Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha’s poems portray images that stare us right in the face. Images of love, joy, death, pain, challenges, violation, and freedom. She writes in a language that’s rich in imagery, earthy, honest, vulnerable, yet full of the promise of hope, of loving and of Grace. A collection of light and dark soulful prose.
Somewhere, sometimes, life takes us through difficult, unexpected pathways that bring us to the edge of a precipice. These life-lessons that knock us down to our knees also become turning and redeeming points in our lives. They open our eyes to the important things and make us to question or find our purpose.
They drive us to wake up, to make the conscious choice to rise and step out and to live fully in the present moments that life brings us. It is the things that we deeply love that saves our sanity in these moments and gives us reason to hope, to open the doors and to fly.
Out of the silent breath is a vivid compilation of joyful, melancholic and hopeful prose through different walks of life.
Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha is a fellow blogger who is originally from Nigeria. Her blog is A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales. She uses this platform to support fellow bloggers and to raise awareness of the many ongoing cultural inequalities and problems in the world. Here is Jacqueline’s story in her own words:
I like to describe myself as a Jacqueline of all trade and a mistress of nothing. Everything is work-in-progress in my life, including me. Nothing is finished for, there’s always room for more improvement.
If all is finished, then that means that I am done on this side of the great divide. I believe that I still have a pretty long way to go with hammering myself into a worthy state before toddling off to sing angelic lullabies.
I was born in Nigeria in the mid 70’s, to a family with one of the best parents that I could have ever asked for.
My growing up years was in University of Nigeria, Nsukka campus. A close-knit community where everyone knew what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner and pretty much any shenanigans that you got up to. Back then, an honorary auntie could feel enough righteous indignation and would help to straighten you out before sending you home to your parents who will cement the straightening with their own dose of reprimanding.
As a young lady in High school, I was involved in a number of social and community activities. From Church work to participating in dramas at the local theatre, speaking at regular debate contests and contribution to the young writer’s club. At the initial stage, these artistic flairs propelled my interest to further my university education in Theatre or Communication Arts, however, due to the general inclination back then, that artists in Nigeria had no bright future, I leaned towards studying law.
My education in law was closely followed by several professional courses, in Public Relations, Chartered Secretary, and Administrators, an associate degree in the French Language as well as a Diploma in Translation. French is a language that I find not only romantic, but everything just sounds decadently delicious in French even when they are shouting.
Fast forward to my career path and like I had indicated right from the onset, I have done so many things.
I started my working life at The Embassy of Tunisia in Lagos as the Personal Assistant to the Ambassador and after a brief stint in France, I returned and joined the Embassy of France also in Lagos.
My position working with the Cultural Attaché to the Embassy of France paved an opportunity to join The Delegation of the European Union in Abuja, Nigeria. It was a job that offered a lot of training and travel opportunities and during this point in time, I met my dear husband, who whisked me off to the altar after a six-month whirlwind courtship. Our union will turn 16 years in November and we are blessed with three beautiful children.
The natural process of having babies with a stillbirth and several miscarriages in-between meant juggling family life along with my career, cycling through different jobs as I sought to find that which suited my family lifestyle a lot better.
I held job positions ranging from Archivist, Executive Assistant, Personal Assistant, Public Relations Officer, Administrative Manager, Records Manager to School Registrar.