With our short-lived publication, The Uptown Review magazine in Liberia between 2010 and 2011, I came across Bridget Nzeribe who became our advice columnist on sex, relationship. On her Facebook page she writes about the same subjects from time to time. Over the years we have maintained professional contact as writers. When I found out recently that Bridget has relocated back to Nigeria and is engaged in farming, I was surprised, which prompted a long conversation and now this interview.
While in Liberia, Bridget also served as Liberia’s correspondent for the FunTime magazine, a comic magazine which started in Liberia in the early 1990s but is currently being published in Philadelphia, USA. She also worked with Medicare Insurance firm in Monrovia as the procurement officer, a position which required her to identify the needs of the organization, review purchase requisitions and award supplier tenders. In between these two responsibilities, she was also a freelance sales agent with the various airlines and ticketing agencies operating in Monrovia. In such capacity, she helped clients with travel planning, reservations, passport and visa services as well currency exchanges. In the following interview, I asked her some questions about her life experiences in both the Lib and Naija.
Nvasekie N. Konneh: Who is Bridget?
Bridget Nzeribe: Bridget is a full-blown African woman who has passed through a lot to get to where she is today. I am a proud farmer.
NK: You were in Liberia for many years with various occupations and as writer who wrote on relationship and other issues and now you are back in Nigeria as a proud farmer. How will you compare your experiences in both Liberia and Nigeria?
BN: Though I am from Nigeria where I am now living, I still see Liberia as a home as well. Both Nigeria and Liberia are great in their own unique ways. I had great time in Liberia that will stay with me for a life time.
NK: What are you missing about Liberia and do you plan on visiting in the future?
BN: I missed everything about Liberia and I can’t wait to visit soon. I have the memories of great friendship and relationship that I can’t forget about.
NK: In Liberia, you used to write about sex and relationship for publication such as The Uptown Review. Are you still writing in Nigeria with its buzzling art scene?
BN: For me, writing is a passion and I used it to express my opinions on many issues especially sex and relationship. Right now, I have been more focused on farming but I can jump back into writing whenever I can, depending on situation and the mood of the time.
NK: It was just recently I learnt that you are engaged in farming in Nigeria. Knowing who you are, I was very surprised and I am sure a lot of people were surprised as well.
BN: Yeah, lots of people are still in shock with the new ME. The year 2020 brought a lot of changes in our lives. In regards to your question, I will simply say, farming is in high demand all over the world. No country can survive without food. The willingness to grow what we eat drove me to farming.
NK: Where do you live now in Nigeria and how far is the farm from where you live?
BN: I live in Lagos and the farm is located in Ogun State. It’s like two-hour drive. Often the traffic can be tense, thereby making people spend hours on the road.
NK: How is the art and culture scenes of Nigeria different from that of Lib?
BN: I guess they have a similar cultural background but the art scenes in Nigeria are very busy and trending with lots of creativity in various forms of arts. Cultural products from Nigerian are in high demands not only here but all over the world. Nigerian musicians and writers are making great splashes everywhere in the world. In this regard, Liberia has a lot to catch up with Nigeria.
NK: Have you been affected by all the insecurities that have been reported in the news about Nigeria such as the frequent attacks by groups such as the Boka Haram with constant kidnapping in various parts of the country?
BN: Not really for me. In the same vein, I have been able to be on my guard. The short answer is, I have not been personally affected but it’s disheartening to hear about violent threats in various parts of Nigeria.
NK: What music are you listening to now and what books are you reading?
BN: I love soft music, jazz, and country music and a little bit of hip-hop. My favorite books are those of John Grisham, Jeffery Archer and 24 Laws of Power.
NK: With the booming literary and artistic culture in Nigeria, any favorite Nigeria authors, music or musician?
BN: My favorite Nigeria author is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and for music, my best Nigeria artists are Ric Hassani and Johnny Drille.
NK: Any last words?
BN: Invest more in yourself and work to realize your dream wherever you are. Thanks for the opportunity for this interview. I really appreciate your interest and the time. Be blessed.
About the Author: Nvasekie Konneh is the art and culture editor of Liberian Journal. He can be reached at Nvasekie@yahoo.com or firstname.lastname@example.org