Ikanna Okim: Record-Breaker, Author, Lawyer & Women’s Right Activist

No doubt Nigeria is blessed with so many brilliant minds, and our remarkable authors are no exception. Today, we have one of the rising stars in the writing industry in the person of Miss Ikanna Okim. But before we commence this interview, let’s briefly examine some of her accomplishments.

Ikanna Okim is a graduate of the Faculty of Law, University of Uyo. Notably, she was the first person in the history of the Faculty to emerge with a first-class, breaking a 36-year record since the Faculty’s inception. While in school, she was the President of the Law Students’ Bar Association, and she managed to balance this responsibility with her many other interests.

Additionally, she started writing and publishing when she was 19 years old and has written 3 novels and several other short stories on critical societal issues. Her novel Black Syrma focuses on the ills of female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. She has avidly stood against this subject as the movement leader of the No-FGM Campaign. Insipid is centred around 3 main characters and portrays Gender Dysphoria, Homosexuality, Rape, and Dehumanization. And the book, Zarah, is a mirror of the present-day insecurity-ridden Nigeria.

You can check out her books by clicking here.

In 2018, she was nominated as one of Africa’s Top 10 Under-21 highest potential young people, alongside other youths from other African countries.

Ikanna Okim is also a Fellow of the African Young Leaders Fellowship of Teennation.In addition, she was nominated for the Future Africa Awards 2022, and she just finished law school. If you aren’t already excited, there’s much more to arouse your intellect. Enjoy the ride!


MediVoice: Hello, ma. It’s so nice to have you here. Can we meet you?

Thank you! My name is Ikanna Okim. I am God’s daughter, a Pro-women’s rights activist, an attorney-in-training, and everything between fun and focused.

MediVoice: It’s the “between fun and focused” for me o! Nice one, ma (lol). Would you say your background influenced your love for writing, especially since your dad was a journalist?

Absolutely. My dad is my first example of a writer with finesse. He has been a great impact on my life, especially my writing. 

MediVoice: It must have been cool growing up like you. Next, I believe the term writing means different things to different people. What does writing mean to you, and when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t usually use the tag ‘writer’ when I describe myself, and the reason is this: I am just a young woman who expresses herself through writing (I also am a speaker). I fight for the rights of women in African societies through writing, and I express the gospel of Christ through writing. It’s like an expression channel for me, and I do it the best way I can. 

MediVoice: Going forward, if we can ask, where do you get your inspiration from, and what’s your research process for every new book like?

I don’t search for inspiration. Inspiration meets me. If I see a need to scream about something through writing, I do so. For example, the inspiration to write Zarah was from the Chibok and Dapchi kidnap. So, I use the problem-solver approach; there must be a problem to solve. I also write when God tells me to. My inspiration is steady and effective. 

MediVoice: Hmmm, steady and effective! “I want to be like you when I grow up ma… (lol)“. Can you brief us on some of the challenges you have faced as a writer? For instance, have you ever faced writer’s block or struggled to get people to acknowledge your work? And how were you able to overcome them?

Starting from the last question, Yes! Which writer has not faced a block? (laughs) Hardly anyone. I overcome the block by actually reminding myself of the reason I started in the first place. I ask God for help, sleep, do something fun, and wake up refreshed, ready to go again. Also, I remember that lives depend on the outcome of my writings. Communities depend on it. Society will be changed because of it. So, I must do it, and soon too. 

For challenges, piracy. It’s so painful to see your work randomly anywhere without due credit to you. I believe things will get better. 

MediVoice: Piracy can be painful, but we hope things improve. Next, do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good and bad reviews?

I love reviews! Good and bad are okay. However, I don’t take reviews that are not constructive. You know some people just want to tear down. I live for the audience of one- God. So comments which are targeted at tearing me down hardly ever get to be beyond the surface. I don’t brood over them. I encourage writers to develop a skin soft enough to learn from critics and hard enough to resist anything targeted at making you believe less in yourself. 

MediVoice: Tell us, what are your other interests aside from writing?

First, I love to speak my heart out. I love the gathering of believers and I love learning the law. I love reading and I love music a lot. Also, I am currently learning the Chinese language. 

MediVoice: Wow, this is a lot! Your ability to manage all these is really commendable. And from what we’ve gathered, this dates back to your student days. How do you juggle all these effectively?

Thank you for the compliment. I am a sucker for effective time management. I believe that time is a gift from God and we should not waste gifts. Have you ever wondered why we all have 24 hours in a day but some people are more productive than others? It all boils down to usage of time. I can give a 20-hour lecture on this. It is my life’s principle and my friends and family know that I do not joke with my time. People would respect your time only to the extent that you respect your own time. 

MediVoice: Furthermore, would you describe yourself as an avid reader?

I read everything I should be reading. I don’t read anything I should not be reading. 

MediVoice: That is a hilarious and succinct answer. If you don’t get it, forget about it (lol). What is your favourite childhood book, ma?

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie. Not childhood but I loved it so much while growing up. 

MediVoice: What book are you reading currently?

Law Books o. (laughs)

MediVoice: Wow (lol). In addition, What’s your favourite book from another author?

Another Kind of Boy by Akaninyene Akpan

MediVoice: Where do you see yourself in three years? Both generally and in terms of writing?

I see myself doing what God would have me do. 

MediVoice: In addition, what advice would you give those who have lost touch with the writing phase of their lives but are still passionate about writing?

Wake up! Especially if your writing is unto impact. Wake up. You don’t have to feel like writing, you just have to write. Great people are not great because they feel like doing something. Everything would war against you. Even if nothing is on your side, would you be on your side? Scratch that, are you on your side? 

MediVoice: If you could tell your younger writing self something, what would it be?

Live for the audience of one. 

MediVoice: Hmm, finally, should we be expecting a new book soon?


MediVoice: Ooooh, that’s something to look forward to. As we round off this interview, do you have any other words for our audience and MediVoice?

Well done MediVoice. Keep the fire burning. 

MediVoice: Certainly we will! Thanks for your time Miss Ikanna Okim. We hope to see you doing bigger things in bigger places.

Do you want to read about other authors? Check out our author interview column.

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