Kate Ekanem is a writer and girl child activist. She is the founder of Kate Tales Foundation and is an inspiration to all in terms of passion, prowess and determination. She has achieved a lot at a young age of 21; In 2012, her first travel story, ‘Journey from Kora-Le Berlin’ with the ‘Derive Project’, Austria was published online, translated in French, German and other languages. In 2013, her second story titled ‘Lagos to Ibadan’ was published on online journals.
She is currently a chosen delegate representative for Nigeria and (AU) African Union in the (Girl)20 Summit Istanbul Turkey, and also a delegate for the Development Dialogue Lagos, Nigeria.
How did you start? (Your Hustle and struggle and why you started it)?:
I started writing when I was five years old; I lost my mum when I was two years old and so my dad was the one who raised me. For me to get busy, he bought me story books, so I started reading books like Cinderella, Oliver twist, Eze goes to school e.t.c, that was how I got inspired to write, I wrote so much and I guess they were interesting stories because my classmate rented most of my raw stories which I broke into episodes then. I was in JSS 2 when I started renting out my stories to feed myself in school. I wrote mostly when I was sad, I had a step- mother who didn’t think much of me and so my pen and book became my companion because I am the only child of my late Mother. Along the line, I discovered my passion for girl child, through my own struggles, I had to work as a computer operator to pay my Jamb fee and Lesson money, and I was barely recognized in most of the seminars I attended then; seminars that encouraged boys to be hardworking and responsible. I wanted to create a change, to make an impact and that was why I started the Kate Tales Foundation at age eighteen that was 3 years ago, in order to reach out to many young writers and girls in the world who needed just one person to advise and make them realize how important they are.
Starting wasn’t easy, no fund or space to carry out projects, my first project was funded by my little savings, after which I became totally stranded. The governments aren’t helping issues, I’m still struggling though, no exact victory or sponsors yet.
Your Fears and Challenges in the industry?:
The only fears and challenges I’ve encountered so far is lack of funding for some of my projects. I have an upcoming project that revolves five African countries, which is open to sponsorship. With this and more, i can boldly say i have fulfilled my purpose on earth.
That breakthrough came earlier this year when I woke up one morning, switched on my laptop and straight to my mail box, usually, it is easy to locate the ‘congratulation’ among all mails so I did notice mine. I was selected to represent Nigeria and African Union (AU) in an international summit called Girl20. This is a program that recognizes active and brave women activists or should I say Feminists around the world. 24 Girls are selected to represent their countries in this program that trains girl’s activists on how to economically engage girls and women in their countries, while two among the number will represent the AU (African Union) and the EU (European Union) and it is a great privilege to be brought to limelight and honored. So after the summit in Istanbul Turkey, I am supposed to launch a project and that is where my five African countries project comes in.
What makes your style unique?:
My life style, my belief, my art, my appearance, and perhaps my hair (Lol) make my style unique.
Current trend in the industry?:
In the writing industry, nothing much is happening, we are engrossed in our own way of doing things. But surely, this year has a lot of cool package for writers, we have the Writivism festival coming up in Uganda, the Ake Art and Book Festival coming up soon and many other.
What was your worst mistake while starting up, and how did you learn from it?:
My worst mistake was ever using the little money I had kept for a project to travel for government endorsement. I spent all that I would have used for the execution of the project on transportation and was disappointed when I got no support from the government.
Looking back; I have learnt several lessons from that single experience which has aided me through till this day.
Your business motto?:
Giving voice to the girl child and promoting art in Africa
Your life’s motto?:
Education for women is the key to equipping Africa with innovative minds.
What is your perception about Africa and entrepreneurship?:
We have young and bold innovative minds in Africa, all that is needed to make Africa a great continent is hard work, unity and love, and do I forget to mention ‘support from government. Entrepreneurship is taking another direction now in Africa, new and fresh ideas, talk of fashion, health, education and empowerment. The continent is blessed I believe, despite all odds, Africans prods on to create a change in the continent.
Message to entrepreneurs and youths?:
Let your passion drive you.
Kindly share, comment and read more about Kate Tales Foundation on www.africanpreneurs.com/kate-tales-foundation/