Academic journal article Estudios Irlandeses - Journal of Irish Studies

"Migrant Women Are Always Added": In Conversation with Ebun Joseph Akpoveta

Academic journal article Estudios Irlandeses - Journal of Irish Studies

"Migrant Women Are Always Added": In Conversation with Ebun Joseph Akpoveta

Article excerpt

Abstract. Ebun Joseph Akpoveta was born in Nigeria in 1970. She is originally from Okpe in the State of Edo but she was later raised in Benin City. Her primary degree is in Microbiology from the University of Benin in Nigeria. Her professional career started in the State of Lagos and she was the Administrative Secretary for the Nigerian Britain Association before she moved to Ireland back in 2002. Since her arrival in Ireland, Ebun Joseph Akpoveta has been engaged in various activities and has been a prolific and pro-active member of the Nigerian community in her new home country. While in Ireland she has also furthered her academic instruction and has been a student of various postgraduate programmes. She obtained a Master's degree in Education, Adult Guidance and Counselling from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She was recently awarded a Ph.D. by the UCD School of Social Justice in Equality Studies, one of her many passions apart from literature and writing. Ebun Joseph Akpoveta is also an equality activist, a career coach and a motivational speaker. She is an IACP-accredited counsellor and has great experience working with immigrants in Ireland. With this main cause in mind she founded The Unforgettable Women's Network--TUWN which advocates for equality between men and women. She is a founding member of the African Women Writers Ireland, a Member of RTE Audience Council, and a columnist for the African Voice Newspaper.

Ebun Joseph Akpoveta's first book, Becoming Unforgettable. Uncovering the Essence of the Woman (2012), had the format of a counselling, self-help volume for women who need to articulate their experiences and cope with different plights. Her debut into fiction was with the harrowing novel Trapped: Prison without Walls (2013); here she embarks on the narration of difficult ordeals by immigrant African women in their new "host" country, Ireland. With this novel, Ebun Joseph Akpoveta interrogates the manner by which literary discourses in post Celtic Tiger Ireland challenge, elide or accommodate issues of globalization, immigration, and the notion of multiculturalism. With her fiction, Ebun Joseph Akpoveta questions much-used celebratory accounts of Irish multiculturalism, at least in media and political discourses, as integrationist and inclusive of the "Other", and in particular, the female Other.

Ebun Joseph Akpoveta lives in Dublin with her beloved family. I would like to thank her for her patience and kindness in collaborating to expand and finalise the present written version of her interview through e-mail.

Key Words. Immigrant Women, Post-Celtic Tiger, Gender-Based Violence, Multiculturalism, Integration, New Irish

Resumen. Ebun Joseph Akpoveta nacio en Nigeria en 1970. Es natal de Okpe, en el estado de Edo, pero recibio su educacion en Ciudad de Benin. Sus estudios de grado son en Microbiologia por la Universidad de Benin en Nigeria. Comenzo su carrera profesional en el Estado de Lagos como Secretaria Administrativa en la asociacion Britanico-Nigeriana antes de emigrar a Irlanda en 2002. Desde su llegada a Irlanda, Ebun Joseph Akpoveta ha estado involucrada en diversas actividades y ha sido miembro activo de la comunidad nigeriana en su nuevo pais de acogida. En Irlanda ha proseguido su formacion academica en diversos estudios de postgrado. Tras sus estudios de master en la Universidad Nacional de Irlanda en Maynooth, ha finalizado en la Facultad de Justicia Social de la UCD sus estudios de doctorado en justicia igualitaria, otra de sus muchas pasiones ademas de la literatura y la escritura. Mujer de muchos talentos es, ademas, activista en la igualdad, una "coach" profesional y guia motivacional. Es consejera acreditada de la IACP y tiene una amplia experiencia trabajando con inmigrantes en Irlanda. Ademas fundo la TUWN (The Unforgettable Women's Network) que aboga por la igualdad de las mujeres. Es ademas miembro fundador de la Asociacion Irlandesa de Escritoras Africanas, miembro del Consejo de la Audiencia de RTE y columnista del periodico African Voice. …

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