“As a child, I would escape a lot by reading constantly. It is when I am in the world of wonder and imagination that is reading that I feel most at home. Similarly, I was also a painter and musician for years and I sometimes still spend time on the palette and canvas. Exploring through a physical medium is meditative and a kind of irreplaceable solitude where you can just be in your body with yourself as you are…It is in the process itself that I find myself.”
Nakita is 32, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Religious and Socio-Political Studies and is the Owner and Editor-in-Chief of The Drawing Board which is a writing company. She is also a mother of two, and an extremely dedicated and notable community organizer who volunteers with many grassroots groups in Edmonton, AB. Her community work is born out of the one thing she knows for sure which is that “every person is a person of intrinsic worth and dignity.” Nakita continued to say, “my life is dedicated to recognizing and honouring that in everyone I meet. Everything I do in community is simply a variation of that God-given truth.” Her greatest passion is writing, especially prose and non-fiction, which she loves to do when she is not doing academic work or writing for her research and business. When I asked Nakita what her proudest achievement is she told me, “Surviving multiple childhood and early adulthood traumas. It really is a testament to my adopted faith and practice of Islam and to those around me who helped me build traits of resiliency that I am still around.” She told me her own favourite qualities are the coping mechanisms she developed to deal with her traumas. She continued to say, “particularly my ability to critique. It is a double-edged sword: if left unchecked, one can become hypercritical, bordering on perfectionism. However, I have done a lot of work in listening to my critical voice and in channeling it into the areas where it shines best: academic analysis, community building, and addressing social issues.”
What is something that inspires or motivates you/ or an inspiring message you would like to share?
”I always find one hadith to be the perfect antidote to despair — The prophet sallahu alayhi wa salam said “‘If the Hour (of the End of Days) is about to be established and one of you was holding a tree sapling, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour and plant it.’”
What is a fun fact about you that you haven’t told me yet?
“I used to play the trombone and was a huge band/jazz geek growing up. I volunteered at the Yardbird Suite Jazz Club in Edmonton for 8 years and was the youngest Volunteer of the Year they ever had at the age of 16.”