Hi everyone, I’m writing to you from the Ivorian capital Abidjan! Just wanted to share a personal feature with all of you. In August 2013, mere days after I returned home to Ghana after completing my graduate degree at Johns Hopkins SAIS, I was approached by Hassan Salih. At the time, Hassan was working on jump starting what would later become MESH Ghana, a platform dedicated to Ghanaian creativity.
As is quickly becoming the norm, we met on Twitter, turns out we knew a few people in common, including a cousin of mine. I agreed to talk to Hassan about his project, largely because I have an insatiable curiosity to understand why and how people come up with ideas and move to implement them. In the case of MESH Ghana, it was simple: we are creative beings by nature, yet our creativity/creatives/creative scene tends to be undervalued when there is so much potential for development and contributing to economic growth. It turns out Hassan didn’t just want to talk, brainstorm and share ideas, he wanted to interview me. As someone who’s usually the interviewer versus the interviewee, I felt honored and accepted.
We met at Luscious Temptations in East Legon – my pick: they have the best hazelnut and chocolate smoothie/iced drink I’ve had in Accra – and had to assure the restaurant manager that our filming there would help promo the business (see previous line for why you should totally go there!). After working it out, we got to filming. It’s always weird being behind the camera, and even more so when there are people, families, having an early dinner and watching the show go on. But a few minutes later, we were totally engrossed. What happened next is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable conversations I have had about creativity, writing and development in a while.
The professional work done by Hassan in not only producing the videos, but also creating a portfolio for me makes it all the more a cherished piece of work. For one thing, he took his time to produce this quality work – it was published a few weeks ago; 8 months after shooting, and only when he had enough quality work and other interviews to truly launch his platform. In this era of “Now Nation-ness”, patience is truly a virtue. Secondly, it’s already given me a ton of important reminders about staying true.
Ladies and gentlemen, MESH Ghana’s April 2014 #MeshProfile, featuring yours truly. I hope the interview adds some value to you; there are 4 videos in the playlist. This is definitely one GH brand to watch and support. Writing’s not your cup of tea? Subscribe to, follow and connect with MESH Ghana to discover other GH creatives. Want an organisational profile in video format? Event coverage? Contact them! If my experience is anything to go by, you won’t regret it :)
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.