In my life and work, I have been fortunate and lucky to meet numerous young women who are active in social justice movements , have founded organizations that have gone onto making a huge difference in the lives of countless individuals.
Through their very existence, and the way which they choose to live their lives they are an inspiration to many.
These women are African, and whether they live on the continent or in the diaspora, their work , activism and dedication towards creation of more equitable communities and better world for African women,men and children is truly phenomenal and inspiring.
I could list 100 of these women but for the purpose of this feature I will highlight on one young entrepreneur.
Mavis Mensah-Pah is indeed a one unique woman ,whether she is advocating for childhood cancer or being a Financial Analyst in the government ,she is indeed a beacon of cultural preservation and celebration in Africa as a whole.
She is not only the founder of the annual Ghanaian cultural festival GhanaFest and Ghana Awards SA which is also an annual excellence award but she is the notable CEO of May May productions.
Her production company has worked with numerous major advertising companies across the globe which has garnered her the opportunity to consult on the prominent The Family Feud production by well renowned host and veteran entertainer Steve Harvey.
She also prides herself to have seamlessly worked on several projects with top African artists such as Radio and Wessel(Uganda) Roberto the ‘Amarula’ hit maker( Zambia), Buffalo Soulja(Zimbabwe) ,Cpwaa and Wakazi (Tanzania)just to mention a few.
She has also produced some impressive music videos and exhilarating shows for DSTV African Magic where she interviewed and profiled some prominent Africans across the globe.
A legacy beyond Entertainment...
This African goddess is not only shattering the glass ceiling by bringing Ghanaians together but Africans from all walks of life. As influential as she is, she doesn’t shy away from helping people and uses her decades long career as a means to celebrate Black excellence and empower the African community.
Mavis is also an advocate for childhood cancer which led her to co-founding an NGO called Hope 4 Childhood Cancer Foundation (HCC Foundation). This organisation brings awareness to the leading causes of death of children under the age of 14 years. The lack of awareness and knowledge in parts of the health system regarding the early warning signs was a cause for concern which led her to co-founding this program and creating a better future for children with cancer in Africa.
In Africa the real incidence or prevalence of childhood cancer is still yet not known. However according to WHO the overall incidence rates might be lower than reported incidences in higher income countries due to the fact almost the majority of the African population(43%) is represented by children.
While the survival rate of many childhood cancers has surpassed 80% in resource rich countries, in low mid-income countries,where access to care remains limited, survival rates of 20% or less are not uncommon.
However ,the mere estimation of the number of children newly diagnosed with cancer every year cannot explain the emotional, social or economic impact of this disease.
There is however an increase in awareness of the growth of the childhood cancer epidemic that will clearly become stronger in the coming decades.
This continued drive is highly essential and necessary in the improvement of cancer intelligence in the continent and a significant step forward in the care for childhood cancer.
Whilst speaking on the sidelines she speaks about being an African and a woman and shares her struggles the media and entertainment industry and what needs to be changed.
From our compelling conversation I came to conclusion that women across the globe are shaping up the world in different industries and taking up larger roles and making their presence felt.
Having women as leaders in the entertainment industry is not a moral obligation any more or for mere representation purposes but a business decision especially considering more than half of the entertainment and media consumers are women.
However we still do have a long way to go.
The media and entertainment industry is a dynamic business which requires constant juggling between multiple tasks , to be on your feet most of the time and handle large groups of people while making essential creative decisions which makes business too.
There is a strong notion that women cannot handle all these things ,however I think they are the most equipped to handle multiple responsibilities and deliver the best results.
Now women are gearing up to take charge and claim their due.
With that you can see a significant influx of women taking up their space and reaching their pinnacle of success like Mavis.