Mayor Kate Anolue, Is the first Nigerian to be elected twice as mayor of the London enfield. In this highly engaging Interview, SRTV gets up, close and personal with Aunty Kate, as she is fondly referred to in the Nigerian UK community. be Inspired as she shares her journey to leadership, and how her passion for community service and humanity trumps every other thing.
I AM AUNTY KATE
I have many titles but I always like to be addressed as Aunty Kate because I think we tend to go overboard with titles that make us seem unapproachable, but people in the leadership should really be approachable.
I came to this country in 1971 to join my husband, and immediately enrolled in the school to study General Nursing. Despite being the only black lady in my class, I never had any issues with racism.
To be honest with you, the only racism I experienced was actually from my own black people, but I think it’s because in those days we tend to separate Africans from the Caribbean, unlike these days that we see ourselves as just Africans which has helped us to fight and work together for the benefit of us all.
LAW & MIDWIFERY
I think for me becoming a Nurse was to satisfy my father, which was actually beneficial to me, but studying Law was my own quest which I needed to fulfill. It might be right to say that it’s just an academic desire and I would not say I'm missing anything; I was discouraged considering my status as a single mother after losing my husband when my first daughter was only 12 years old, but I did not take No for an answer! Being able to achieve that degree in Law taught me that everything is possible if you believe in yourself; as I always say to people, especially single parents.
Whenever I make up my mind to do something, I believe I can, and I go ahead to do it. My study of Law never prevented me from bonding and having quality time with my kids, that is why I advise people to:
“believe in themselves, not ninety-nine percent, but a hundred percent!”
As the saying goes, God does not give anyone a cross one cannot carry.
My mother brought up seven children without any form of domestic aid, so this meant I was required to learn and do all house chores, and of course help her in her business; this went a long way in strengthening my character and building resilience.
It’s very unfortunate that people take advantage of others; we need to understand that all fingers are not equal. I will advise people to look back and help those who are vulnerable. When I was raising my children, I got help from my friends who allowed their teenage daughters help me occasionally baby sit and watch my children.
For vulnerable people, keep friends who are free minded, and be good to people and to the society as much as you can; don’t stay in one corner feeling victimised. No matter where life keeps you, do something to add value to the society. I did a lot of voluntary work, which earned me recognition in Enfield Borough, so good work pays.
TWO TIMES MAYOR OF THE LONDON BOROUGH OF ENFIELD
I don’t really know how it happened, but I think it might have something to do with the fact that I do not discriminate or favor one against another, and because of the lessons I learnt from my mother, to focus on the future rather than the past. I am a community person, and I started my career from working as a community midwife and during my first mayoral term I worked tirelessly and meticulously to ensure that we raised an unbeatable amount of funds for the borough. Till date, no one has raised as much as we did in our first tenure.
I will be having a fund raising event on the 18th of October 2019, for the Leukaemia/Dementia Care at Selby Center and I expect everyone to attend and support me to beat my last record of £44,000 for the vulnerable members of the Borough. It is a ticketed event, and costs £50 per ticket. We really need to work together to support these people.
SECOND TERM MISSION
Things I didn’t achieve in my first term? Plenty! I realized there are a number of voluntary organisations in the Borough that require financial support to continue the fantastic work they are doing and I introduced new offices to achieve these.