Bio: My name is Emmanuella Osa-Alile, stage name Ella Fortté, I’m a writer, poet, spoken word artiste while also a confidence and communications coach, born to a medical doctor and a physiotherapist, I’m the second of three, and I’m a free spirit.
RLN: You were a winner in the performing artiste category of Dare2Dream Season 5 how has this impacted your artistry?
EF: wow, how D2D impacted my art? In no small way I can tell you!! The competition, though it was a talent show, offered a lot more than just a prize for winning, during the boot camp I learned so many skills that have helped me become not just a better artist, but a better person in general, I have been able to start and build networks and relationships with people who want to see me excel, truth is, I am immensely grateful to D2D.
RLN: What were the major takeaways from your recent trip to Amsterdam courtesy of Dare2Dream and KLM?
EF: oh so many things, the first is that there is a lot of work to be done, you see the future favors the bold, so you have to be willing to go head first for what you want, also knowing how to make money from your “talent “ is extremely important, build networks, it’s also very important to do what you know Best very well, regardless of the crowd, or the pay, give every performance you 100% like it’s your last, because opportunities lurk everywhere.
RLN: How has the message of Dare2dream impacted your dreams and life goals?
EF: You know, now that I think about it, it has helped me dream bigger, at D2D I learned that the ONLY limit to my dreams was me…….. right now, I’m trying to shoot for the stars, so even if I don’t get there, I know I’d still fall within the clouds.
RLN: When did you start performing spoken word poetry and how has the journey been?
EF: hmmmm, I can’t exactly say when I started performing because I have been performing for as long as I can remember, maybe the audiences changed from my toys to my brother then to my friends and eventually large audiences, but I have always performed *laughs* the journey I would say has been AMAZING, I have had the opportunity to perform at very notable events both in and outside Nigeria where I was paid big, and I have also had the honor of performing in smaller settings, in orphanages and once in a hospital where I usually wasn’t paid in cash but in the joy I was able to put on their faces, so yeah, the journey has been amazing.
RLN: How have you been able to manage your academic pursuits, your artistry and other commitments?
EF: I’d let you know when I figure this one out *laughs*, really though, I have no idea, I want to say proper time management but that is just a fraction of it, sometimes I stretch myself so thin I am absolutely certain I’d break, but somehow I don’t…… I think it might have a lot to do with the fact that I strongly dislike doing things halfway, so if I start, regardless of how many other things I start at the same time, I WILL finish it…… I however would not recommend this to everyone though, because more often than not I’m left burnt out and I need time to recharge, and then I do it all over again *sigh*
RLN: Who would you say has influenced you the most in the pursuit of your dreams?
EF: Hmmmm, well over the years changes have occurred, initially my sole “influence “ was me, don’t get me wrong, I had (and still have) poets and regular people that I liked their works, but I realized after a while that the more I loved up on their works or persons, my subconscious started molding both my personality and poetry to fit them, so I took ten steps back to find me, right now though, I’d say my baby sister Tehilla Alile is one of the major driving force egging me on, she looks at me like I’m the star, moon and entire galaxy!!! she talks about me like I’m the best thing in the world after sliced bread, and I guess I’m just trying to be half of who she thinks I am…. I also want to show people that you can infant do anything and EVERYTHING you want to, not letting society put you in that age old box, and what better way is there to encourage others to pursue their dreams than to pursue mine so fiercely that they all see?
RLN: What themes does your poetry focus on?
EF: Everything, love, life, death, pain, mental health issues, motivation, everything, I write about the things I have experienced, I write about other people pain, I just write, my poetry just like me refuses to be boxed in.
RLN: You have won quite a number of awards for performance poetry, can you let us know some of the awards you have won?
EF: *laughing* well, a few that I can remember, the SAGE World Cup (Nelson Mandela as a major inspiration to change makers) Dare2dream S5, PGK spoken word competition, S H I P Africa education campaign just to name a few, still working towards getting that Grammy though *smiles*
RLN: As a confidence coach, what advise do you have for a poet/spoken word artiste who is suffering from stage-fright, any free tips?
EF: Remember that you have a well inside of you, and your words? That’s water, and so many people are thirsty, if you don’t speak, they would get dehydrated…….. you need to understand that your words are bigger than your fears. If you need more tips come and book a session *laughing*
RLN: A last word from you to encourage people out there to Dare2Dream?
EF: Don’t abandon the dreams that you are yet to dream. ❤️