Dr. Teju Adesida is the woman behind Fehinty African Theatre Ensemble (FATE) , Girl Strong.Africa Proud. (GSAP) and she also holds a leadership position at The Funmi Adewole Foundation. Both FATE and GSAP are organizations that strive to promote the African culture to those of us in the United States.
Keeping the African culture alive through positive and educational initiatives is important for us and our future generations. Below is an interview with Teju that talks more about FATE.
Name: Olateju Adesida
Currently based in:
Chicago, IL, USA
Where are you from in Nigeria?
Nee Omolodun from Awe in Oyo State. My husband's hometown is Owo in Ondo State. #madeinNigerna
What’s the name of your organization?
Fehinty African Theatre Ensemble
Tell me a little bit about your organization?
Fehinty African Theatre Ensemble is the premiere theatre company in Chicago that was founded by African immigrants . We aim to stage works that illuminate the African experience from homeland to Diaspora. We also provide a platform for emerging artists to write, direct,perform, and produce works that share current, relevant, and global stories of the African experience in the 21st century.
Whats the passion/purpose behind your business?
Stories are powerful. They represent people, cultures, beliefs, values. They are a way of knowing, feeling, and connecting human beings to our shared humanity. However, as powerful as stories are, it is even more important who tells them and how they are told. Unfortunately, we as Africans are often not the ones telling our own stories. That's where FATE comes in; to make sure that we are the one's telling our own stories.
If a little girl walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be?
You are more capable than you think, more beautiful, smarter, and more talented than you have imagined. The grace is already in you to be that much more. Have courage. Don't be afraid.
What words/quotes do you live by?
It comes from Zenzele, A Letter for my Daughter, a novel by J. Nozipo Maraire, that I adapted into a one woman play:
To be an African woman is to be strong. It is to be at peace within. You must always listen to that inner voice and not permit others to drown it out. It is to measure your words, to balance your works with your gifts carefully. It is in some way to be selfless, to serve others, yet to know and defend your rights to the bitter end.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
The best art is political and you ought to be able to make it unquestionably political and irrevocably beautiful at the same time. - Toni Morrison
Anything else that you would like to add?
I don't do this work alone. I have a great team that includes some phenomenal women who share the vision and I couldn't do it without them. I am also so encouraged and inspired by many African women I see living out their passion and purpose... like Ankara Luv. I hope we all continue to bear each other up.
For more information on FATE, contact:
What's your story? and if someone were to tell it, what would it look like? Live life with little or no regrets and try to make a positive impact wherever you go.