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Saturday

I met my husband via social media – Asandia Hogan

Image result for asandia hogan 
Asandia Hogan is a fashion entrepreneur who has worked with the London Metropolitan Police Department among several other places. She tells Ademola Olonilua about some of her life stories.

You studied marketing and public relations at the London Metropolitan University, Holloway. How did you find yourself in the fashion industry?
There are talents that you can possibly harness and grow. That is what I have, also, there are some people that are self-taught and that is the category that my husband falls under because he studied engineering but he is also a movie producer. He did not necessarily study filming but it is not as if he has not done some courses in that area. We also have someone like Donald Trump, who is a hardcore businessman but today he is the president of America. Marketing and public relations are not so far off from fashion as Donald Trump is not far off from politics.
Would it be right to say that you were born with a silver spoon noting the fact that you travelled to London to further your studies immediately after you graduated from Federal Girls College, Calabar?
I am not sure that it would be appropriate to say I was born with a silver spoon but I was born to parents that could afford to give me a good life. It would be a disservice to my parents for me to deny that I was born with a certain type of privilege because that would be denying their hardwork towards giving me a better life and I am eternally grateful to them for that. I think you can give your children the best things of life yet keep them very grounded. I don’t want to call it being spoilt, I am a parent myself and I don’t think any sane parent goes all out and plans to spoil their children and make them spoilt brats. I don’t think that being born with a silver spoon is a bad thing and if anything, I think it had given me a platform in terms of getting the best education. I have got a good lifestyle and I am not ashamed of that.
However, that does not mean that I have not struggled in life or done things by myself. I was born in England and came back to Nigeria for a while till I finished secondary school; then I went back to England. I went to college for two years and by the time I finished college, my mother died. I did not go back to university till after three years and I sponsored myself through the university. I paid my student loans myself. I think the notion that you are privileged means that you had everything you wanted and it was on a platter of gold. I put myself through school by working odd jobs; I have been a waitress, I did door-to-door jobs, I have worked the graveyard shift, I have woken up at 5 o’clock to get to work by 6 o’clock. From 6 o’clock, I would work till 12noon then leave my work place to get to the university at 1:30pm. I finished classes by 5pm; do my assignments, then head back home by 7pm to report to work by 8pm and I had to continue that routine.
How about your father, did he not support you after the death of your mother?
My father died when I was eight years old while my mother died when I was 19.
You were raised without really knowing your father, did that affect your life in anyway?
I would not say that I was raised without knowing my father because I remember him very well all through my eight years of being with him. My elder brother says that I have taken after my father more even though he was about 30 years old when our father died. My elder brother is about 22 years older than I am. My elder brother often says that I have more characteristics of my father than he does. I don’t think I missed out on knowing my father. Besides my mother did her best and made the most out of the situation. I was known as my mother’s handbag and she veered into politics which is probably why I am toeing her path. No doubt, there was a void when my father died but my mother did her best to make sure that the void was very minimal and she did a really good job. I grew up missing my father but life deals you certain blows but you deal with it.
Did your mother’s death have anything to do with politics?
No it did not. She had diabetes type 2 and high blood pressure. She also had arthritis and it made her die quite early at the age of 59. It did not deter me from politics but to be honest, I never knew that I would venture into politics and I never knew I would walk in her footsteps.
As a young person when I started to discover that there were some certain things that I could never get used to no matter how long, for example, the outage and injustice in Nigeria, I knew I would never be used to injustice. The local government is the third tier of government and it is very basic, yet they still get it wrong. I ran for councillor because of this but that did not work. I was disqualified on the morning of the primary election on the basis that I was too young. The local government law in Cross River states that you must be above 30 years old to contest for the office but I was just 28 years old and I did not lie about my age. In the morning of the primaries, I was told that I was disqualified because the governor said he could not take a risk with me even though I was what the system needed.
We learnt that at a point in your life, you worked with the London Metropolitan Police.
Yes.
How was the experience?
I was not a police officer but it was like every other job even though it was different at the same time. It was a very sensitive job because you had to deal with very sensitive files. There were some names that you see and recognise. There were some people’s mug shots you see and then you recongise them on the street and want to run. I had to know some things about some people. It was a delicate job that had to be done with the utmost discreetness. I was also very careful so that I did not present myself in a way that I would be a security risk to myself. I enjoyed the job and I had different roles. I worked in the human resource department, criminal justice department and as a call responder. With this job, a person had to be extremely accurate.
You worked a lot as a youth, did you ever have time for social life?
Yes, I had a lot of time for my social life. I worked very hard and I partied hard like most youngsters did. I had a very active social life. I had a fun life and I have no regrets now that I am at home most of the time. I think I probably had enough to last me a lifetime.
Does it mean that you do not attend parties anymore?
My life has changed and even though I would love to remain young forever, you cannot cheat nature. Besides I don’t have the same priorities because I may want to go out and my nanny may need to be away for that weekend. I can’t make impulsive plans anymore.  My priorities have changed.
What other ways do you relax after a long day?
I don’t have the luxury of that. I have a lot to do these days. I barely sleep for four hours. I think one way I relax is by listening to 90s hip-hop because I am a 90s music freak. My husband is a movie director but I am not a fan of movies. I am mostly on social media. Also, I sketch a lot and from doing that, I get relaxed.
Being a politician, do you have time to probably treat your family to a special meal?
If my husband were the politician, would he be asked if he finds out time to cook for his family? To answer the question, I still cook for my family during the week. I am not denying the fact that things are hard for women but I think it is patronising that people ask how often we cook for our families. I still make out time to make breakfast for my child. As a politician, I still work around these things. My husband is away working but when he is home, I find time for him. Besides I could not have married someone with a stereotype mentality.
If you go through the history of Calabar people, you would know that we are a matrilineal people. Our men do not feel the need to be domineering towards us. The men do not feel like the women belong in the kitchen. I was not brought up like that with my father. When I was living with him from when I was about five till seven years old in England without my mother, my father cooked, bathed and braided my hair to the best of his knowledge. I know that as women, we need to take care of our family because naturally we are nurturing. But that does not mean that the next woman who is in politics but doesn’t have the time to cook for her husband and child is a bad person. Personally, I am thankful that my husband is not the type that believes that because you are a woman, your dreams should die or stop. My husband actually told me that one of his worst nightmares is for us to be in our 70s and he realises that I did not live a fulfilled life because he put away my dreams so that he could pursue his own dreams or because I am a mother. We understood that about each other all through our courtship period. Once I am fulfilled as a person, I would be a better mother and a better wife.
How did you meet your husband?
We actually met on social media. There are some good that actually come out of the social media but it is not like we were two strangers because we had mutual friends. In fact, we had so many mutual friends that we were sure we had met in reality but for some weird reason, we did not talk or become friends.
I got attracted to my husband based on his intellect. I love the way he thinks and he inspires me a lot. I learn a lot from him. We were friends before we got married and we talk a lot.
So who made the first move?
My husband actually chased me for a long time, I don’t think I am allowed to say how long but it was over five years.
Why did you make him chase you around for over five years?
I used to think he is very full of himself. I just felt he should keep his attitude to himself. We have similar characters; we are both very witty and sarcastic. He always had a witty comment and that attracted me to him because I like the fact that you have to be intelligent to understand what he says. So I kept him waiting for that long because he probably thought he had it all figured out.

4 comments:

Highness Gwen said...

Okay

Sweetheart said...

Don't know her.

Jason Dha Apostle said...

Lucky one.. Happens sha... Rarely though

omolara ajike said...

Nice interview

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