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The Creative & Mental Health | Interview with Amanda Iheme

AKANNI:

Hello Amanda, how are you feeling today?

AMANDA:

Very well, quiet but excited

AKANNI:

On several occasions, you have described yourself when asked who Amanda is as ‘human’ and with a world constantly trying to us define what it is to be human, who is Amanda the human and in what sense do you define your humanity?

AMANDA:

Amanda the human is simple and expressive. I define my humanity in terms of the way I do things, how I manage my emotions, how I feel about myself, how I think about the surrounding world and many other things like the things I like and those things I’m interested in, you know. I believe that these things and more make out my being

AKANNI:

That’s quite interesting to know, I read somewhere that you are quite big on food so am sure you don’t mind me asking, what would make a perfect breakfast in bed for you?

AMANDA:

Right now, I’m craving a Japanese breakfast so….. a bowl of rice, seaweed, bacon, boiled eggs, steamed vegetables (broccoli and baby carrots) with soy sauce and pepper sauce. Shito maybe

AKANNI:

Not quite what I expected. You could have been a neurosurgeon but life had other plans for you. Do you ever wonder about if you would have still arrived at these creative mediums you now use so passionately and expressively, and in what ways do you think the change in direction you experienced help choose these means of self-expression?

AMANDA:

If I had chosen neurosurgery would I have become who I am today? I don’t know, to be honest, I have not quite thought about what or who I would have become if I had gone to medical school. The change in direction, on the other hand, gave me psychotherapy, which is such an underrated yet insightful course to study, we were meant for each other; being in UCC where I got my degree in psychology and being the person I am… put me in contact with my friend that introduced me to photography

AKANNI:

Talking about choices of expression, you host ‘Words as Therapy’ event, which I’ve heard is a coming together of creating millennials to talk about issues that affect them as growing individuals who are yet to grasp the gravity of the world around us, how would you describe the influence of word smiting and art in general for young people who most times aren’t directly expressive of their ordeals?

AMANDA:

Ah, a bit of correction, Word as Therapy is not for creating individuals alone. It’s for everyone irrespective of their age gender belief or identity, everyone has a place at WAT: I believe that words and art has done for them one of the many things it was made to do, which is to help each and every one of these people to express by allowing them to express without restriction, boundaries, fear or even shame. Words and art are accepting every thought emotion feeling and in the general sense being

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