INTERVIEW WITH DR YVETTE ANKRAH MBE

What’s your name?

Dr Yvette Ankrah MBE. I am a transformational business coach, consultant and recovering overachiever!

What’s your print?

I grew up in North London and I am proud of my Ghanaian origins. I went to Ghana for the first time as an infant and didn’t go again until I was 24. So, I developed my relationship with Ghana as an adult. However, my home growing up felt like a microcosm of Kumasi!

“My identity is made up of both my origins, as a Ghanaian and a Londoner”

What does identity mean to you?

It is the foundation of who you are. Identity evolves and is a fluid myriad of pieces that are collected across your life. My identity is made up of both my origins, as a Ghanaian and a Londoner. It is also my love of learning, growth and my desire to impact the world.

Can you tell us how you came to stand boldly in each layer of your identity?

I wear so many hats – many simultaneously!  I am a coach, consultant, speaker, academic, wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend.

I own who I am. I speak kindly to myself and acknowledge the journey I have been on, which has included stress, burnout and long-term ill-health. I spent a long time defining myself by work and my work-based achievements.  Whilst those things are important the essence of who I am is there without a role or the letters after my name. I have always been proud of my heritage and knowing my origins. The generations of amazing and strong people I come from is a great start.

Ageing has helped and being a 40 something it feels so much easier to stand in my identity than it did in my 20s.

Can you tell us about the different places you have called home?

I have been a Londoner for most of my life. I moved across North and East London before leaving London altogether to live in Essex. I am planning a further move to Ghana in the future.

Tell us about what inspired these adventures/travels? (Was it work, home, love?) What’s the happiest moment of your life?

My memories are made spending time with the people I love.

I first moved to East London when I left my parent’s home and then back to North London when I met my now husband. Whilst I travelled across the UK and Europe for work it was always good to come home. London is still one of my favourite cities in the world.

Some of my funnest memories include spending a New Year’s Day on Copacabana Beach, visiting Kakum National Park, a long weekend near the Volta river, getting engaged in Kumasi and getting married in Fiji!

What advice did you give your younger self, a younger version of you who was struggling with identity and her place in the world?

Emigrate! There is no one way to do things. You can do many things that bring you joy.

 

Who is the most influential person in your life?

Probably my son! He’s a mini motivational speaker and sometimes has some profound insights.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I used to play music as a child and played on many stages and even on television. But, I suffered from dreadful stage fright!

How have you paved your way?

Focus, determination and connecting to others who can support my journey.

Earliest and fondest memory with your mother /grandmother?

Cuddles on the sofa with my mum; I still am blessed to have her to hug.

What is your fondest memory of ‘home’?

Those moments sitting on the veranda just enjoying the stillness.

What’s your favourite food?

Peanut soup with freshly pounded fufu – the most divine food ever!

What are you most proud of?

Finding my way out of long-term illness and using my journey to inspire others.