Poets Leticia Sala and Nikita Gill on being taken seriously by the establishment after launching their careers on social media. They talk to Kim Chakanetsa about overcoming snobbery around the title 'insta-poet' and balancing being able to share their work with millions of people with the immediacy of follower feedback.
Nikita Gill is a British-Indian writer and artist. Born in Belfast, she spent the majority of her childhood in New Delhi. She had poems published in papers and magazines as a teenager but went on to study a 'more practical' degree. She began posting her poetry on Tumblr in 2015 and later on Instagram, where she now has over half a million followers. She's since had five books of poetry published.
Leticia Sala is a Spanish poet and writer. A law graduate, she always assumed she couldn't earn a living as a professional poet, but then started getting huge feedback on poems she wrote and posted on social media in her spare time. She very quickly signed a book deal and has a huge online following in Europe and Latin America.
L: Leticia Sala (Paloma Lanna)
R: Nikita Gill (BBC)
Coaching national teams: Tracey Neville and Desiree Ellis
Two exceptional sportswomen who've coached their national teams to victory in major tournaments. England's former netball head coach and South Africa's women's football coach speak to Kim Chakanetsa.
South African women’s football coach Desiree Ellis had a nine year international playing career, having to endure discrimination under apartheid and unemployment alongside pursuing her sports career. She says women’s football is now being taken seriously in her country and under her stewardship 'Banyana Banyana' qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 2019.
Former England netball head coach Tracey Neville represented her country as a player before taking on the task of managing the ‘Roses’ in 2015. She had a miscarriage a day after leading the team to Commonwealth gold in 2018. A year later she made the difficult decision to quit her dream job to start a family, and is now expecting her first child.
L: Tracey Neville (Press Association)
R: Desiree Ellis (FIFA via Getty Images)
What's so important about friendships between women and how do they change over the course of our lives? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women about making and keeping good friends. How do you maintain strong friendships when you're constantly on the move?
Uloma Ogba is founder and CEO of Launch Africa, which offers career advice and mentoring to people wanting to work in international development. She works with the United Nations in Rwanda and has also co-founded the non-profit, Give Girls a Chance, which aims to increase access to quality education for girls across Nigeria. Given her busy, international lifestyle how does she keep the friends she has and make new ones when she travels?
Kanwal Ahmed is a Pakistani entrepreneur and founder of Soul Sisters Pakistan, an online community which sets out to create a space where Pakistani women feel comfortable to speak their minds. 'I saw thousands of women coming together online, not even knowing each other, but standing up for each other and being there for each other.' More recently Kanwal has also launched a digital talk show, Conversations with Kanwal, about everything from love and loss to cyber harassment.
L: Uloma Ogba (credit: Uloma Ogba)
R: Kanwal Ahmed (credit: Sarosh Pirwani)
Putting women's stories centre stage
Bringing women's stories to the West End and Broadway stage - Kim Chakanetsa unites two playwrights who are on a mission to amplify female voices.
Morgan Lloyd Malcolm wrote the sell-out play Emilia, an all-female production which re-imagines Shakespeare's mysterious 'Dark Lady' and offers a feminist rallying cry. After appearing at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and in the West End, it has now been optioned for a film. Morgan is frustrated however at the relative lack of opportunities for female playwrights. 'There are so many women who aren’t getting to tell their stories and I’m doing my best to crack open the door.'
Katori Hall is the US award-winning writer behind Tina - the critically acclaimed Tina Turner musical, as well as The Mountaintop and Our Lady of Kibeho. Katori began writing because she couldn't find a play that had a scene for two young black women, so decided 'I have to write those plays, then. I have to carry that baton forward and write us into existence, because if I don’t who else will?' She went on to become the first black woman to win the Olivier Award for Best New Play.
L: Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (credit: David M. Benett/Getty Images)
R: Katori Hall (credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images)
How motherhood changed me as a film-maker
Two prize winning documentary makers from Syria and China tell Kim Chakanetsa about using their own lives to explore the issues facing their home countries.
Waad al-Kateab has documented her life on camera in war torn Aleppo, Syria. Whilst conflict, death and cruelty raged around her, she fell in love, got married and had a baby daughter. She captures stories of loss, laughter, sacrifice and survival in her film For Sama. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film won the Golden Eye Documentary Prize in Cannes.
Nanfu Wang was born under the one-child policy in China during the 1980s. After moving to the United States and getting pregnant with her first child in 2017, Wang returned to China in an effort to explore the direct effects of the 'population war' on her family and the wider community. The resulting documentary, One Child Nation, won the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
(Image: Waad al-Kateab (L) Credit: Waad al-Kateab. (R) Nanfu Wang. Credit: Sundance)