African Blogger Spotlight : Ivana Akotowaa
When you read Ivana Akotowaa Ofori’s Blog you would never guess that she is only 18. Her writing prompts you to practise a rewarding kind of freedom that can hold you captive on her blog for hours. A beautiful confinement of frank and brutally honest published posts that seem determined to encourage its followers, to introspect and loudly break free against any unfair restrictions that seek to imprison their true thoughts, questions and self-expression.
Do you set any blog goals? What are they?
I don’t set a lot of clearly defined blog goals. I write freely and don’t really have that much of a schedule. I suppose the only clear goal I have is, in terms of statistics, to always do better with my blog views than I performed the previous year.
How do you find or source new content for your blog?
This isn’t hard for me, since my mind is quite hyperactive and I chronicle the thought processes of my mind a lot. I think of myself as a collector of stories, from the people around me and even those of my own life. As for the poetry I write, that probably comes more naturally to me than anything else – because cryptic words express cryptic thoughts, and it’s magical to contain so many emotions in so few words/lines.
What is your least favourite blog post? Name yours and specify why?
My least favourite blog post right now is probably Dark Heart & Mind #3. The whole Dark Heart & Mind series was written when I was not in the most favourable frame of mind and environment. But often, for me, it’s not enough to leave my rants unread in my notebook. I publish them even if nobody but myself will benefit from having written them. I dislike that post because it reminds me of the pain and hatred I felt. I might delete it (and the rest of that series) from my blog eventually. They’ve served their cathartic purpose.
Would you say you are passionate about inspiring your audience?
In a very specific way about very specific things. Mainly ‘lexivism’ – the word I created to mean activism/advocacy for pursuing word-related activities and ambitions. I love encouraging people to write, to pursue their literary ambitions, improve their poetry, performance et cetera. But aside from specific instances, I don’t aim deliberately to be ‘inspirational’; I aim to be so much of myself that I give other people permission to do the same unconsciously. In my opinion, authenticity itself is inspirational.
Would you say you contribute a unique voice?
To this day, I don’t think I follow anyone who writes quite like I do. I am an interesting combination of tortured-artist, cryptic-poet, angry-ranter, and hyper-emotional being. It always fascinates me when I observe my blogging trends from the outside.
What are you willing to do to make your blog successful?
Honestly, To Write Well! That is my only strategy. I don’t publicize in a pushy way. I don’t tag people in my posts (unless they specifically asked to be tagged) when I share/publish. I don’t drop my links in people’s inboxes, IMs or DMs. I rely on the hope that if what I’ve written is good, and it’s accessible on my profiles, it will receive its due attention. I don’t think it does as yet, but the loyalty of the readers I do have is extremely gratifying. I suppose because I am so frank with my thoughts, which are sometimes very mean and sarcastic, I’d probably stand a chance of incriminating myself than pleasing an audience.
Can you tell us a bit about your ideal reader?
My ideal reader is someone who would read what I’ve written and either say, “I’ve been thinking just that!” or “I never thought of that this way!” I enjoy readers who relate, or who have emotional or intellectual responses. And the type of readers who would share the link with someone who wouldn’t usually read me, naturally, because they believe it’s worth sharing.
What are the implications of being as honest as you are about yourself on your blog?
The internet is a free place. Anyone from anywhere could find my blog and read what I’ve written. I don’t usually realize how much I have revealed about myself until a reader shows me. But, as surprising as these incidents might be, I don’t think they’re necessarily bad. There’s the risk of being type casted – with people wrongfully thinking that if I reacted a certain way to something, I will react the same way to something else. For the most part, I think the implications of my self-honesty are good; because I feel like a lot of people aren’t as honest about themselves and that maybe by creating the kind of content that I do, it will encourage others to do the same.
Feature Written By: Sinawo Bukani
She is a Digital Marketing Recruit at Umuzi Photo Club. She recently resigned from her corporate job as an Asset Management Associate to invest in her SuperPowers in Literary Journalism, Lifestyle Blogging and Content Marketing.