At 28, Stella Akakpo is already doing great. Martiniquaise pursues two passions: athletics and the desire to change codes. Stella expresses herself on the track by giving a voice to women. To all women. Through “We are Great”, the digital media you have just created.
We would have expected to find her with suitcases under her eyes. Feeling at home, a general tiredness. A threatening overwork. Nothing of the kind. Stella Akakpo remains radiant. Cheerful smile. The Martiniquaise, however, is on three fronts at the same time: his career as a high-level sprinter in INSEPthe last year of a master’s degree in marketing communication and his work-study contract at the school of Studies. “Attention, don’t forget that on February 28, the day I turned 28, I also launched We are Great!”
There is no time to be bored. A minister’s diary. But without a substantial wallet or company car. Don’t panic though. Stella has a trick. “I have sixty minutes by bus to get to INSEP. This gives me two hours a day to work specifically on We are Great. When I get home, then I dedicate myself to my Masters and my contract, alternately. So that’s okay. . It’s busy, but that’s okay. “
Martinique athlete Stella Akapko in front of the logo of her brand new female digital media “We are great”.
In May 2020, horrified by the murder of George Floyd, this African American asphyxiated by a white cop, Stella Akakpo decided to take action. To react. In one week, Martiniquaise launched the first operation “We are great”. In a Parisian art gallery, he brings together women of color to talk about sexism and discrimination. The event is a success. Except that the health situation complicates things. “Covid interrupted my tracks. By being like this, I was able to mature my project. So to get what I really wanted: to create a platform that represented all women”.
In the meantime, the schools are contacting her to come and talk and talk to the young people. “What started it all was a sports teacher at a college in Aubervilliers. I found myself debating about sexism, violence, harassment … A very strong moment. The students turned out to be brilliant. Some went on to argue twenty. minutes after the bell. “ Stella then keeps her idea, her concept. “In this role, I feel really good, accomplished.” He just needs to surround himself with passionate people. Like her.
A small part of the We are Great team. Standing left: Priscilla Kehou. Left seat: Elyse Lopez. Center: Stella Akakpo. Sitting right: Soica Cupit. Standing right: Doriane Cabaret.
With no money but with a specific goal, Stella contacts, recruits, builds a team. “We are all volunteers right now.” Videographers, a communicator, a psychologist, a sexologist … The range of talents is wide. The Instagram page of “We are great” is born. She continues to feed her. “One weekend a month we leave to meet five or six women. With themes as varied as depression, domestic violence, fat phobia …”
The digital part is fine. “We already have over 1,300 subscribers. Virtually ad-free.” The gradual end of the pandemic also allowed for the organization of a new “We are great” weekend. Return of the famous face to face. 9 and 10 April 2022. Espace Voltaire in Paris. Expo, concert, yoga and many, many exchanges. “I am very happy to have been able to organize round tables on topics such as personal development, endometriosis or love and women. And I want to say that for me feminism also includes men. Our approach excludes no one.”
This new digital adventure from Stella had the effect of reviving Akakpo, the athlete. “I think I have lost the carefree nature of my youth. This medium has allowed me to grow as a woman. Now I come to train more motivated.” Training with his lifelong coach, Olivier Vallaeys after a three-year hiatus. “When I left him, I was having a bit of a burn-out from the INSEP. From my 18 to my 25, I knew everything with him. Also, when I called him back last summer, leaving together seemed like a game. lads .”
The sprinter from Martinique gives herself another three years on the tracks. History of finishing in style at the Olympic Games Paris 2024. For the moment Stella is being rebuilt. “I’ve had a lot of injuries in recent years. With Olivier we had to take everything apart over the winter. I have to adapt to who I am today. 2022 is a year of transition.” A transition in view of 2024. But not without a goal. “Ah, of course not! I’ve been bothered by a plantar aponeurosis in recent weeks. But if I talk about transitioning for 2022, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on the next World or European Championships. Far from it. I need emotional stimulation.”
Great, someday. Great, always!
Last summer, Martinique athlete Stella Akakpo reunited with her long-time coach, Olivier Vallaeys, with a specific goal: to shine until Paris 2024.