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KUUKUA ESHUN: Let’s talk about Mental Health within the African community. (+Movie)

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Intro about mental health.

What comes to mind when you hear “Mental health?” Perhaps psychiatric hospital? “Mad” people running the streets? Horrific stories about mentally ill people attacking you or someone you know?

As a community, we need to redefine the way we view mental health and the impact it has on us.

Mental health simply refers to the well-being of our psychological and emotional state; Which includes but is not limited to, how we feel, think and act. Mental health affects our everyday life and our decision making.

A lot of people find it shameful to admit that they struggle with mental health issues: and on the other hand, some people stray away from the topic in hopes that by ignoring it, their mental and emotional health issues will disappear, others do not even believe mental health is real at all.

However, I think we can all agree that, our African/ Black communities do not talk about mental health.

It is critical for the African community to understand the process of mental health illness. It’s imperative to admit that mental health is real and should be addressed. Often at time, the experience of the African individual is a singular one. One of the biggest factors that influences mental health is the fact that we often feel pressured to paint a perfect picture of our lives to the world around us. 

How social media affects mental health.

 That is to say, Living in a time where social media is practically taking over most people’s lives, it has become such a difficult task for one to appreciate and concentrate on one’s own life. I say this because, most people are dissatisfied with their lives due to constantly comparing themselves to other people’s success.

Although, most people will not admit it, almost every single one of us deal with some sort of mental health issues on a daily basis.

  • anxiety disorders (very common in most people )
  • mood disorders like depression, mood swings and bipolar disorder
  • schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is common in children and teens, and adults as well.
  • eating disorders
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Moreover, it is crucial to understand that most people experience the mental illnesses I’ve listed above.

There is a clear distinction between the mind and body but the real danger is when we separate our Mental health from our physical health.

Not only is  struggling with mental health physically draining, it also substantially interferes with or limits your ability to live your life freely. This is what often causes many people to commit suicide. It is difficult to separate the mind from the body.

Not to mention, In a Situational Analysis done by World Health Organization (WHO),

“It is estimated that out of 21.6 million people living in Ghana, 650,000 are suffering from a severe mental disorder and further 2,166,000 are suffering from a moderate to mild mental disorder. The treatment gap is 98% of the total population expected to have a mental disorder.” (W.H.O)

Many people are suffering and as a community, we need to come together and fight mental health.

How having parents who are not educated on the topic of mental health can affect you.

Having said that, raising awareness about mental health should start from home. Some of our African parents are ignorant when it comes to the extent of mental health issues like; anxiety, depression, mood swings, ADHD and many others are not even acknowledged in most African homes. Like I’ve already mentioned, mental health affects your everyday life. From your relationship with the people around you to school grades, self doubt, self esteem problems, fear of failure, it can even be as extreme as hating yourself and your life, it can affect your diet and even sleep schedule. African parents mostly tend to think their children are lazy or are incapable of being an ideal child. Be advised that, It is extremely difficult to live or be around a person suffering from mental illness if you’re not educated on the topic.

How gender roles affects mental health.

In addition, the struggle with mental health is even more pronounced When gender rule is thrown into the mist. In Africa, men are taught to be “masculine” and to max their emotions and on the other hand, women are taught to be fragile and submissive beings. It is no surprise that men have higher suicide rates. Being a man doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express your emotions to the point where it affects your mental health.

Men are scared of being seen as weak and this is why they rather not talk about their mental health struggles whiles women are seen as “too soft” when they open up about their emotional or mental issues.

According to research, women are more likely to talk about their mental health struggles than men do. There is so many factors that plays a role when it comes to mental health and our community.

Watch the movie below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb0ZV6TlzpA&feature=youtu.be

 

NEWS

Ohemaa Mercy Out With ‘His Glory’, This Friday, June 25

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Ahead of the unveiling of her concert, ‘Tehillah’, Ohemaa Mercy Ministries and Soul Brother Records have readied the new single for award-winning gospel minstrel, Ohemaa Mercy.

‘His Glory’ comes after the impressive showing of her previous single, ‘He Lives In Me’ which featured VGMA ‘Male Vocalist of the Year, MOG Music.

The song garnered massive recognition across the country, an ode to the influence of Ohemaa Mercy, considering the fact that, she’s been away from active music production for a while.

Produced by Shadrack Yawson, also known as Sha’, ‘His Glory’, has Ohemaa Mercy sing about the magnificence of God.

Sang in both English and the local language, Twi, Ohemaa belts out her quintessential notes to offer glory to God.

The new single will be released on all digital platforms tomorrow, Friday, June 25, 2021.

Ohemaa Mercy, with a career spanning a period of almost 20 years, has released six (6) albums, starting from 2004. She has won multiple awards and has shared the stage with renowned international artistes such as Andrae Crouch, Israel Houghton, Don Moen, Darwin Hobbs, Juanita Bynum, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond among others.

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VGMA: A Decade Of Empowering Artistes And Transforming The Music Industry

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When telecommunication giant, Vodafone Ghana took over as the title sponsor of the Ghana Music Awards, observers as well as industry people were not sure how long the union would last

However, given that the union is in its 10th year, it is safe to say the mutual respect between Vodafone Ghana and organisers of the Ghana Music Awards, Charterhouse has waxed stronger yielding many fruits for the partners, Ghanaian musicians and the entertainment industry at large.

