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INTERVIEW-NANA ABENA AKRASI(CEO, EWUARABA VENTURES)

I met her at a leadership training organized by the Fabulous Woman Network. It was day two of the training and we sat at the same table. Sharing ideas, connecting, networking and getting to know each other which has led to this interview today. I worried her to take pictures of me after which I purchased the Ewuraba Hair and Scalp Cream. I love, love, love the product, from texture, to smell to results and I would most definitely recommend it for every naturalista. Ewuraba took her precious time to grant us a detailed interview and I really do not want to cut it short. As such, for the first time ever, the interview is going to be in two parts. ladies, Abena Akrasi, CEO. EWURABA VENTURES.

 

PW:Hello Abena, thank you for your time. Kindly tell us about yourself.

ABENA: Hey, thank you for having me here. I am Nana Abena Akrasi, the founder of Ewuraba Natural Ventures. I was born on the 9th of October, 1984 and I come from Berekum in the Brong Ahafo Region. I however live in Kumasi currently. I am the only girl among four boys. I love business and I have been into petty trading ranging from toffees and chips I prepared myself to cassava, salt, water, etc. from the age of Six (6). When I was growing up, I always told myself I will establish my own business but didn’t know which field in particular I will venture into.

I am interested in food and nutrition, fashion, music, sports and social work. In terms of music, I love cool gospel and country too. I love to smile and can share some dry jokes. I love to read and try my best to complete a book every month which is a bit challenging now.

I am a professional Marketer with a Chartered Post-graduate Diploma in Marketing (CIM), MBA in Project Management, a Diploma in Hotel Management and Certificate in Fashion Design. Before setting up my current business; I was the Northern Sector Coordinator for Micro-credit Association of Ghana. I worked in the Media as a Producer /Sales executive with ETV and also a Producer for my own TV program dubbed “EWURABA”. I have worked with EPP Books Services as a Marketing Executive for Two years and been involved in the cause of young women empowerment in Ghana since the age of 21 by setting up the Young Women Empowerment Initiative (YWEI). I believe I have been called to serve young women and that has been my focal niche.

 

PW: OH wow……. I am humbled by all you’ve achieved. Kindly share with us how growing up was like for you.

 

NANA ABENA: My growing up was full of adventure because I stayed with different families from one region to the other until I finally settled with my mum at the age of six (6). I started school in Kumasi, moved to Drobo (Jaman South) to be with my mum. After a year of education there, my younger brother and I were moved to Sunyani to stay with a family friend and schooled there. After some few years, the family had to move to Tamale due to the transfer of my father. My father was again transferred to Accra after almost four (4) years stay in Tamale but my brother and I joined my mother who was then in Techiman. I moved to Accra after completing my JHS and had my Secondary education in the Eastern region. I needed to be strong when growing up because I was raised by a single mother and also the only girl among four boys. Growing up has been an amazing journey which has given me the insight as to how to treat and love others, be courageous, be honest , be perseverant , courageous, humble and live a selfless life.

PW: What gets you going in life?

NANA ABENA: MY PURPOSE IN LIFE, CHALLENGES and NEGATIVE STATEMENTS.

PW: Why Entrepreneurship?

NANA ABENA: Entrepreneurship because my personality conforms to it. I love to explore, develop/innovate and research as well. I want an independent, happy career life and also get the chance of doing what I can do best and pursue my God given purpose on earth.

PW: What sacrifices have you had to make to accomplish your entrepreneurial feat?

NANA ABENA: I wouldn’t say I am an accomplished entrepreneur yet as I have more miles to go in reaching where I need to be. Some of the sacrifices I needed to make was to limit my spending in order to save to support the initiative, resigning from my Job post as the Northern sector Coordinator of Micro-credit Association of Ghana and working at odd times.

PW: How would you define success?

NANA ABENA:I define success as being able to know and understand the source of your ‘BEING’, being able to identify your ‘WHY’ of ‘BEING’ ( purpose) and ‘LIVING’ your ‘BEING’ to impact positively the lives of others and yourself in glorifying the source of your ‘BEING’.

