Activist, Social Entrepreneur, Founder of The WIE Network and The Other Festival, Mother
Dee Poku's career is a testament to the power of partnerships. From working with filmmakers as a Hollywood film industry executive, to gathering together emerging female makers and creators via WIE and The Other Festival, Dee knows firsthand that relationships are the key to success!
Q: Where is home?
A: London, Accra and New York
Q: Mantra you live by?
A: The key to success is through the power of your network.
Q: How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
A: Determined, conscious, joyful.
Q: Complete the sentence: I got my big break when…
A: I walked up to the reception desk of a fashion company I really wanted to work for and asked if they had any openings. They offered me an internship which turned into a job a month later.
Q: Last album you listened to?
A: Solange, A Seat At The Table.
Q: A woman you admire?
A: Katherine Johnson, the research scientist who turned 99 last week. She was the character played by Taraji P Henson in the movie Hidden Figures. I’m a math major and I sure wish I’d known about her when I was at college. What a cool role model to have had.
Q: ‘Other’ is about loving what makes you different. It’s about being yourself. What’s ‘other’ about you?
A: I’m other in every way. A math major who was good at sciences but ended up in fashion then movies. A British Ghanaian woman living in New York. I’m both creative and analytical and I will no longer allow society to define who I am. When we allow ourselves to get boxed in, we lose.
Q: Complete the sentence. When I wake up in the morning I -----
A: Reach for my phone and immediately start responding to emails while simultaneously dealing with my 5 year old and his many morning demands.
Q: Best advice you’ve ever been given?
A: Use rejection as the motivation to prove them wrong.
Q: One thing not many people know about you?
A: I wanted to be a nun growing up.
Q: Your advice to an emerging maker?
A: Be a sponge. Read everything and utilize every opportunity to enhance your craft. Go to talks, conferences and meetups to connect with fellow founders and potential mentors. And get better at asking. We squander so many opportunities by not speaking up. I hear no 10 times a day but sometimes I get a yes and it’s worth a 1000 no’s. Never take rejection personally. It’s not about you.
Q: Complete this sentence: The future is female because…
A: Women have finally wised up to the fact that if we want to see real change and equality we can’t just sit back and hope it transpires because it happens to be the right thing to do. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.