In a preservation of the seemingly-mundane but deeply profound, a documentation of the varied elements of identification as a person, and community at large, Wana Udobang’s culture diaries was initiated to journal the lives of people relevant to contemporary culture—arts, lifestyle, history—in Africa.
Wana has, over the years, thrived in broadcasting, and has often focused her enviable skill in the art of interviewing on different causes, ideas and individuals. She has streamed her sense of originality and curiosity into interviews across various media—radio, print, tv—and even more so in her Culture Diaries series debuted on Youtube.
Speaking about the inspiration behind starting the series, she said, “I decided to embark on culture diaries because I thought it was important to start documenting Nigerian artists and their processes. I also felt like the creative community was quite insular and it was vital that other people who weren’t necessarily within that community experience the richness of talent. Finally I wanted to create an interview series that I would be interested in watching. One that asked the kinds of questions I needed answers to.”
And this is what she has done with the culture diaries: getting people to explore and be inspired by a whole new world they might be, erstwhile, unaware of. In the first episode—a favourite of mine—we see her with curator and founder of Rele gallery, Adenrele Sonariwo, in a conversation that engages, educates and serves as an inspiration all at once, offering insight into her career switch and inspiration for her gallery that has become one of the spaces at the forefront of expanding the frontiers of the Nigerian cultural scene. Also featured in the series are: Titilope Sonuga, a poet; Victor Ehikhamenor, visual artist/writer; Ireti Doyle, actor; Abraham Oghobase, artist/photographer; and Qudus Onikeku, dancer/choreographer.
Wana asks insightful questions, touching subjects that are relevant to anyone curious about the life of cultural creatives. On the response to Culture Diaries since inception, she confirmed that the feedback has been great and lots of people state that they have discovered people they wouldn’t have known.
Of her desires for the future of the series, she shared: “I hope to get more viewership, increase the audience, and embark on recording a season two sometime on the next quarter. But ultimately, I hope to take it around Africa interviewing artists and culture creators from across the continent, hopefully broadcast it on TV.”
See full episode list here.
Featured image: Wana Udobang via wanawana.net