Making waves as a Creative Writer in Nigeria is no small feat. It requires lots of passion, perseverance, patience, and consistency. These are the qualities – and some more – that make Charis Alara a force to reckon with in the Creative Writing and Literature space.
Charis Alara started a full-time professional career in the creative writing and literature space upon graduating for her first degree in Estate Management. One would wonder how she managed the switch from Social Sciences to the Arts but this is something she has done gracefully.
Charis is a Nigerian Writer, Storyteller, Creative Writing Coach, and Editor with over four years of experience actively exploring the literary and creative industry both within and outside Nigeria. She is the founder of The360Writer, one of Nigeria’s creative writing platform geared toward writers’ development. Through The360Writer, Charis has helped new and aspiring writers find their bearing and make a living out of their passions.
Being a multitalented Creative Writer is just one of the numerous creative hats Charis wears. Last year, she was one of the 50 selected Nigerians for the Chevening Scholarship, one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world. She is currently studying at Brunel University, London for a Masters’ in Creative Writing
Not only is Charis an excellent writer, but she also doubles as a Poet when the situation calls for it. What’s more? She made her debut appearance as an international spoken word poet during the recently concluded International Women’s Day event themed #breakthebias.
If you are an aspiring writer looking to build a career in the writing and literary space, Charis Alara is proof that your dreams are valid.
That’s all for the Creative Spotlight today, join us next month for the next episode.
November 2020, I resigned from a toxic work environment (if you want the full gist, click here). After resigning, I promised myself I would not hurry to get another job because you know what they say about making the same mistake twice.
I got a side gig as a customer care representative for an
e-commerce service company in February 2021. The pay was little when compared
to the work I was doing. Still, I did not mind because at least something was
coming in, and I enjoyed solving problems.
I was still searching for a job. In April 2021, I got a good
job that was flexible, and the pay was fair, so I said yes to the offer and
resumed work immediately. I had a condition before taking the offer, I was
employed as a content writer, and when I asked how many people were on the
team, I was told it was myself and a graphics designer.
Boy, there was no way I could do a digital marketer’s job. I
told them to employ a digital marketer, and they promised to. Two weeks after I
resumed, they hired one, and I was so excited, but unfortunately, the terms
were not conducive for the person; she left after working for two weeks.
After the digital marketer left, the company refused to
employ another person, and they expected me to take up the role, which I could
not. It was always a tug of war. The MD/CEO felt I was not competent enough
because the company’s social media pages were not growing as she expected.
This woman expected me to grow a page using content only. I
tried explaining, but I was not good enough to her, so she went ahead to employ
a digital marketing agency. The agency was responsible for all social media
pages, which means she does not need my services anymore.
My line manager, God bless his kind heart, tried all he
could to convince her to let me stay, but she wanted me out. I started seeing
some toxic traits when she called me useless in one of our zoom meetings with
the digital agency.
Some weeks after, I dropped my resignation letter because I
didn’t want to be sacked. I remember sending that email with tears in my eyes
because the truth is that I was tired of job hunting. I came back home, and my
sweet husband kept telling me it would be alright.
Here is the thing, I gave a testimony about this job in one
of the groups I belonged to in church and here was I three months after with a
resignation letter. I felt like God had frauded me. I cried for so many nights.
I was pissed and asked why he allowed me to take that job in the first place.
I was throwing
tantrums at God, the maker of heaven and earth, the one who can do all things o
(Onome, you are bold o lol ); well, He is my father. I refused to pray for
days, and the thought of the MD/CEO of that company annoyed me.
It took me months to forgive this woman and everyone
involved in me losing my job. I found my peace back when I chose to submit to
God and allow Him to lead me. I decided to worship God with tears and pains; in
that place of worship, I found peace and strength. He wants the best for me,
and today, I’m glad he took me out of that company when He did.
At the same time, I made great friends in that company that I
won’t trade for anything. I remember how we cried and hugged on my last day at
work. It’s a memory I won’t forget.
I’m in a place of contentment, and I am currently working on
my next assignment. I’m not actively searching for jobs, but God keeps sending
me gigs, and I have not lacked. That’s how amazing my father is.
There are so many lessons that God has taught me in this
phase that I can’t wait to share with you.
“The LORD is close to the
brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed”. Psalm 34: 18 (NLT).
