Temple, funny, creative, kind-hearted, smiling all the time. Temple will blow your mind with everything he has to say. Ride on, let’s meet him.
Hey there Ozioma Temple, please tell your fans a little about yourself.
I’m Ozioma Temple Egemasi. I’m 21. I’m a closing student of Business Management at the University of Calabar, Cross River State. My first name already betrays my Igbo roots.
I’m laughing already! Didn’t I tell you he was funny? Alright, what’s your favorite thing in the world to do?
I love reading. I think reading replaces an empty mind with an open one. I also think reading is a self-fueling fire; the more you read, the more you want to read. It started with my mum gifting me gems of African literature like Elechi Amadi’s The Concubine, Cyprian Ekwensi’s The Passport of Mallam Ilia, and Ngugi Wa Thiong O’s Weep Not Child (to name a few). I later became interested in books of every genre; from Paulo Coelho to Robert Greene to AC Grayling. With a book, I’m content.
The ability to meet deadlines while working under pressure to achieve goals is another thing I’ve gained. And, the connections are invaluable: the network I found myself in by virtue of being an AIESECer is one that has a myriad of gains to be reaped and opportunities to be explored.
Can you imagine that? That’s Amazing! These are books we still study at university level! Speaking of the university, apart from school what other things are you involved in?
First, I’m a member of the University of Calabar Debate Club, where we constantly work on reviving the dying art of intellectual discourse through argumentation. I am the Media director for the Calabar Youth Council For Women’s Rights, a body that seeks to end Female Genital Mutilation, Gender Based Violence, and every other form of inhumane acts of injustice against women. I am also a member of AIESEC, a global organization that seeks to achieve world peace by promoting cross-cultural exchanges. I’m good with cameras too. So you can deduce that I study Business Management in my free time.
You are part of AIESEC, how has this impacted your life?
AIESEC gives you hands-on practice in whichever functional area you join. This is a part of “The AIESEC Experience.” The other part includes going on exchange. I’ve learned teamwork and synergy and this has helped me in other spheres I belong to. The ability to meet deadlines while working under pressure to achieve goals is another thing I’ve gained. And, the connections are invaluable: the network I found myself in by virtue of being an AIESECer is one that has a myriad of gains to be reaped and opportunities to be explored.
What community service works have you done to help people around?
I’ve embarked on quite a number of community service projects. They mostly involve students in secondary schools. It’s quite pertinent to note that I’m always part of the back office staff: creating content, putting together the infographics and carrying out brand advocacy. During the Global Money Week, I facilitated the teaching of basic financial skills to students in secondary schools across Calabar. Also, I facilitated the Touch A Life programme. It was aimed at taking kids off the streets of Calabar and enrolling them in schools across the municipality.
I’ve also facilitated numerous information sessions and outreach programmes. Being the head of media at the Calabar Youth Council For Women’s Rights ensures that I’m an important part of any of its campaigns too.
For inspiration to continue your good works, who inspires you the most in the world and why?
Shawn Carter. I think he’s the epitome of hard work and flexibility.
Hardwork: He built a music empire from nothing; nothing but his microphone skills. At the time, he had stiff competition (Sony, DefJam etc.) but owns his own records today and has other younger mic-fiddlers signed under his record label, Roc.
Flexibility: Shawn has been known to switch up styles to adapt to whatever the atmosphere is. Either when he’s “dumbing down his lines to double his dollars” or when he’s spreading his reach to athlete management, trust Shawn to excel.
Now we know your inspiration. What’s your secret formula for combining studies and travel and great work?
The secret lies in what I love doing most – reading. I also ensure that I do not find myself idle except when I’m taking a break. Proper time management is key because having a backlog of work is never going to augur well with having so much work coming at you at the speed of light.
I’ve also found that if I enjoy reading, my assimilation becomes better. Finally, what excuse do students give that you hate the most?
Their parents. It’s sad when I speak to people about opportunities and they’ve already shut out the possibility of it happening before actually trying just because they, by some supernatural power, already think their parents will not give their blessings. I remember the first time I had to attend a conference while school was in session. I treated it with utmost seriousness – I drafted a formal letter requesting permission and sent it to my mother. I think parents’ refusal to grant permission is the weakest excuse to justify chickening out.
Thank you so much, Temple, your words have been taken!
Interviewed by Mirabelle Morah
Edited by Nten Mpama