This August 2019, Afro Real Initiative (AFREIN) spotlights KETCHA Pertulla EZIGHA from Cameroon: a vibrant youngster who sacrifices time, energy and other resources to put smiles on the faces of women and girls through her unwavering drive towards abridging the gender inequality gap. Her profile depicts a lady with a fearless and genuine innate flair for positive change.
Be inspired to aspire, as you go through this phenomenal profile.
Who is KETCHA Pertulla EZIGHA?
KETCHA Pertulla EZIGHA is a 22-year old Cameroonian, born in Wum, in the North West Region. She is a gender and human rights activist putting smiles on the faces of women and girls. Pertulla is the founder and coordinator of Leap Girl Africa, a women-led NGO created in 2016 with aim ‘to reduce the gender inequality gap, by advancing women’s rights and improving education, social, and economic empowerment.’
Pertulla has an MSc. in political science from the University of Yaoundé II and a Certificate in development and social change from the School for International Training (SIT) Study Abroad. She has done several short courses both online and onsite on human rights, global entrepreneurship, gender, peace building, women’s empowerment, etc.
As a result of her outstanding and innovative works Pertulla was selected by TheirWorld as a Global Youth Ambassador and as a WorldPulse encourager, changemaker, and ambassador.
Pertulla is passionate about creating a community rid of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) ─ where everyone will be seen equal and given the opportunity to pursue their dreams, and be who they want to be.
This passion of hers urged her to train women and girls in income generating activities so they could empower themselves because she believes ‘dependency leads to vulnerability.’ She has trained and given start-up capital to over 150 women in 4 rural areas in Cameroon. Over 40 victims and survivors of abuse in her care have gained proper healthcare, psycho-social therapy for reintegration sessions, and financial support.
In June 2019, Pertulla came up with ‘Men and Women’s Alliance for a GBV-Free-Community’, through which she was able to call on 8 male youth leaders to take the lead in ending violence against women.
Pertulla at a fireside chat with peers, on debunking the gender myths. Breaking ‘gender boxes’ and encouraging young girls to use storytelling to speak up & make their voices count.
Currently, Pertulla runs an online campaign where people across Africa are calling on men to ally with women for a #gbvfreecommunity. This Campaign has engaged 45 African Countries, 770 people in these countries have taken the pledged and it has reached 34,700 people.
Social Media in her opinion is a powerful tool. So, she uses it to speak up against abuse, and to provide education on several areas like: gender, violence, peace, women’s empowerment, patriarchy, sexual and reproductive health and rights, etc.
Pertulla during community outreach to engage men in Sexual and Gender-Based Violence prevention and response, in the community of Nkolossan.
When Pertulla is not training women and girls or speaking up against sexual abuse and harassment, she is [either] running, dancing, or reading a book over a cup of coffee.
Challenges, prospects and way forward
One of her major challenges is mobilizing enough funds to help survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence, and giving them enough for a good business start-up.
Conference on ‘Men and Women’s Alliance for a GBV-Free-Community.’
In her daily advocacy journey, Pertulla faces challenges in engaging men in gender issues.
‘Men feel that they have nothing to gain and everything to lose if they promote gender equality’, Pertulla regrettably divulged.
‘In my fight for a GBV-Free-Community, I need men to be fully engaged. We cannot keep talking to women without bringing the men along in the change of mindset’, Pertulla emphasized.
Thus, she introduced the ‘Men and Women’s Alliance for a GBV-Free-Community’, a forum to engage men in gender conversations. As concerns the mobilisation of resources, she believes that people are a great resource.
Word of wisdom to the youths
‘You are never too small to be the change. Look at the world [as] how it ought to be, and not how it is’, Pertulla admonished.
Pertulla corroborates her ordeal through the ensuing narration:
‘I had difficulties [registering the] NGO [I founded]. [This is because I was told] I was too [young] and [so I was interrogated severally]. Well, [I succeeded to provide all the necessary responses] to them, [because] I had a vision’, she stated.
‘Do not do things because you see others doing [them]: stay in your lane and grow. Let your passion lead you: your passion is your purpose and it can be your profession’, Pertulla reiterated.
‘[Reading the above, one may think] I have [been having] a smooth life! Well, …I DON’T. My challenges are sometimes more than me. I [simply] cry to let [them] out. But I stay positive. A positive mindset wins…’, Pertulla concluded.
Pertulla during a workshop in Soa, Yaounde, on the theme ‘eradicating sexual abuse and harassment in universities, and the rights of people with handicaps.’
- Cameroon Leadership Academy (CLA) 2019 Alumna and CLA 2019 Representative.
- For promoting women’s entrepreneurship Pertulla was selected by the International Board of Business Owners and Entrepreneurs (Entreps) as a Global Juror at the 5th Global Entreps Awards: an entrepreneurship competition with over 2000 participants.
- Pertulla has volunteered with the African Network against Illiteracy, Conflict, and Human Rights Abuse (ANICHRA), Youths4Change, and Hope for the Needy Association (HOFNA) Cameroon. And still looking forward to more….
- Pertulla was nominated for the DigCit SDGs Awards, for promoting SDG 5 on Gender Equality.
- She is also a Commonwealth 100 Open Source Leader.
Facebook: Pertulla Ezigha https://www.facebook.com/pertulla.ezigha
Twitter: (@PertullaEzigha) https://twitter.com/PertullaEzigha?s=09
Linkedin: Pertulla Ezigha Ketcha https://www.linkedin.com/in/pertulla-ezigha-ketcha
Leap Girl Africa’s Contact:
Twitter: (@LeapGirlAfrica) https://twitter.com/LeapGirlAfrica?s=09