Promise Eze writes,
Uchenna Emelife, a final year student, writer and PEN PRESS journalist at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, has been selected as an editorial intern with Isele Magazine which is based in the United States of America.
Uchenna, speaking with PEN PRESS, acknowledged that he is excited and happy to be given the rare opportunity to intern with the magazine.
“I feel proud and privileged and I must add pressured; this is unlike anything I have done before. I have interned with another digital magazine, Minority Africa but not as an editorial intern, I managed and scheduled programs. And now being offered a position to edit African literary voices is really such an honour and a task I don’t and wouldn’t take lightly.
“Since its inception, Isele Magazine has published some of the finest contemporary African writers writing today and to be given an opportunity to edit their works, amongst other tasks I would be assigned online, is a big deal. So most of all, I’m truly honoured,” he said.
Isele Magazine was founded in July 2020, by Ukamaka Olisakwe, author of Ogadinma, a UNESCO-World Book Capital “Africa 39” honoree and a University of Iowa’s International Writing Program Fellow. According to iselemagazine.com, “she is a winner of the VCFA Emerging Writer Scholarship and the Prince Claus Fund Grant, and a finalist for the Miles Morland Scholarship, among other honors.” Her work has appeared in reputable newspapers like the New York Times.
Isele Magazine publishes notable fiction, poetry, essays, interviews, and book news/reviews from writers on the African continent and around the world.
Uchenna the Literary Enthusiast
Uchenna Emelife is the cofounder and creative director of Book O’clock. Book O’clock is a literary platform in Sokoto that hosts a literary blog, book clubs and a bookstore. It is a platform that aims at reviving the reading culture among young people and to also showcase and appreciate African art and its creators.
Advice For Young Creatives
Uchenna speaking further advised young people and personal development enthusiasts to learn to cultivate the habit of reading so that they could have the what it takes do be exceptional in their craft.
“Also, learn to maximise the digital and physical platforms at your disposal. You have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn account, whom are you following? Who is following you? What is your content? These are opportunities for you to sell yourself and at the same time learn.
“I do not agree that opportunities are hard to find. I think if one can be very deliberate and intentional about improving themselves, they would see these opportunities. And when they see these opportunities, they don’t let it pass them by. They apply and even if they are not selected, they work on themselves and try again. And again.
“So, deliberateness is very important. It helps connect you to favour. Recently, I got two job offers that I didn’t apply for. How? They saw my Facebook feed and felt they could work with me. So put yourself out there and be deliberate about it. I sound like a broken record, but please cultivate a reading habit,” he said.