I might as well write #ad because even though I’m not being paid to write this, I’ll be talking a lot about Malta Guinness and you might feel like drinking some in the end.
Dreams can be tough. Tough because no matter how hard you try, the planning, strategic documents and research put in, what you are and what you dream are essentially on two different planes. Because a true dream is based on nothing except faith. It doesn’t make logical sense. There is no 5 steps to making your dreams come true. There is no formula, no game plan except that burning thing in your heart that only you can feel and sometimes, which is not even fully understood by you. Think of Joseph, the ultimate dreamer. He sure got into a hot pot of soup thanks to his dreams.
It’s almost as if a dream comes to disrupt your life. As in, you were in your lane, minding your own business and then you had a dream. Yikes! What to do? Sometimes, like Joseph, the opposition party members are your family people. Sometimes, it’s an entire country.
I’m serious. I was talking to my friend (a lawyer and mum- I don’t know how she does it. In fact, I don’t know how women do anything. They are like superheroes.) and too quickly the conversation went to how tough it was getting the little things done in Ghana. If she were in Nigeria, this would have been sorted, that would have not been a problem.
And I could so relate because the conversation started because she was ohing and ahing over my book. I’d just gotten 5 printed copies. The only five printed copies. Still. And since she is a “go get it” kind of person, we were brainstorming possibilities and probabilities on marketing etc etc until the conversation went to her own trials. We are women, sharing is what we do. And a “hello, how are you” became this almost-one-hour chat on the side of the road while her kids scampered about.
Because she also has a dream.
Like a lot of people I talk to.
Just yesterday, I caught this entrepreneurial coaching show on Africa Magic TV and got some five minutes inspiration from it. But it got me wondering why many of these shows are Nigerian. Where are the Ghanaian angel investors? The coaches? The mentors (not the show)? The people who know what it means to have a dream?
I went through a period where I was upset with my parents. Very very. Because they were both missionaries and we were raised as missionary kids (MKs). In the world but not of it. Missionary trips instead of internships. How to Share the Four Spiritual Laws instead of How to Write a Resume. No, I don’t resent them for it. I almost did but I’ve dealt with all that baggage (or is it garbage?). But that wasn’t the worst thing. The worst thing is that forever and ever, I’ll always be a Third Culture Kid. I don’t think people understand the full ramifications of this. Diplomats’ kids suffer some of this but they usually have loads of money so they can make their way in the world quite comfortably, thank you very much. Yes, I’m being frank, which is one thing I’ve also tried to temper when in Ghana because apparently, it’s not cultural to be frank. A lot of pitfalls when you do! But writing is my space so I am being myself. Take your flawed social convention and park it in the mall for now.
So like a lot of things unGhanaian, I didn’t grow up drinking Malta Guinness. For me, it was Maltina and that was in Nigeria. Another time, another season. I also certainly picked up other unGhanaian habits. But fast forward to finding myself in Ghana and all its associated drama. Honestly, Ghanaians are very dramatic people, or melodramatic is more like it. We won’t say what’s in our heads and suddenly, you find yourself in a situation where there are villains and no heroes. It’s not even remotely funny.
Which is why I was intrigued when we were asked to get ready to plan Malta Guinness’ 30 year birthday. Immediately, I was fearful that it would end up being like any other Ghanaian anniversary with the theme: Fuelling Development through the participation of Public and Private Partnerships to Ensure Sustainability through Youth Engagement. Who comes up with these things anyway? Seriously??!
But thankfully, this was Malta Guinness and after some brainstorming and back and forth, voila, a theme emerged- Celebrate Your Own. Because while the back and forth was going on, we realised that you can’t get anything done if people keep pulling you down (light bulb moment). And since everyone knows (or should know) that Malta Guinness is all about jumping and dancing and being alive and vibrant- okay, I’m just kidding. That’s part of what it’s about. The dancing and jumping around is a metaphor for doing what you want to do with nothing stopping you. And how can you go for it if there’s no one supporting you? And not only that, they actually would delightfully and secretly want to see you fail. Horrible, right?
So it was decided. Let’s Celebrate Our Own by “Rekognizing” those who are doing something amazing. That’s all. And I quote myself here “The best ideas are simple.” So here we are, with a cool (I’m tempted to say sexy but then Facebook will censor my post if I choose to promote it) …anyway, here we are with a cool theme powered by a raison d’être, and very soon, a Limited Edition Malta Guinness to show for it because Malta Guinness decided to actually allow designers no one knows about (#NotACelebrity), but who are doing exceptional work right here in Ghana, to design the 30 year birthday label for them. Amazing, huh? Someone’s dream come true.
So maybe you have a dream. I know I do. In fact, I’ll add an “s” to that- dreams. At this point, I’m not looking for someone to tell me what to do because like we have established, talk is cheap, huh?
But when all’s said and done, and I am still in the murky in-between of getting there, how do I pick myself up? Because you have to admit, it’s quite exhausting looking outside for affirmation. I go back to the Dream Giver and yeah, drink a Malt to cool down. He’ll make it work. There is a lot more to share but right now, I’m in the business of accumulating battle stories.
Meanwhile, to everyone who isn’t a naysayer, to everyone who knows how to truly stand by someone else’s success, to everyone who knows how to hail a friend, I raise a bottle of Malta Guinness and toast to you. You are awesome. And may the Heavenly Father make all your dreams come true.
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Meanwhile, if you want to know what keeps me happily awake at night, check out these novels.