To me, the definition of success is not about acquisition of worldly /material stuffs, riches or fame, true success is when you live for others but still find inner fulfillment, joy and peace. It is when you use your gifts and talents and available resources to enhance the lives of others. It is when others can smile because of you; it is when others can live fulfilled and boldly because you set an example for them. It is when your life becomes a testimony for others to courageously face their fears. It is when your character becomes a mirror for others to look into to radically transform their character into a better one and draws them to God.

PW: Can you tell us about your products?

NANA ABENA:

  • My Products: My brand name is “EWURABA” meaning ‘LADY’. I used the same name “EWURABA” for a TV program my NGO initiated in 2006 which was funded by the African Women Development Fund.

           “Ewuraba” range of products include:

  • Ewuraba sheabutter cosmestics:
  • Ewuraba Sheabutter hair/scalp cream
  • Ewuraba Sheabutter Body/hand cream
  • Ewuraba Natural Foods:
  • Ewuraba natural complete season
  • Ewuraba natural ginger powder
  • Ewuraba natural dawadawa powder

PW: Great products. My personal favourite is the hair cream. Smells great!

PW: Are Christian women finding it challenging to identify themselves and living their purpose?

NANA ABENA: We find ourselves when we discover our purpose. The challenge the Christian women face today is using the standard of the world as a yardstick in finding our identity. Some of us are lost; we have lost ourselves, our identity and purpose. Some of us are just living but not ‘LIVING’. We have missed our place of being the leader in salting and lighting our world. Others have taken our first place and influencing the world wrongly and even influencing us. Others too know their reason for existing and using that to impact their world, making disciples for God.

PW: If you were a book, what would be your title, and if you were a colour, what would you be?

NANA ABENA: If I were a book, the title would be PERSISTANCE PAYS. I have faced lots of challenges in life and it is my persistence in life and the grace of God that has helped me through it all. The ‘Never giving up’ spirit has rather helped me to use these challenges to stay up high in the stormy low valley. It has strengthened me spiritually, emotionally and intellectually.

Colour: I want to be black because black is beautiful, classic and professional. It doesn’t like much attention and likes behind the scenes. Its nature is such that, it matches with any colour.

NANA ABENA: A note to my 10 year self:

Dear Nana Abena Akrasi,

At this moment you seem to be confused and think you have wasted your time by deferring your course to pursue your dreams. At this moment, you have successfully completed two major projects that were dear to you through your unplanned established NGO. The first one being a women TV program of which 60 documentaries were produced on challenging issues facing young women in Africa. The second project was a ‘ Young Single mother and the Soya project’ where over 50 young mothers were trained in various skills in soya beans processing. You worked hard to attract a $43,000 grant from the African Women Development Fund. You were the youngest and highest beneficiary then. To you, it was a miracle so you decided to sacrifice everything including holding on with your schooling at the University for the Success of the projects which you did. Many people admired you for the achievements but to you, you had done nothing. You never took the time to appreciate yourself and works. You rather focused so much on your weaknesses and mistakes you committed. You wanted to be ‘PERFECT’. When you decided to lay the projects aside to go back to school, you were awarded the ‘Best student Project’ by NUGS. You dwelled so much on the negatives which made you often unhappy. This is a note to you dear one to let you know that you are a great woman, a young woman of vision and very strong. Just relax, be calm at heart and be happy in the Lord. This note is to tell you that, you need not to be %100 in order to impact positively and create a change in people’s lives. God mostly uses the feeble, the young, the poor for greater works; Esther, Ruth, Rahab, Moses, David, just to name a few.Your older self.

Always be thankful because you are gifted and blessed. There is so much within you that you haven’t tapped into yet. Just take life one step at a time and enjoy whatever life serves you at the table, celebrate each day as it is a gift from God, focus on your dreams, work harder, never give up, believe in yourself and stop comparing yourself with other young women as God has a different purpose for your life. I LOVE YOU!

Yours truly

Your older self

10 years earlier.

 

That’s how we draw down the curtains on today’s interview. I know this has been worth the long read.

love, Nelia.phenomenalwoman

 

 

 

 

 

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