The Amazing Story of Former Broadcaster Julie Coker
Julie Coker’s life story is definitely one to remember and her nephew thought so too
Every life story of our authors is fascinating and provides an important insight into each family’s history. LifeBook is proud to have been involved in the private family autobiography of Julie Coker, former Nigerian television broadcaster and founder of the Richard Coker Foundation charity that supports research into sickle cell anaemia.
I’d just like to ask, why did you give your aunt a LifeBook?
That’s a good question; I gave my aunt a LifeBook because I thought it was good way to get her involved in something quite cerebral or cognitive and I’m finding that it actually helps and inspires her day-to-day, so it was not only to keep her feeling vibrant but also to record her life.
I’m interested to know why you think your aunt is so amazing?
How long have we got for that kind of question? My auntie is Nigerian and she’s lived through the civil war of Nigeria in the 1960s at which time she was Miss Nigeria and I suppose our auntie’s a bit of a Moira Stewart, as she was a newscaster for 30 years in Nigeria. She also dated certain presidents, saw overthrows and underthrows through our whole Nigerian society, culture and history. She knows a little bit about everyone and I felt it was so nice that we had such a treasure in our own family that we could maybe historically write about and give everyone a piece of this in a way.
Apart from your aunt who’s the author of her own story and yourself, does anybody else in the family know about this venture?
They do, my sisters know. I’ve got two sisters, of which one is a journalist and very interested in the whole package of LifeBook. I’m going to Nigeria this evening, funnily enough, and I’ll be seeing a lot more of the family and I know that my auntie’s sister (not my mother who passed away unfortunately 20 years ago, but my auntie’s other sister) was so excited about it that I think she’s considering it for herself.
How would it have been if LifeBook had been around when your mother had been alive?
LifeBook is something about accounting one’s life but it’s for the people around them, who are very important and a close-knit family; sometimes you don’t get to talk to your mother or father about what they did, during the war or how they felt when they were growing up because you take it for granted.
I feel that if my mother, Ibiene Epega, was alive and had depicted her life and she was the author of it, it would have given me and my sisters, my siblings, more of an understanding of my mother and that’s what I get from LifeBook. It’s the question you have as a son or a daughter, or father, or mother, cousin, or brother don’t ask because you don’t know how to ask it and it’s something that you want to know about, so it kind of brings the family together.
Babatunde Jallah Epaga, LifeBook Gifter