Wonderful Women Wednesday- The Interview with Screenwriter & Blogger, Uju Asika
Uju Asika is the mum of 2 delicious boys, ages 3 and 6, and the founder of Babes about Town, a city guide and curator of all things cool for kids and families in London and beyond.
She’s also a freelance writer, social media consultant and a screenwriter for the hit Nigerian TV soap Tinsel, produced by South African company M-Net and broadcast across 45 countries.
Describe a typical day:
The mad dash of school pick-up and drop-off are the book ends to my ‘free time’ now that my little one is in full-time nursery. On an average week I have 3 TV scripts to write or rewrite, so I’ll try and knuckle down to those asap although I’ve always been a deadline surfer! I work from home but since I’m often too distracted by the mess postman, I like to spend at least 1 or 2 days working at a coffee shop. Cake is essential to the creative process!
I also try and fit in blogging, requests from PRs and getting my social media hustle on. Once the kids are home we might be off to check out a fun event or just chilling at home, playing games, refereeing fights, cooking dinner, bath and bedtime, the usual mayhem!
My husband (Abiye of Big Apple Hot Dogs) works late, but our evenings together are spent either glued to our iDevices, catching up on work stuff or snuggling with a DVD in front of our big projector screen. We’re total movie buffs!
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Without a doubt, having my kids is the best thing I’ve ever done. Ezra said to me last night, ‘Mum, my DNA is naughty isn’t it?’
Those boys blow me away (apart from days when I want to tear all our hair out)! Professionally, I’ve been lucky to work with some very cool and creative organisations, like B3 Media who are true pioneers in digital media and to meet and interview loads of artists I really respect e.g. Denzel Washington, Idris Elba, Spike Lee… to name drop a few!
I’m also proud of the TV pilot and series I created when my eldest was 10 months old – it was my first try at screenwriting and, even though it wound up in development hell, it helped me land the gig on Tinsel today!
What’s in your handbag/satchel?
My iPad, notebook, Vaseline, sheer lip gloss, baby wipes, Afro comb, talcum powder, sunglasses, London Children’s Map, hand sanitiser, purse spray and a flashing Rudolph nose from a recent kids’ PR party. I’m a proper bag lady so I carry the world on my shoulder, although back trouble is forcing me to lighten up!
What advice would you give your pre-baby self that you now know having had a child?
I recently wrote a Note to Self on my blog that pretty much outlined what I would have wanted to tell my pre-baby self. One of my earliest and most popular posts was called Motherhood. If Only I’d Known.
I guess my main message would be to enjoy the freedom you have pre-baby, because it will never be the same. And don’t sweat the small people! Most of the challenges you have as a mum can be sorted if you just take a step back and breathe and get a little bit of perspective.
What are your ambitions in life?
I have several novels in me, one already written years back -– I had interest from a publisher but talks stalled. I still plan on getting that into print and unleashing some of the other characters living in my head! I would like to make movies, to keep telling interesting and soul-stirring stories and collaborating with bright, creative people on cool projects.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Living somewhere fabulous (I love Islington but I dream of the tropics), writing and creating award-winning content, feeling secure and fulfilled with my home and family life.
Loving and laughing with all three of my boys.