MisBeee Writes in a Year – Part 1

2017 has been a year of highs and lows for me but definitely one where I have learnt an awful lot from these experiences and from you. Below is a month by month summary of MisBeee Writes’ Year in Review with the months displayed in Fante and Twi.  

Kai Lutterodt in Salvador 2013 with friends

January: Sanda-Ɔpɛpɔn 

The year started off strong with a powerful interview from Tabom descendent Kai Lutterodt. Kai can trace her Ghanaian heritage six generations back to Brazil and has family connections to Brazil House in Jamestown. Her story was not only an inspiration for me but spurred readers with Ghanaian heritage to get in touch and share their own journeys of tracing their family history back to Brazil.

Autism awareness campaigner Venessa Bobb works tirelessly in the UK to dispel myths surrounding the condition in Black communities. This piece in the Voice was designed to keep this awareness going.

Never give up on your dreams is what I learnt after meeting and interviewing Robert Badu. Robert grew up in Ghana at a time when dyslexia was little understood and as a result did not get the help he needed. Despite thinking he was not clever, he became a teacher and nurtured a secret gift to draw. Now working in security, Robert’s art has been exhibited across London and Copenhagen and his fan base includes the US hiphop group Arrested Development. Read his story here.

February: Kwakwar-ƆgyefuoAnd in Ghana, a film review of The Chronicles of Odumkrom – The Headmaster was republished in The Graphic and would later set the scene for my chance opportunity to meet one of the producers – Mr Abbeyquaye.

I learnt about Cheikh Anta Diop and marked his birth later in the year – on 29 December – when he would have been 94 years old. Dr Diop was an academician, scientist, philosopher who both popularised and was criticised for stating that Africa is the cradle of mankind.

March: Ebɔw-Ɔbenem

Another campaign close to my heart is Project Embrace. It was founded by Lekia Lée to remove the negativity often associated with Black women wearing their natural hair. She took her campaign to the streets in the form of a billboard poster near West Kensington tube station, London. Since then Lekia’s campaign has gone from strength to strength. You can read my interview with her in the Voice.

I also started sharing my opinions in the Huffington Post. My first blog is a piece on Africans in Tudor England based on my interviews with historian Onyeka.

April: Ebɔbira-Oforisuo

Danny Manu and MisBeee

I interviewed an inspiring man named Danny Manu, who invented wireless ear buds that can translate conversations from one language to another in real-time. His MyManu brand has lots of potential and you can read more about it here.

May: Esusow Aketseaba-Kɔtɔnimba

Independent natural haircare products maker Afrocenchix invited me to tea along with a number of other bloggers. This was a chance for us to bounce ideas off each other and offer our blogging expertise. This opportunity later resulted in me featuring one of my hair blogs on their page here.

Learning that educational mobility for young Black students trying to enter establishments like Oxford and Cambridge remains an issue drove me to write my second Huffington Post blog. Inspiring a Next Generation was my reflection on how powerful teachers can be in shaping our futures. The piece recounts my experience with my headteacher and why she blocked my application to read English at Oxford University.

June: Obirade-Ayɛwohomumu

Podcaster Abigale Otchere interviewed me for her Motivation Monday programme. The experience was novel because it is usually me asking the questions. Having said that, Abigale was an excellent interviewer and as a result, learnt more about myself in the process.

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