This scripture comforted me in my
pain, and I could feel God. I don’t know what your story is, and if, like me,
you are angry at God, please don’t be. He has your best interest at heart. He
will come through because He makes all things beautiful in His own time
Trust requires you to leave all
other plans and cling to God. It is a case of I have no one else, it’s either
you help me, or I’m finished. His plans for you are good, and your future is so
When you don’t know what to do, worship because you will find strength and comfort in the place of worship, Papa is close to you, and He is ever ready to give you strength. Never doubt His love.
Cheers to you trusting God and
coming out stronger.
Worship is something I enjoy doing, especially when I’m not
in the best mood. It always makes me feel like I just slapped the devil in his
face. Worship is my therapy when I’m sad, and even when I’m happy, it gives me
this peace and joy I can’t explain.
I remember worshipping and praying one day, and the Lord
said to me, “Whatever happens, always find your way back here” that
day, I felt new, and I felt loved. On this journey of faith, there is a lot the
Lord is teaching me, and I’m always excited to share the lessons.
You can’t get it wrong in the place of worship. When it gets
tough and you don’t know what to do, enter into the place of worship, submit to
His will and watch how He comes through for you.
These past months some songs have spoken to me in ways I’ve
never imagined. These songs are my go-to songs, and each time I worship, I have
my faith strengthened and renewed.
The songs are:
Nobody by Tim Godfrey ft Ntonzo Mbambo
Jireh by Maverick city &Elevation Music ft
Chandler Moore and Naomi Raine
You’re Gonna get the glory by Tasha Cobbs
One moment by Freke Umoh
Hymn Medley by Maveric city ft Chandler Moore
Victory belongs to Jesus by Ric Hassani ft
Called out music and Frank Edwards
Yah by Dunsin Oyekan
I’ll be here
Isaiah song by Maverick city ft Chandler Moore
Olorun Agbaye by Nathaniel Bassey ft Chandler
Moore and Oba
Click play and enjoy a time of worship
When listening to these songs, let your faith be activated,
key into the messages and watch how Papa comes to dine with you. Oh, don’t
forget to go into His presence with a pen and a jotter. He is always ready to
talk to you.
You can download each song by clicking the download icon by the side of each song
As a little girl, Mama gave me lectures and sermons
about you. She taught me about how important you are in everyone’s life. She
said you are the one people hold on to for survival a lot of times. She also
added that you had two siblings called Faith and Love, she said Love was the
eldest, but I needed all three of you to survive, I remembered that sermon, and
it became my mantra.
Growth happened, and the little girl became a
teenager, life came at me, and I was so scared, I was scared to trust you
because humans failed me and I felt you would too, but you did fail me, I held
on for so long, but nothing happened, they said it was going to be better, but
it wasn’t. Life dealt with me, and you didn’t save me, so I let go of you and
Throwing you away became my greatest regret, the
minute I kicked you out your rival took charge of my life, I can’t remember
asking him to, but he did, and it almost ruined me. Depression took over, all I
thought of was death, and I didn’t even know what to do so I resolved to tears
and pains, and I wished I didn’t run from you, nobody could save me.
Fear crippled my life, Uncle Faith’s rival, and life
wasn’t just worth living anymore. Still, in the middle of all of these, your
brother Love found me. He looked for me, did all he could to rescue me from
hurting myself. He came in a different package, I was so stubborn, yet he was
patient, he was so persistent yet gentle, and because depression was gradually
killing me, I succumbed to love, and my life received a revival.
Hope, I’m sorry I kicked you out, but I need you, I know Love will never leave me, but I have to keep working on my relationship with you and Faith, but it’s incredible to see that once I can work on my relationship with Love, you and Faith will be so natural. How I love your family.
I know it’s not going to be easy, even as a grown-up
lady I still get scared about tomorrow, I sometimes worry about getting things
right, I still get nervous I will mess things up and frustrate Love. Yet, Love
said there is nothing I can do to push him away. I cried when he said that, so
does that mean I have you and Faith for the rest of my life? That is such a
Life is always going to push me, challenges will come my way, friends will disappoint me, I will fight with my man, my parents, and siblings will get on my nerves, but I will choose you and your siblings over and over again, I will walk in Love, embrace you and keep Faith.
Hope, if there is one lesson the year 2020 taught me is that I need you to survive, you were my succour throughout the year.
