NAME ::: Philomena Akafia COUNTRY ::: Ghana
I’m Philo, a 36 year old teacher and I live in Tema, what is in Ghana. I grew also up here in Tema, even when I went to school in another region.
What is most important to you?
The most important thing is life? That is giving thanks to god that he has given us life. Without god you can’t do anything.
What has influenced you the most in your life?
A lot of things, but there are some things we human beings don’t really understand. Being close to people has really influenced me, but I think people don’t value that enough sometimes. When you get close to me, I like it so much. And I love when other people are that accomodative, that allow other people to get close to them. This is so important and has influenced me. You realize that it is a good thing to do. People sometimes don’t have the courage for this.
What has been an important turning point in your life?
When I got married and started having children. That was an important turning point, when I gave birth to my first child. It’s a whole thing all together. When you are young and have fun, it’s very different. You are free and have no responsiblity. With children a lot has changed. I was very snobbish when I was younger, but when I gave birth I realized that being snobbish is not a good thing.
What makes you happy?
My family makes me very happy. And nature sometimes. You go around and you see things, sometimes it rains, the sun comes up. Nature has changed me and my family a lot. Just being out there makes you happy.
What are you personally proud of?
I’m proud of myself. What I have been able to to achieve until now. If it would not be myself, I would not have been able to achieve it. I’m very proud on myself. Even talking to you now is great. If I would have died, I would not be there now and I could not take care of my family.
What have been the biggest struggles in your life?
Taking care of the children. Before I got married, going to work was difficult, but now I realize, what is really difficult is parenting, to look after the children. You worry, is there something you haven’t planned. Sometimes your children come with things that you haven’t planned. Taking good care of them that can be a big struggle.
What would you change in your life, if you could change something?
I would make sure that the changes are in different categories. I would make sure that I advice the young ones coming up to take good care of themselves. I will tell them: I grew up being the snobbish type. It was fun. I never cared about anything. If I could change that, I tell people to take care of themselves.
What do you wish for your own future?
To stay alive for my children, that is what I wish, to see them grow up. That they are free and have a good future.
Philo was part of a film about maternal health in Ghana that was shot for the WHO. You can see it here.