When you are looking for an impactful and inspiring young Nigerian change agent, you cannot ignore the visionary Esther Ijewere.

 

Ijewere is an enterprising social activist, gender advocate, media entrepreneur, mother of two and the Executive Director of Rubies Ink.

 

She is the brain behind W.A.R- Walk Against Rape, an advocacy initiative created to lend a voice for the victims of rape and demand justice. She is also a columnist with a national daily, a platform used to celebrate exceptional women with inspiring stories across the globe.Esther is also the publisher  and editor in chief of  online platforms, ‘Women Of Rubies’ and ‘Men who inspire’.

 

In this chat with KENNISPLACE, the woman of many parts opens up on her journey to success and significance.

 

 

 

You have been doing what you do for over a decade. What drives you?

My passion for humanity and affinity for change. I am purpose driven, dogged and determined. These factors have driven me over the years.

 

What sacrifices did you make  when you started out?

Depriving myself of certain opportunities just to make sure I focus on my goal and align with my purpose. It is tough when you can take the easy route to success, but choose to do it the way less travelled. You probably look foolish to many, but those sacrifices start paying off, you will appreciate the sweat and blood.

 

How do you maintain your sanity in the midst of chaos?

I keep myself grounded, practice mindfulness and make sure to keep a positive attitude. I don’t joke with therapy as well.

There is also the part of prayer, I get down on my knees and ask God for clarity. It is hard maintaining balance during a chaotic period, but I don’t let it blind me from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

 

If you were to start all over again what will you do differently?

Nothing really, because what will be in life will always be. There is no route without its challenges. Perhaps I would have loved to start much earlier, but again there is the place of purpose, time, and season. When God wants you to make an impact, he would place you where he wants you, at his chosen time.

 

How do you deal with loss(loss of a loved one, loss of a project, etc)?

Grief & losses during this pandemic era hit differently really. No one is ever happy to lose anything, I’ve learnt how to use the beautiful memory of those I’ve lost as my healing compass, as for projects, I focus on the impact beyond social media, the lives I have  touched and embrace a new beginning. It is not easy, but with mindfulness, you can control your mind and thoughts, and accept things you cannot control.

 

What lessons has motherhood taught you?

To be more compassionate, patient and be an active listener. No matter how busy I am, the moment my kids need my attention every other thing is secondary. I would rather lose opportunities than miss out on being a present parent. Motherhood has taught me that the future of every child starts from their childhood experience in the home, and that made me a full hands-on mom. Motherhood is the best job I have had so far in my entire life. The love, stress, joy and learning process is a course on its own.

 

What will you regard as the highpoint  of your career?

Making my name a solution to problems I solve. That is the highpoint for me. The power of chasing relevance and not popularity, and watching your hard work not only pay off, but being a blessing to others. It is truly humbling, and I do not take glory for any of it, I return the glory and honour to God.

 

Final words

Prayer works; I know this might sound cliché because people hear it all the time, but it is my grounding tool. My relationship with God is one of the most beautiful things in my life.  It gives me hope, even days when I feel totally unproductive, down, and unmotivated, knowing there is a man up there who watches over me keeps me in my light. There is absolutely nothing prayer cannot do, you will encounter challenges, and even defeat sometimes but with God by your side you won’t break or fall.

 

Prayer works; I know this might sound cliché because people hear it all the time, but it is my grounding tool. My relationship with God is one of the most beautiful things in my life.  It gives me hope, even days when I feel totally unproductive, down, and unmotivated, knowing there is a man up there who watches over me keeps me in my light. There is absolutely nothing prayer cannot do, you will encounter challenges, and even defeat sometimes but with God by your side you won’t break or fall.

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