Name: Eunice Onwona
Location: Washington, DC
African country with which you identify: Ghana
I am a 25-year-old storyteller with a passion for sharing and shaping the dialogue on all things African, both within the continent and beyond. I enjoy traveling, indulging in new cuisines, sometimes cooking it, occasionally pretending to be an interior designer or stylist, admiring the sound of languages that I can’t speak, mediating heated debates, watching a good thriller or documentary, and spending time with family and close friends.
MM: What do you do?
EO: I’ve worked as a multimedia journalist capturing the stories of traditionally underrepresented communities across West Africa, as well as learning about and supporting the young change agents at the forefront of important developments in these communities such as sustainability and health innovations. Some of my original reports provide insights into how IDP communities in northeastern Nigeria are coming together to provide rehabilitation and education to children and teachers affected by the region’s violence.
I have also facilitated training workshops for entry-level newsmakers and bloggers in Ghana, where I taught them how to pitch and research story ideas, shoot and edit video footage using camera equipment and smartphones, and how to establish and maintain a professional presence on social media. Sometime in the future, I’d like to more actively provide this kind of training to storytellers on the continent and in the diaspora.
Now that I spend more of my time in Washington, DC more so than Ghana, I work as a freelance communications professional providing high-level editorial and marketing support to a few publications, nonprofit organizations and private sector organizations.
MM: What inspired you to start doing this?
EO: When I was younger, I enjoyed reading a lot and writing poetry and short fictional pieces. I remember wanting to be an author. And my parents always encouraged my creativity. We’d often watch the evening news or documentaries together and I remember flipping through my father’s collection of National Geographic and Time magazines, all just to appear wise beyond my years.
My dad worked as a professional in international development specific to Sub-Saharan Africa so we got to travel to a couple of African countries and I loved the idea and feeling of experiencing something new on each occasion.
I think this is where the desire to pursue this career started: it was a guaranteed way to always learn and experience something new and it involved very minimal numbers (Math was my least favorite subject in school). I finally settled on this career path in my last year of high school.
Read more about Eunice in our upcoming issue of Memunatu Magazine.