Daydreaming, data and Düsseldorf
Cameroonian Catherine Njiki, aka Katie Marple, excels in IT and indie music
I hate the train system in Germany. It’s a mess compared to the rest of the country, which is pretty organised. Germany is nothing like where I come from: Cameroon. I left Cameroon seven years ago to go to school in Germany. My parents chose this country because I had cousins and relatives who were already here. If I’d had a choice of my own, I’d have chosen America.
I learnt German at the Goethe-institut Yaoundé before leaving. I speak French and English too. My friends say I’m good with languages. I’m also good with computers.
I begin my day around 6am when I get ready to go to classes or to the library to read. On the days I don’t go to school, I work in Düsseldorf, a 20-minute train ride from Wuppertal, where I live. I’m doing my post-graduate studies in software engineering at university in Wuppertal. It’s self-sponsored, so this is why I work.
My work and studies are similar in that both involve databases. In my spare time, I also work on creating applications that solve problems for women. My latest pet project is a virtual wardrobe with an inventory of owned clothes and accessories, to help women plan what to wear in advance and save time delays of trying out different clothes.
Information technology isn’t my only love and pastime; I sing and daydream too. I’m nurturing a music career as an indie musician. I always find time for music even though I’m always busy. I listen to music on the train. My current playlist has Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy and AnneMarie’s Speak Your Mind.
Living my best life
My stage name’s Katie Marple. Short for Catherine, and my favourite detective character created by the British crime novelist Agatha Christie, Miss Marple. It hasn’t been easy juggling the lives of working, making music and studying, but I’m thankful that I’m here in Germany, living out my best life. Being an indie musician is also like sprouting out of concrete but I’ve had some victories. My name is now known on the German music scene. I’m yet to release a body of work, but I’ve put out a clutch of singles and the response has been overwhelming. I’m putting finishing touches on to my extended play album.sometimes on my commute to work, I press my face against the train window and daydream of standing behind the stage at my concert at the Madison Square Garden, a chorus of fans chanting my name with glee and wild anticipation. Then the train inspector nudges and asks to see my ticket or student pass.