Mnena Achineku works in Marketing at a fertility clinic. She writes sometimes and her articles have appeared on Bella Naija. She is our guest on the 15 QUESTIONS Series today!
1. If you were the President for one day and you have the power to fix one thing in Nigeria, what will it be and WHY?
I would fix our mentality, the way we think. If we were just a little more open to a different way of approaching things, we’d be better off. We cling to a lot of things in the name of culture, forgetting that culture is fluid. Sometimes I think that’s our major problem in Nigeria, not corruption.
2. What is the most annoying thing you have heard people say about women in Nigeria?
‘Na woman’ usually said after a driver does something a male driver doesn’t like and he realises that it’s a woman driving. We all know that when there’s an accident, it’s usually two men that come out of the cars to look at the damage. Women are better drivers, yet we get ‘na woman’. It’s nothing to do with our actual ability; it’s something deeper than that.
3. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year old, which would you choose?
I’d choose the body of a 30 year old. Have you seen 90 year old people? They can barely walk! Can’t cross Lagos traffic without help. I’m quite independent and I’d like to keep it that way for as long as possible.
4. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
Single. I. am.
5. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one special quality or ability, what would it be?
Confidence in my abilities.
6. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? Why or why not?
I’d love to know when I’ll die. I am absolutely afraid of dying. People say dying is like before you were born; you don’t remember anything prior to being born. That’s very scary to me.
7. If you knew when you will die, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
No I wouldn’t. Maybe have more money so I could travel more. I dunno, I’m quite content.
8. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
I’ve been obsessing about death for a while now, so I try to tell everyone how I feel about them. It’s created some cheesy/cringing moments o but one has to push through that and just tell people that you care about them. You never know when someone will pass.
9. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
My journals. Since I was 17 I’ve kept them. They’re just 40/60 leaves exercise books where I whine about how miserable my life is haha but I like reading back and seeing how much I’ve changed and also patterns I keep repeating.
10. If you don’t have to worry about making money, what would you do all day?
I’d travel the world listening to people smarter than me talk about interesting things. In the meantime I watch TED and TEDx talks.
11. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? What happened that year?
2009/2010. I was 27 and I went to Munich, Hamburg and Geneva. In Hamburg, I watched the Europa League final between Fulham and Atletico Madrid. It felt really good to do something like that; I’d love to relive that.
12. How do you think your friends would describe you?
Laid back, silly, caring
13. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
I wouldn’t like to be famous. I don’t like attention and I couldn’t imagine being under a microscope with zero privacy. Celebs try o. I’m currently watching E!; Mila Kunis is being featured on Celebrity Style Story and being judged on an outfit she wore when she was 17! 17! No thank you.
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
Ever since I saw Naomi Campbell’s Cribs, I’ve dreamt of owning a small house by the beach in Jamaica. No 9-5 job, no responsibilities, no worries. I haven’t done it because brokenness is a real thing. Only rich people can afford to live like they’re poor.
15. Would you be willing to have horrible nightmares for a year if you would be rewarded with extraordinary wealth for a life time? Why or Why not?
I don’t think that extraordinary wealth is that important for me to risk my sanity. I wouldn’t make it through the year to enjoy the wealth. It’d be used to pay the cost of keeping me in the poshest of posh asylums. People can and do live happy lives with 0.001% of some people’s wealth. Happiness is the most important thing in life. You live, then you die, why not be happy?