I’m an advocate for domestic violence victims -Nike Campbell-Fatoki
Nike Campbell-Fatoki is a Ukraine-born Nigerian writer. She is the second of four children born to Nigerian parents. Both parents met and trained to be medical doctors in the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) where they had Nike and her older brother. She was ‘shipped’ back to Lagos, Nigeria to her maternal Grandparents who were already looking after her older brother while her parents completed their studies.
She has worked for several years in the International Development field where she managed development projects and recruited consultants. She then moved over to the municipal government to work in finance and budgeting.
In 2006, she began to develop a draft for Thread of Gold Beads. Life got in the way, and she put the script aside. In 2009, she dusted off the script and began work. Thread of Gold Beads is a book borne out of a yearning to tell the story of hope, faith, love and the strength of the human spirit. This is her first novel. Nike’s short story collection – Bury Me Come Sunday Afternoon has just been published by Quramo Publishing.
I started in 2009 after my first draft of Thread of Gold Beads was completed. I decided to publish. It’s been rewarding, not monetarily at first, but more as a fulfillment of my passion. The feedback and reviews from readers have also been encouraging.
Dealing with writer’s block
I inspire myself by reading and surrounding myself with the creative arts – music, paintings, drama. Anything that spurs creativity works for me. I also have to force myself to keep writing even when I don’t feel like it. It’s like a moving train in a dark tunnel, you can’t see for some time but you keep going. After a while, there’s light.
Life informed my choices. I’ve observed the goings on in society and many are shocking – the unfortunate trending in fatal domestic violence incidents, stigmatization of those dealing with mental illness, mental disorders, the societal standards we all have to meet up to or risk falling off the high horses we’ve been placed. I use these stories to provoke us to think – who set these standards anyway? Why must we leave up to then? Why can’t we leave our lives being at peace with who we are?
I am an advocate for domestic violence victims, one of the stories centers around domestic violence. I also support organizations who cater to the development of education, and health of the African child. I recently founded Our Paths to Greatness Inc., a nonprofit organization which supports activities in education, fostering African arts and education, leadership training and community development in African communities.
OPTG celebrates the accomplishments of Africans, dispelling the myths of our great continent and inspiring many to go after their dreams through supporting initiatives for underserved Africans, equipping them with the skills and resources to thrive and compete in the world.
Nike Campbell-Fatoki at a glance
I was born in Lvov, Ukraine to Nigerian parents who were medical students at the time in the Soviet Union. I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria with three siblings. I was very close to my maternal grandparents and they were very instrumental in developing my love for storytelling. They were superb storytellers. My mum was the one who was great at investing in books. It became customary for her to take my siblings and me out on Saturdays to buy story books. My childhood was filled with all kinds of story books. It opened up a world of possibilities and creativity.
I attended Queen’s College, Lagos, an all-girls’ school. It was there I made life-long friends. I began my tertiary education at University of Lagos Economics department and then transferred to Howard University.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and minor in Political science. I immediately completed a Masters degree in International Development from American University also in Washington DC. I’ve worked in the international development field and now in municipal government for 15 years.
Writing, however, has been my outlet for as long as I can remember. My first novel, Thread of Gold Beads was adapted to a stage play in the Washington DC area in 2014 and translated into French in 2015. I’m currently working on my next historical fiction novel set in Nigeria and Sierra Leone.