Nkem is a twenty-something human-goddess hybrid sensationally journeying her way through life. She is a writing teacher, fascinated by all things language, self, and human relationships. Her ongoing goal in life is to help people help themselves, which is partially why she created the platform dedicated to sharing the thoughts and stories of WOC, www.wellspringwords.love. She hopes women of color will gain a deeper relation to themselves, a sense of community, and more access to ‘aha’ moments leading them to greater personal and spiritual enlightenment. After moving abroad from the US to first South Korea and then Abu Dhabi, Nkem has felt an even deeper need for community and belonging, especially amongst female-identifying, minority-identifying individuals. She teaches students from around the world to access and articulate their thoughts in order to best express themselves to themselves and to other people. She hopes these expressions, writing, and communication skills will help particularly her non-white students lead their lives with more confidence, self-compassion, and direction. In addition to teaching writing, Nkem is also an MA student at the University of Leicester where she studies Applied Linguistics and TESOL. She hopes her further understanding, and subsequent teaching, of the English language, will help her dissolve the prevalent linguistic imperialism so strongly tied to acceptance, opportunity, and success.
LM: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
NC: I am a thinker, a writer, and an all-around artist. I see art as life and life as art, so in anything I do, I try to move with intention, authenticity, and freedom.
LM: Tell us about your business.
NC: I run a website centered on wellness from the perspective of women of color – by, about, and for women of color. I wanted to create a space for us to be heard, feel seen, and each have an archive of their own stories/writing for current/future purposes. The platform exists to foster community, understanding, and healing through writing.
LM: Have you always aspired to be an entrepreneur? Why or why not?
NC: I did not have direct aspirations to be an entrepreneur, but I think my habits and hobbies have been inclined that way. I am a very independent and inquisitive person. Moreover, I am an autodidact so learning as I go comes naturally to me. As for managing where I receive my income from and managing that for myself, I think that is the next step for me.
LM: Who’s your inspiration? Why?
NC: My inspiration is my students. As a writing teacher, I have a unique insight into a person’s brain and can typically make out certain streams of thought insights that they may have not thought of. I work with bright students from around the world who have beautiful, rich, impactful, funny, sorrowful stories but are reluctant to speak from personal experiences in classes. I hear from them how they feel they don’t belong or how they shrink themselves to fit in. I wanted to do what I could with the resources I could access to create a space where their authenticity could flourish.
LM: List some of your greatest achievements
NC: At this stage of my project, my greatest achievement is both WOC and non-WOC resonating with what I and the contributors’ post. I have received such wonderful feedback about this project from each person I’ve mentioned it to. At this stage, each WOC signing up to tell her story and support the platform is a huge achievement. I usually give the ceiling a little yell when I see another sign-up.
LM: Name a time when things didn’t go right. What happened and how did you get past it?
NC: When I first sent out a blast about wellspringwords.love to my close network or WOC at the university I work at, I expected to see at least five initial sign-ups, students, and other staff telling me how interested they were and how much they wanted to be involved. I received much less than that. It was a reminder to me to manage my expectations but to not let go of my vision for the project and most importantly, my why. Never give up!
LM: Where do you see your business in 3 years?
NC: In three years, I hope for wellspringwords.love to have a dedicated set of contributors for each respective category. I hope for there to be editors who liaise with these contributors and encourage them (and others) to write and share. I hope for there to be a consistent community of readers and writers who feel more seen, comforted, and hopeful in knowing their stories are important and can/should be shared. There are people who want to listen. I can see this happening in a FB group or some other platform.