I will remember Mama’s lecture because I can’t live
life without you. I can’t run my marriage without you because there will always
be challenges there, I can’t run my job without you because my boss will still
want more from me, I can’t run my relationship with my friends without you
because there will be issues, but I hold on to you.
With you and your siblings, life is worth living,
and we can go to bed knowing that today may be challenging, but tomorrow is
certainly going to better.
Thank you for being a constant support and strength!
I love you so much, please give my warm regards to Faith and Love, tell them they mean a lot to me, and one of these days I will write a note to them too.
The year 2020 tested me on so many levels, there were days I cried like a baby, and there were days filled with laughter, but each season taught me growth, perseverance, and God’s Love. I don’t know what this year brought for you but look at you, God kept you, and you survived!
And make an everlasting covenant with them.” (Isaiah
It’s been days since the #endsars movement started. It’s
been a season of liberation with the youths demanding for justice. What excites
me about this movement is how young people of different ages, religion, beliefs
and tribes put aside their differences to support one cause which is to put an
end to police brutality in our nation Nigeria.
I am excited at what God is doing because this is a sign
that there is hope for our dear nation Nigeria, it means my generation is awake
and like the Israelites, we are ready to crush down Jericho. I have seen a lot
of believers who have decided to be lackadaisical about this movement because
we believe that grace covers us so we are safe.
I’m not disputing the fact that grace covers us but we owe
the next generation a better legacy, we cannot inherit the silence of our
fathers, Jesus died for all of us and its time for a revolution. God loves
justice, isn’t that why he destroyed Pharaoh and the Egyptians because they
refused to let His children go (Exodus 9:1).
The next question is, what can you do to lend your voice?
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble
themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will
hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” (2
This is the first thing to do, God answers prayers and we
can’t deny His love. There are lots of prayer walk in cities around you, look
for the nearest one and join. This battle is of the lord and we are certain He
will give us victory.
Intercessors this is the time to arise and call on God for
intervention. Nigeria is our country and we must do the best we can for our
home, we need to ask for mercy and speak peace into the land. Let’s use our
authority to seek the father’s face.
Each time believers gather to pray; something happens and we
can be a great spiritual support if we choose to pray.
I’ve heard people speak negative words, things like “Nobody
can help Nigeria” “You are only wasting your time” as a believer we know that
our God is an expert at impossibilities and Nigeria will not be an exemption.
Let’s decree over this nation that the #endsars movement
will yield good results, that an end will come to brutality and senseless
killings. Let’s call forth unity and that the eyes of every police officer are
opened to know that we are not fighting against them but for them. Use your
words to encourage and speak positivity.
Nobody is against you going out to protest. It is perfectly
okay for believers to protest, it’s time to remove the sentiments and face the
truth. You are a citizen of this nation and you pay tax so it is your right to
demand justice. It is wrong to say believers cannot protest because we are covered,
remember that Joshua went to battle with the Amalekites to take over the land
the Lord promised the Israelites (Exodus 17:8-13). While you are going out to
protest, stay safe and don’t fight. We are advocates of peace and don’t forget
to shine your light.
USE YOUR GIFTS
Designers, programmers and content creators’ whatever gift
you have let us use our gifts to promote the #endsars movement. This nation
needs you right now and you can’t afford to fold your arms. Play your part, use
your platforms and let us fight for the peace of this nation.
“On that day the LORD will shield those who live in
Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of
David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD going before them.”
I am convinced that a new nation is arising, the lord is
redeeming Nigeria and it’s time for the change we have all been praying for. We
did not inherit the fear and silence of our fathers, we owe our children a
better nation, we owe them a transformed nation and we owe them a legacy that
they have a voice in Nigeria.
If you can’t be a Joshua that will go into battle then be a
Moses holding the staff to help Joshua win the battle. Use your voice and let’s
Shall we pray?
We speak peace to your borders
We pray increase
We pray for passionate leaders
We ask for mercy Lord
We ask for peace and justice
We ask that an end has come to bloodshed of innocent lives
We pray you are an enviable nation
We pray your light shines for all nations to see
Everyone protesting is safe
An end has come to brutality and victimization
Dear Believer, refuse to be silenced the next generation is counting on you. Arise and let’s put an end to injustice in Nigeria.