After having a feel of AHA’SPORA vs DIASPORA DISCUSSIONS at the British council by kind courtesy of #threesixtyGh #TedxAccra2016 #Ahaspora #YoungProfessionals I was buoyed for more educative and life transforming events. The next program on my to do list was TEDxAccra Master Class with Africa’s Investigative Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas. It was based on the theme ‘ReThink in Media,Art and Entertainment’.The program was scheduled to take place on April 20, 2016 at Kempinsky Hotel, Gold Coast City-Accra. To those of you who don’t know about TEDxAccra let me throw a little light on what they are about. TEDxAccra brings together some of the most esteemed and accomplished young Africans from the highest ranking international, Pan African and national organizations operating on the continent. It is an annual event where thinkers and doers are gathered to create and share ideas. It seeks to develop and leverage the TED experience at a community level, unify innovative thinkers to connect and discuss great ideas. For more information on them you can access their website http://tedxaccra.org/
I’ve been a great admirer of Anas Aremeyaw Anas because of his immense contribution towards the fight against corruption in Ghana and Africa as a whole. The Master Class event wasn’t only about Anas but was characterized with talks from Media Connoisseurs and other well meaning Ghanaians who are contributing their quota towards the development of our nation Ghana.
After the welcoming speech by Dr. Charles Buckman and the Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Hon Dzifa Gomashie, the program was ready to kick start with Ama K. Abebrese and Gideon in the driving seat.
Poetra Asantewaa kick started the event with a powerful Poetry recital. I was awed by her articulate delivery of her poem and her impeccable English. She really is a poetic gem. At the end of her delivery she narrated a thought provoking story and made a profound statement which sent me into a trance of reality check.
PEOTRA ASANTEWA DELIVERING HER POETIC PIECE AT THE TEDxACCRA MASTERCLASS
She told a story about how she wrote internship letters to several companies and organizations to intern with them while she was in level hundred at the University. Unfortunately, none of the companies called her. She couldn’t believe that all the adjectives and embellishments that filled her letters couldn’t convince any of the companies to give her a chance. That was when she came to the realization that “ The world entirely, sincerely and completely doesn’t give a hoot about who you are, but what value you offer to the world”( Poetra Asantewa: 2016).
This Statement is a wake up call to we the youth. The fact that you’ve been to the best schools in the country, pursued the so called best courses in the world doesn’t mean that you are entitled to all the good things that pertains to life. We live in a country where most University graduates live with this deceptive notion that, so far as you have a University degree, the government and Companies are entitled to give you a job. It doesn’t work that way. The world appreciates people of value. People who solve problems, Change makers in society. The likes of Bill Gates, Isaac Newton,Albert Einstein, etc are an attestation to this fact. The question is, what value are you placing on yourself? What are you doing to be valuable in society? If you are doing nothing, just remember “The World entirely, sincerely and completely doesn’t give a hoot about who you are, but what value you offer to the World” (Poetra Asantewa, 2016)
Madam Edwina Momoh giving a talk at TedxAccra Masterclass ©TedxAccra 2016
The first Speaker to give her TEDx talk was Madam Edwina Momoh, the breaking out the box lady. She is a sierra Leonine lady who has lived in the UK and now in Ghana to spread the message of breaking out the box. She is a communicator,Mentor, empowerment speaker and an entrepreneur. My first encounter with Madam Edwina was at the African Youth in Leadership Summit organized by Echo of Leadership Africa at the University of Ghana Legon.She was very passionate about mentorship and entreated us to pour into each other the spirit of mentorship. She started her TEDx talk with a story and her story goes like this;As a young girl she was treated like a Diamond. she was told she was precious but as time went on, she started encountering some challenges. She started doubting herself,her father was battling with cancer, her then boyfriend broke her heart and she failed her exams. This made her feel she couldn’t make it in life anymore,she gave up on her dream to be an entrepreneur, she allowed fear to grip her. One day, someone told her to break out of that box of fear, self doubt and regrets. Her first step in breaking out of the box was when she was on holidays with some friends in a cruise ship. They came up with a challenge where everybody had to jump off the ship into the water and she counted herself out because of fear. That was when her friends questioned her breaking out of the box conviction. She took the bold step and jumped into the water thereby making the others follow suit. That was when she realized that sometimes when we have to do things, its not for ourselves but for others.Sometimes we talk the talk but not walk the walk. Sometimes the best road is the one you make. Be the pace setter.
Madam Edwina Momoh entreated participants present to take risks and break out of every box that has confined them.
This is to the girl out there, who feels she’s worthless as a result of a relationship break up or facing some challenges. If Madam Edwina Momoh can break out of the box of self pity and fear to become a mentor and a motivational speaker, you can also achieve whatever goal you set for yourself. It doesn’t matter what people think or say about you. You don’t have the power to control some vagaries of life but you have the power to determine your reactions towards them. Take that bold of faith and jump out of that box. If possible, burn it.
I’d keep you posted on the Presentation of the other speakers who graced the occassion. Until then always remember: “The World entirely, sincerely and completely doesn’t give a hoot about who you are, but what value you offer to the World” (Poetra Asantewa, 2016). Break out of Whatever box that is restricting you from achieving your goals and aspirations.