An amazing story of a gifted and talented woman using her internal courage to live the fullness of life.
B. Westley Johnson, Managing Editor
Patricia Yaker Ekall. Her life story is a tribute to what dedication, determination, and grit can bring when you embrace all of the possibilities of life. The stories of her difficult transition to life in England remind that there aren’t any obstacles we can’t overcome with belief in one’s Self – the deep awareness of your own personal power, gift, and mission.
Patricia agreed to sit down with us and share some of these experiences with us. It was one of the most powerful interviews I’ve done to date.
Enjoy and be inspired.
Patricia, thank you for spending some time with Soulivity! I am so impressed with your story. I really am.
I’m really happy that you decided to do this interview. Our community really needs these kinds of stories of inspiration; specifically, stories like yours. Because it’s not about a certain destination, it’s about the journey.
Well, thank you so much for asking.
And I love the website article, The Journey So Far!
Yes! That’s exactly it. You said it. Because it doesn’t feel like “we’ve made it,” or “at the end,” we’re definitely aware and “on-track.”
Writer. Model. Photographer. That in of itself tells me you’re an artisan.
Well, I suppose so. It’s taken me a while to get to that (laugh). I know that I wanted to be a writer since I was about eight years old (about a year after I learned to speak English). But, I guess everything else I stumbled into (laugh).
Tell me about that part of the story. You’re originally from West Africa, correct?
Yes, I was born in Cameroon, to Cameroonian father and a Martiniquan mother. It was always about family and tradition.
So, my mother’s tongue is French. She was a professional dancer who taught in parts of West Africa and Europe. So, I guess my curiosity was kick-started from then because I always was “switched-on” I suppose. I mean, how could you not be by seeing new things and new faces all the time? Then, we settled in Bristol when I was about five years old. I was a very shy child. I didn’t speak English; I really didn’t speak French either. I listened to it, and I understood it. So, I just kept to myself, and (literally) just didn’t speak. My mother got me loads and loads of different English books and got me a tutor for school. I sometimes joke that I speak like I’m “Mrs. Smith”! (laugh) People say I sound like I speak the Queen’s English!
I think that’s when I discovered words because I was shy. I realized that I could delve into a different world with these books, as I had done when I missed my mom. (Especially) when she traveled and I was left in Cameroon, I would daydream about what she was doing. I was fascinated with stories and ideas, and different multiple lives, in a way. Also, Cameroon has a rich history of oral storytelling, so all of that “ties in.” That’s when I decided, “You know what? I like this language. I just need understand it, and learn to communicate with it.” That was it. I decided I’m going to try to write my own stories.
Do you believe that seeing that creativeness in your mom help you develop your own creative outlet?
Yes, absolutely. I think as I would meet new people, it would switch my mind and brain “on.” I would wonder about them and their lives. I think it was very easy for me to be creative because I had a passionately creative mother who (at the time) was normal to me. But, as I got older, I figured out that she wasn’t the typical parent. Her creativity was the means at which we could travel so much and see the world – which I didn’t know was normal until much later in life when we lost everything (I had been very privileged).
She also encouraged (my creativity). So, I wasn’t just encouraged by watching (her). She actually brought it out in me. She worried about how introverted I was. She knew expressing myself was the only way that I could survive (laugh), especially within new cultures. And, she was right! It made me stand out… being a dancer and at school. Being able to express myself always surprised the other Britts. It was definitely her encouragement that helped me for sure.