From the furthest parts of the world hard work has always been an international sport. I’ve seen it through the eyes of my great grandmother, my grandmother and my mother. This dynamic example of what a strong woman looks like has heightened my curiosity to why and how woman have so much drive? What moves them? Is it a generational pattern?
I was blessed enough to be able to take my questions back to the motherland on my recent trip to Accra, Ghana. GH women are in many ways the backbone of the society. They hold so many hats and do so much even without thought to the workload.
In Ghana women have a variety of responsibilities but one common denominator amongst the women I met was that they are all adaptable.
They work around situations, they don’t allow situations to work around them.
Trying not to allow circumstances to overwhelm them, they deal with it. As I went through customs most staff were women. They were quite stern but worked quickly and efficiently.
A beautiful and hardworking Ghanaian woman. She is a hairdresser by trade but also works as a nanny & cook. Joyce can be described as a jack of all trades. As a means of broadening her horizon, she has travelled the world and works hard at creating a better life for herself and her family. She is constantly creating job opportunities for herself to help her mother. Although the atmosphere and circumstance add to the effort GH women place on working, many of these women seen on a day to day rarely carry a smile.
However, Joyce is a ray of sunshine.
What keeps her essence so alive and why she is so positive?
As I asked, I was immediately intrigued by her answer.
“You know life can be so hard and there aren’t many things that can cause you to smile. I find opportunities to be a ray of light in the day as well as impact the life of others. I’ll see someone on the street they won’t look so happy and you know I will go up to them and ask, ‘hey, how are you?’ ‘are you ok?’ ‘Why you not smiling?’ ‘You look beautiful’. We need to love one another you know! We must be kind!
One comment can change one person’s day. It’s only by the grace of God that I’m here today so let me make it a good day.”
No matter how life may appear to be, Joyce makes the best out of her day. She works hard and spreads positivity all around as much as she can. She believes the essence of her very being revolves around happiness.
From deep in the markets, to the office place, women work long hours to provide for their families and send their children to school as well as provide food to a single parent or marriage home. Hard work is mandatory.
Women rise early and sleep late. Luxuries are for those who have made it and even those at the top still serve. Although women do not have as much say in certain environments because of gender biases they are still the backbone of the country with 52% and rising of women going out to work. This statistic highlights the effective numbers of women in the community and how through consistency they are impacting the nation.
A pastor, with three beautiful children. Her life has not always been what it is today. She reminisces on the days when all she had to eat was banku (cassava dough and fermented corn, usually served with fish or stew.) for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“It’s only by the grace of God I’ve made it so far”
she goes on further to explain how she was diligent in her work making sure to carry out her service until the end. Adwoa believes that as a pastor she has been called to serve and even though she is now on the other side of success, she will never lose her essence.
“The same God who was with me in the days of eating the same thing day by day, is the same God that is with me now that I have all the choice in the world for what I want to eat.”
We are called to serve as the God above always serves us with what we need, we should reflect his goodness with our time here on this earth.
“Whatever your act of service is do it diligently make no compromises and be committed.”
I am so grateful to have seen a side of womanhood through the eyes of my people and to have been able to speak to these two powerful women.
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women” – Maya Angelou. Women we are behind you, we support you and we are rooting for you be your best everyday because you are THE best every day.
Written by Jacqueline.