Inspiring Interview with Gbemisola Akinsipe

Can we meet you?
My name is Oluwagbemisola Deborah Akinsipe, I am the first of four children born to Pastor Adeyele and Evangelist Adekemi Akinsipe. I attended Praise Nursery and Primary school, then moved to Christ Ambassadors’ International College, both in Ibadan. I am currently studying Chemical Engineering in Covenant University, Ota. I am a Christian, I am from Ondo State. I enjoy writing, reading, cooking, watching movies and speaking. I am passionate about God, family, Nigeria, teenagers especially girls and motivating others to be their best.
So, you published your first book at age 13. What was the motivation to do that? How was the writing process for you at that age? (You know the average 13-year-old is not thinking of how to write or publish a book) (*smile*)
The motivation was the message I had to pass across. It was at a point in my life when my friends and I were just starting to get wooed by boys and I noticed that most of my girlfriends brought their issues to our circle for counsel. I thought it absolutely risky to receive advice from fellow teenagers who had little to no experience. My mum and I have always been close, so she advised me on most of my issues but most of my female classmates could not say the same. So I realized I had to encourage mothers and their daughters to build a better relationship with each other. Having the message was one thing, passing it on was another. Writing has always been my preferred mode of expression, I started writing when I was very young. I remember in Primary 6, how I filled an exercise book with a story and my classmates were kind enough to read it. So once I had a message, writing about it was my natural reaction.
The writing process for me was exciting, however, it took a lot of discipline. My first book was written in one weekend. I had thought about it a lot but had not put pen to paper. That weekend, I got the opportunity to meet a publisher, and he was ready to help, however, I had to deliver the manuscript the next week. Hence, there was no time to waste, so I got to writing immediately and focused on it till I delivered the manuscript. I haven’t rushed a manuscript ever since but I have had to remain disciplined and focused.
What can you say is the principal thing that has contributed to making you who you are today?
Honestly, the principal thing that has contributed to making me who I am today is knowing God. His Presence, favour, instructions, grace and mercy have brought me this far. I am grateful that my parents taught me about God very early. I am grateful that I attended and still attend schools that are faith-based and preach the commandments of God. I am grateful that I am surrounded my several spiritual mentors and a great church family. God has ordered my steps from the beginning and so, knowing Him is what has made everything I have done possible.
How many books have you written?
I have written quite a number, but not all of them have been published. Right now, I have two published, Family Again and Conundrum, they can be bought at most bookstores in Ibadan, Mosuru booksellers, Odusote, then Fumac and Spectrum among others.
So, you seem to be a Jesus girl. Tell us a little about your relationship with Jesus.
My parents are very strong Christians, so I grew up knowing about God. In my early teenage years, I had personal encounters with Him and set myself on a journey to know Him for myself. My relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship in my life. Being led by His Word and the Holy Spirit, being able to go to Him for help in prayer and worship, being confident of peace with God, remission of sins and a destiny in Heaven and so much more are things I won’t give up for anything. He is my friend, my teacher, my rock, my lover, my helper, my everything. He is the essence of this life and to Him be the glory for everything.
In your own opinion, what does the average teenager need to make a positive difference?
The average teenager needs a relationship with God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit and a strong sense of responsibility. I say a relationship with God because God is everything. We need God to make great decisions, to direct our path, to help us succeed; we need God as protector, provider, keeper, strength and so on. There is no limit with God. Most importantly, life as we know it is a small portion in the scheme of things. Eventually, our souls would reside in Heaven or hell for eternity, hell is not even an option. We need to know God through Jesus to make Heaven.
Secondly, the average teenager needs a strong sense of responsibility as mentioned earlier. The teenager must accept that he or she is absolutely responsible for the outcome of his or her life. The teenager must be ready to dream big and work hard. A teenager that would be successful would not blame others for where he or she is in life. Such a teenager will be able to call himself or herself to order. He or she would be disciplined, focused and resilient because he/she knows that one is the architect of one’s destiny. Whatever becomes of your life is your fault. It’s a tough concept to accept, but accepting it would set you above most people in the world.
In the midst of your academics and other commitments, how do you create time to write?
I strongly believe everyone creates time for what he/she enjoys. I like to say that there is always time, lack of time is not a strong excuse because every great person only had 24 hours a day like everyone else. I try to prioritize properly and create time for activities that are important to my vision. So, I make it a habit to write or think about writing everyday. I sometimes falter but I get myself back on track.
You are someone who is privileged to have a lot of parental support. How do you advice teenagers who want to make a positive difference but lack parental support?
Having a family to support you is a great privilege and it must never be taken for granted. However, God is the best and strongest support system anyone can have. With Him, all things are possible, so if you do not have parental support and even if you do, rely absolutely on Him. He is Father to the Fatherless, help to the helpless, defender of the orphans. Like my Father in the Lord, Bishop David Oyedepo says, God is all you need to have all your needs met.
Secondly, always remember that it is up to you. It might be harder, you might get knocked down a lot but remember, you can do it. You must not give up, you must not get weary. Someone in a situation similar to yours has become successful, you can do it too.
Finally, what is your advice to readers of the TeenAchiever?

Trust, obey and serve God.
Dream Big and start going after your dreams now. You are not too young to start, there’s something you can do now that will take you closer to your dreams.
Work Hard. Be disciplined, stay focused. Pay the price for greatness now. Love others. Do good. Give to others.
Never give up. Be teachable. Learn a lot. Stay humble
Read a lot. Books open you up to the world.
Always be grateful, even for the little things.
Be content. Always cut your coat according to your size per time. Do not compare yourself to others, you are amazing just as you are.
Start now. Do not be one given to procrastination
Keep developing yourself, build capacity.
Be mindful of the world’s concept of fun. Do not do things that you would live to regret.
Your life was ordained by God to be a masterpiece, it is up to you to make it that. There’s no limit.
Finally, always remember that there’s heaven and hell after life.
Culled from the TeenAchievers’ Bulletin

2 thoughts on “Inspiring Interview with Gbemisola Akinsipe”

  1. I enjoyed every bit of the read. My generation is in need of rare ladies like Gbemi Akinsipe. I am not close to my mum and I don’t see how I can be but I’m ready to make it happen. I thank God for her life. She’s a pastor’s child that is grateful for who she has become not using it as an excuse to be wayward. I admire her a lot, there’s so much to learn from her.
    Thank you for interviewing Gbemi Akinsipe, God bless you.

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