Who We Are: Estella Achinko


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Estella Achinko, IDS

I have constantly searched within me for what I really wanted to become while traveling through the academic world and trying to carve my own career path. I guess I never had any fixed field of study because of the various skills that I discovered I possessed.

Back in my native Cameroon, I was passionate about changing women’s lives. I began to do women’s and gender-related activism works through the Women’s Welfare Foundation (WoWF)-Cameroon, an NGO that I co-founded with my sister. Alongside that, I studied feminist literature as a graduate student, which somehow opened me up to women’s struggles. Also, I spent a lot of efforts in honing my skills, like writing articles and developing manuscripts (of novels and poetry) intended to tell the stories of African women and show how much I wanted to bring untold stories of Africans to the global front through visible mediums like digital media.

I couldn’t fathom how I was going to realize my dreams and aspirations, but thanks to the Fulbright program, I am here at DePaul. I was able to contact the advisors of the MALS and IDS programs who oriented me to the richness of the Interdisciplinary Studies program. I could immediately figure out that the IDS program was the perfect program for me since I could customize my own learning experience while taking courses in diverse disciplines such as Women’s and Gender Studies, Digital Media, and Creative Writing.

I intend to further this degree into a PhD so that I can have solid grounding in translating my art back to my country and continent. Through my creative ability, I hope to empower the younger generation of Africans who don’t get to have such life changing opportunities and reshape the African narrative which the world hardly gets to see.

The journey has been quite intimidating, but overwhelmingly interesting, as I was able to step in boldly. I deeply appreciate the wonderful professors of the MALS and IDS program who have been there to guide me every step of the way in the struggle to adjust to the American way of life and in understanding my new environment.

estella poster poem edited