In one of our most inspiring interviews yet, Folake Soetan, on behalf of Ventures Woman, sat down with Councillor Kate Anolue, Mayor of Enfield in the United Kingdom. Anolue is an ideal example of the African Diaspora that move beyond participating in their new societies to transforming them. Here is her story:
VW: Please tell us a bit about yourself
KA: My name is Kate Anolue. I’m Igbo, from Anambra state but I came to this country over 40 years ago to join my husband. Within this period I had 4 children, the last one was born in 1984. Unfortunately I was widowed in 1985; the youngest was only 18 months old, the others were 5 years, 9 and 13-years old. I was left with 4 children to bring up and for someone who had not really spent long in the country, it was a shock. While I was having my children I had done my general nursing and midwifery qualifications. But when my husband died it was a matter of ‘what do I do next’, stay at home and take care of the children? Or carry on and see how I can manage. There is a saying that God will not give you a load you cannot carry so I took it as my cross to carry and continued doing things as I had. For me it was a job that I needed to do. There wasn’t a single day that I said I’m tired of this. These were my children, left for me so I had to look after them. And I did not believe that I should sit down and receive state hand-outs because I had good qualifications as a trained midwife. I was able to carry on working full-time as a community midwife and I had a lot of support from my colleagues and managers at work so I was able to look after my children as well.