Meet Wilfred Okiche – The Medical Doctor And Writer

Wilfred Okiche is a medical doctor who presently works in public health as a research clinician, a job he loves, ‘‘because it isn’t the part of medicine that they teach you in school.”  
He also has a burgeoning writing career which has seen him pen non-fiction,  reviews of film and music, political reports as well as essays to anyone that will pay for his skill.
My work is likely to be found regularly on YNaija.com where I have a contributing editor role and on 360nobs.com but I have also written for South Africa’s City Press newspaper, Africa Arguments, Music in Africa and the Guardian UK. I have also pitched to a lot more but they are all yet to get back to me. I also appear  on the television show Africana Literati hosted by Isabella Akinseye which airs on Africa Magic.
Wilfred’s writing career kicked off back in his University days when he was ‘resiting a particular clinical course famous for its vicious lecturers and noisy wards in 500 level” he had a lot of time on his hands so decided to relocate to Lagos, got in touch with a friend who introduced him to Red Media’s Chude Jideonwo, ”I sent in my stuff, strangely enough he liked it and I began an intense internship period. It was intermittent as I was doing it in between school but yeah I guess I haven’t looked back since then.”
On the medical side, after housemanship which I did at a Military Hospital in Lagos, a friend,- funny enough it is the same friend, Alex who helped me out with the writing stuff so I guess I owe him my entire career,- called to tell me a senior colleague was relocating temporarily to the UK for his PHD thesis and would I be able to cover for him in a locum capacity for 3 months? Of course I was available. I started and loved it, and let us just say the senior colleague never came back. Plus I have the most wonderful colleagues.
On challenges he’s faced so far, Wilfred recalls the unexpected passing of his dad, ”Nobody saw it coming, we all assumed it he would live to at least 90. It was a huge blow for all of us.” 
For Dr Will, ”every day is a mini challenge and I almost always forget them when I move on so I cannot quite recall at the moment but I really wish I could accommodate more things, especially more writing into 24hours. The deadlines are crazy.  Also media entrepreneurs who do not pay or underpay writers are scum and should be deleted.”

”From life itself, from the environment, the culture, conversations I have had, books I have read, plays and films I have seen, it is all in the life.” Wilfred said on his source of inspiration. 
Taking charge of YNaija’s special lists (Power List, Most Influential Nigerians etc) to editing a trio of fabulous talents back with the Redux project (Party Jollof, Sounds.ng, The Other Style) and dabbling in communications and some development work are some of the numerous projects Wilfred has handled that really made him believe in his capability. He stated further that I am really glad to have participated in the Talent programme of the Durban International Film Festival this year too. It felt great to be recognized by a group of strangers in that way.”
The creative is looking to take advantage of opportunities that would help him grow personally or professionally ‘‘I would love to attend more trainings, read more, visit more music and film festivals, see more powerful movies, travel more. Whatever is out there I want it.”

On how the Nigeria youth can be empowered, he said:
This is a big one. You need to see the sheer number of people who arrive at the NYSC camps every batch to appreciate the enormous challenge facing us, and that is just those of us with an education. I certainly think that education is key, and for those who are willing, decent education should be available for every child’s taking. There is also something to be said for the standards which have fallen so short these. There should be programmes or structures for people who choose not to go to school or do not have the opportunities. These could be in learning a trade or skill or whatever. Sometimes it seems so intimidating the scope of the problem, and some days it seems so easy you wonder why government isn’t seeing it from your lens. Also youth can empower themselves by reading. When you read, you open up a world of possibilities for not just yourself but those around you. 

You can reach him on Twitter and Instagram via @drwill20 or send him an email (will.fred20@yahoo.com)  if you have something worthwhile.

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The Spark is a youth empowerment platform in Nigeria that projects the average Nigerian youth doing something, anything positive. Our mission is to reach out to as many youths, “EMPOWER and ENGAGE!!!


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