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Ernestina Kabukour Kateye is a Ghanaian life coach. She is starting with one person and one continent at a time. As a millennial, she believes there’s no right age to begin what one has been called for. She’s the founder of  Globally Empowered Millennial Hub (Gemhub).

As the second wave of Covid-19 hit the world, Ernestina Kateye is also converting the wave into a positive one in Ghana working in the lab in a hospital and helping youths to gain access to opportunities for personal development in a time when it is greatly needed to scale through hardship.

Interview With Ernestina Kateye, founder of GemHub

It’s nice to have you here with us, Ernestina.

What really inspired you to create Gemhub?

The coronavirus hit Ghana in 2020 at a time when I was in my final year, undergrad studies. We had to return home because the situation was getting out of hand. So, I got to a point where I started asking myself “aside my certificate, what else do I’ve to show for my education?”

Back in school I’ve been a volunteer in different projects, doing businesses as well and combined with extra curricular activities. Recently, I got excited in helping some organizations in what they do here in  Ghana. So, I started working with Learnaholics Academy so others will have access to the resources I had when I joined the program. I volunteered to champion some of the programs they organized.  

I also volunteered to join Africademics, a scholarship platform where African students are supported and empowered to become future leaders by creating a like-minded young scholars community and to increase access to higher education from all angles of the continent.

I found out that, at that time when the virus hit Ghana; everyone was trying to learn something online. So, why not support an organization that bridges the gap and helps Africans access opportunities easily. So, that was what really sparked my journey as a life coach. I went for training, read, and acquired a certificate.

Growing up, I never had access to a lot of opportunities. I was the regular kid who’d always be at home after school. I was really not going anywhere. And I remember how it affected my growth in the university. I wasn’t that sociable. I didn’t know how to communicate certain things and I didn’t feel empowered at all.

When I started volunteering for different programs, assisting organizations to impact the society, I decided to start a blog. Initially, the idea was to create awareness and share information on different opportunities that might be of interest to people. It wasn’t really that big. But realized I could do more, so I began publishing personal development messages as well.

I decided to do more than just sharing opportunities by sharing my story and how I’m coping with the situation, joining initiatives and how it has been helpful, and this is how GemHub came about.

With Gemhub, I want to connect to the world. I’m learning new skills and I’m a proud millennial. I’m young and I can do great with my life to promote this message for people to know that one doesn’t have to reach a particular age or let’s say a mature age to start up things. You can still start wherever you are by acquiring skills.

And this is a decision you make to not remain just an ordinary millennial, but a global one who goes far and wide even at the comfort of your home.

And also what has sparked this journey, was about a case of a young man abusing a girl who was vulnerable. This was one of the reasons I went personal on the blog to share a part of me where I was somewhat vulnerable like the girl.

But now it’s beyond a blog; it’s a hub that I could partner with different organizations especially the ones I worked with in order to empower Ghanaians to do more than what they carry in their certificates inspiring a new breed of leaders.

Was it really about doing something outside your certificate for you as a result of the pandemic or was there some kind of innate passion to become a life coach?

I wouldn’t say the pandemic started the whole thing but it ignited a passion that was already there. Like I said I used to be an indoor person, but the pandemic reminded me of something I should have been doing a long time ago for my personal development as well. It also reminded me that other people are also seeking opportunities for the same growth.

I believe this is a way of motivating others to take hold of their lives making intentional decisions to grow, because sometimes if you don’t go seeking the opportunities no one would present them to you. Sometimes you’ve to really invest in yourself so other people can get to invest in you.  

Experience is something to also look at. But the truth is if no one is ready to give you a job or an opportunity how else can you get experience? If you allow people to continue to tell you that you’re too young to do something when are you going to start? Is it when people now tell you that you’re old enough to do it? Or are you not just going to tell people that this is what you’ve set your mind to do irrespective of what they think, and going for it without people’s permission.

Along the way you get to meet people who share the same story and they would be willing to support you. The pandemic did not start this but ignited a passion that was already there.

So how’s the jGemHub ourney been for you?

I would say the journey has been good so far. Ghanaians have been very open to learning new skills. But I’ve realized that there are certain constraints hindering some of them from being completely involved. Some have no idea about the opportunities and others can’t think of anything outside school certifications. Here in Ghana, if you want to work with your certification you’ve to acquire other certificates along the lines of that programme. You can’t afford to just have a degree in that area; you need other qualifications.

Also, it takes money to invest in one’s self. People are faced with economic challenges. It takes money to be online and consistently engage with people. You’ve to buy bundles (cellular data) and credits that will enable you to access these courses online.

These are some of the constraints but other than that Ghanaians are very much interested in developing themselves. The journey has been good.

Where do you see Africa in the nearest future?

I see Africa embracing the potentials we have. I see Africa doing something for herself before seeking external support. It looks like we used not to lay the foundation ourselves.

The human resources is here and gradually people are finding their roots back home to make the change here. I see a lot of Africans embracing who they are. We can lay the foundation; we can do something for ourselves knowing what we really stand for. I believe my work and so many in the continent has a role to play in this transformation.

Thank you for talking to us 🙂

By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.