Vodafone has delicately nurtured the union and fulfilled its financial obligations for the yearly VGMAs to celebrate deserving Ghanaian and African musicians.

Since assuming the reigns of the VGMAs, the awards celebration has been characterized by innovation, creative concepts and unique programmes designed to empower Ghanaian artistes, enhance their craft and project them onto the world stage.

From Vodafone powering seminars where professionals with requisite knowledge share insights for the artistes to make compelling music, get abreast with technical side of the business such as royalties, copyright and protocols for sampling to general investment tips to avoid squandering wealth, it’s clear the telco giant is keen for artiste empowerment which is integral for the transformation of the music industry.

National Dialogue On Music     

One of such initiatives is the VGMA Music Summit, which has become one of highlights of the celebrations. The Summit forms part of efforts to foster a national broad-based conversation towards the growth of the local industry. It is a stakeholder engagement, drawing on musicians, managers, music producers, distributors, promoters and others. With Ghana’s music industry still facing the phenomenon of artistes unable to fully commercially live off their craft because of a poor ecosystem, discussions focused on the route to redemption. A communique which captures the insights and recommendation is presented to the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts.

Bridging The Music Gap

In bridging the gap that exists between the art and academia, the organizers created the VGMA in Schools project. The project seeks to work with schools, offering students interested in a career in music, an opportunity to dialogue with professionals. Artistes including Camidoh, Epixode and Kuami Eugene are some artistes who have mounted the entertainment stages of various Senior High Schools, performing and engaging the animated students.

Rewarding Music With Purpose

Vodafone has also demonstrated commitment to supporting music with real dept and purpose. The telco introduced the Green Awards to celebrate artistes contributing and using music to drive awareness of the need to save the environment. This is in line with the Telco’s purpose-led agenda to promote a sustainable music industry, the company sought to significantly help minimise the insidious impact of the VGMA despite inevitable ecological footprints being left behind at its large music events. A number of eco-friendly initiatives including properly recycling plastics from the tonnes of waste the event produces and promoting e-ticketing were some of the initiatives introduced ahead of the pandemic.

Red Lounge Experience

Besides the glitz and glam of the red-carpet reception and awards ceremony, one key aspect of the celebration that patrons anticipate each year is Vodafone’s Red Lounge. The Red Lounge is a unique display set-up at the foyer of the event venue which provides a rich experience for all customers and stakeholders. The set-up also provides an opportunity for patrons of the event to interact with artistes on a personal level before the show begins and party continues after the show.
 
A Strong Online Presence For Artistes

Continuously committed to bringing value to Ghana’s music space, Vodafone Ghana has availed its new creation ‘Your Business Online’ to enable musicians and industry players to own a personal website. Designed by Vodafone Business, the platform provides all the elements required to build a special brand and grow one’s business online. The platform will create a digital space for artists and industry players to promote their works online. With as little as GHC99, experts will design, build and maintain your online presence – tailoring it exactly how artistes want it and helping them reach a much wider customer base.

The VGMA22, slated for June 25 and 26, 2021 sees Adina, KiDi, Diana Hamilton, Kuami Eugene, Medikal and Sarkodie battle it out for the Artiste of the Year   category.


From 2011 since Vodafone Ghana became title sponsor, the Artiste of the Year trophy has been lifted by VIP (2011) – Hiplife, Sarkodie (2012) – Hiplife/Hiphop, R2Bees (2013) – Hiplife/Highlife/Hiphop, Shatta Wale (2014) – Reggae/Dancehall, Stonebwoy (2015) – Reggae/Dancehall, EL (2016) – Hiplife/Hiphop, Joe Mettle (2017) – Gospel, Ebony (2018) – Dancehall/Afropop, No winner (2019) and Kuami Eugene (2020) – Highlife.

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Ghanaian Media Maven Peace Hyde Announced As Creator For Netflix’s First Africa Reality TV Series

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Multiple award-winning Media Maven, Peace Hyde, has added another remarkable feat to her already impressive list of accomplishments by being the Creator and Executive Producer of the first ever African Netflix Reality series, Young, Famous and African.

The British/Ghanaian who is a highly celebrated TV Host, Creator, Journalist, entrepreneur and Activist also serves as executive producer on the biggest reality TV show to hit the African continent. According to the stars who revealed their series tagline on their Instagram accounts today, the show promises to be an exciting access into the popular world of some of Africa’s top celebrities.

The Pan African super stars of the show include Diamond Platnumz from Tanzania, Annie Macaulay Idibia from Nigeria, Swanky Jerry from Nigeria and south African superstars Nadia Nakai, Khanyi Mbau, Andile Ncube and Naked DJ alongside an array of entertainment heavyweights.

Peace Hyde who started her media career in Ghana as the host of Friday Night Live on GH One and MTN Hitmaker has quickly risen to become one of Africa’s most successful media exports globally by creating and producing groundbreaking hit shows like the two leading flagship talk shows, Forbes Africa’s My Worst Day with Peace Hyde (3 seasons), the only show that speaks to Africa’s billionaires and Forbes Woman Africa’s Against the Odds (2 seasons) on the CNBC Africa channel on DSTV.

Named by CNN as Ghana’s media maven, Hyde’s work has been featured on CNN, Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, Ebony, Fox News and many more. She was named to the United Nations Most Influential People of African Decent list 2018, 2019 and 2020 named as one of the 100 most influential young people in Africa.

The show is set for a global release to 190 countries and over 200 million subscribers.

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