Naa Ashorkor shares life experiences: Lessons, what her ideal Ghana will be
Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku is a Ghanaian actress, Lecturer, and a media personality who currently works at Asaase Radio in Accra.
She's known for starring in "The Perfect Picture" (2009), by Shirley Frimpong-Manso and Iroko TV's Poisoned Bait - a movie directed by Leila Djansi.
She has over the years won numerous awards which include Best Actress in 2010 at the African Movie Academy Awards for her role played in "The Perfect Picture" (2009).
Appearing on the Springboard the Virtual University, Naa Ashorkor shared her life experiences, what gives her fulfilment and what her ideal Ghana would be.
Described as a woman of many hats, she said amongst all that she does, the one that gives her fulfilment was teaching.
“I like to teach and like to offer myself to share the very little knowledge that I have gathered over the years with people of the young generation. So I talk to young people a lot, I go to universities, I offer mentorship to students in media schools,” she stated.
She said her favorite was however acting as it allowed her to live different realities.
“Acting gives you the opportunity to live many realities that you may otherwise never get the opportunity to live or understand. When you act, you forget who you are for a moment and become somebody else.
“Getting the opportunity to live these many characters opens your eyes to the many experiences that people have and this shapes your mind and thinking with dealing with people,” she pointed out.
Putting in more work
Naa Ashorkor noted that because she did not train in school as an actress, she had to put in more work in order to be able to compete with her colleagues.
“I did not train as an actress so I put in a little more effort in order to work well with the people who trained for it. The first time I was on stage for a play, I was the only one who had not trained at the School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana so I knew that I was the odd one out.
“I knew I had to bring my A game,” she stated.
She described herself as someone who was always happy for the kind of life she has, the opportunities she has, and the quality of people she has around her.
“I have come this far because of the quality of people I have in my life and the grace of God upon my life, something I discovered at a very early stage of my life,” she mentioned.
On whether she had always wanted to be a media personality growing up, she said she was a confused girl who didn’t know what she wanted to do.
“I just knew that I wanted to do great things but I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do. But I loved reading books and sharing the stories with my friends and I believe that helped shaped my life in some way.
“Who we are is a combination of our experiences and all the things that has happened to us. I was driving home one time when a classmate from JHS called me and he was reading an article about me online and decided to call to tell me he always knew I will be this person because back in JHS, I was always telling them stories,” she recounted.
Sharing an advice with young people who may also be confused on what exactly they want to do, she said greatness comes out of confusion.
“When you are confused and not sure of what you want to do, you will try to figure it out and in doing so you will learn a lot of things and explore. When you explore, that is when you open your mind and eyes to all the greatness that can be.
“When you are sure, you probably just toe the line that you are sure of and when you do that, you don’t learn that much. You only learn what you are sure you should be learning and when that does not work out, you will be left with nothing,” she explained.
Naa Ashorkor also shared five things she would love to see in her ideal Ghana and they include;
1. Care for mothers; Our care for mothers and maternity related matters needs lot of attention. A lot of struggles that young people go through is as a result of the struggles that their mothers went through. The early years of our lives shapes who we become as adults and a lot of broken adults could be because they had difficult early years. We need to have nurseries at the work places and it should be compulsory. We also need to adjust the maternity leave months and grant paternity leave as well.
2. As a people, we need to learn to be a little bit more about the present. A lot of us try to balance things and you find people are at work and constantly talking about home or people are at home and constantly talking about work. This makes us less productive as a people.
3. My ideal Ghana will be one where teaching is a bit more practical and not chew and pour. This will equip the young ones with problem solving skills and how to think outside the box.
4. I want to see a Ghana where entrepreneurs will get more support. Lessons on entrepreneurship should be available at a very young age.
5. I want to see a Ghana where the creative industry is given more support. investing in the creative space could be the game changer for Ghana.