirectly.”

NLC: What’s one cause you’re passionate about and how did you know it was something you were interested in?

Elsie: “Rape. I was almost raped by a close family friend who I considered a distant relative. That singular incident opened my thoughts and eyes to rape and what it is about.”

NLC: As a writer and OAP where do you see yourself in the future?

Elsie “I see myself where God wants me to be. I just ride on his Grace and mercy. However, I hope to be a strong voice in media and to be able to impact lives positively with my platforms.”

NLC: Your Instagram feed is filled with beautiful pictures of you and your work. What is one thing you want us to know about kicking off your career and humble beginnings?

Elsie: “Find what makes you happy, what gives you peace and be ready to walk the path. The path will be rough but be true to who you are and be ready for the good and bad. Whatever decision you make, irrespective of how the next person sees it, have your eyes set on the goal. Weigh your options and how your involvement affects your vision and goal. That’s all that matters.”

NLC: Please share with us one thing we don’t know about you.

Elsie: “I am very shy!” Smiles*

NLC: What advice will you give to me and others who are pursuing their passion; mine being food?

Elsie: “Keep doing what you do honey. Improve daily and be consistent. All things work together for good especially for those who stay ready and prepared.”

Elsie’s book is available for free for seven days from the 13th of April 2018.

Thank you Elsie! Congratulations on your book and have a fantastic birthday 🙂

 

 

 

 

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