No one could have been faulted for assuming a Christian revival session was on in the Omanye Hall of the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra late noon last Saturday, March 19 as women, pulled together by singer Stephanie Benson, inspired each other with songs and words of wisdom.
Shouts such as ‘Can I get an Amen’ and ‘Praise you, Lord’ wafted on classic gospel and soulful pieces like Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Amazing Grace and Jesus Loves Me (The Bible Tells Me So) but the real essence of the gathering as emcee Michelle McKinney-Hammond pointed out, was to celebrate sisterhood.
Convener, Stephanie Benson had battled with breast cancer in recent times and she had called what she described as her ‘circle of friends’ to share some ideas about how to stand strong as women despite life’s challenges and push on with their dreams.
Sporting a cute pink dress, she revealed how she underwent 28 hours of surgery in three days and urged all the women around to have faith in God and confidence in themselves.
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The sweet thing for her was that she was still able to write songs during her down moments in the course of the fight with breast cancer. One of the songs was Dear Lord and she unveiled it at the function. Earlier, she had introduced and performed with some of the young ladies in her music academy.
Juliet Mills-Lutterodt, a good friend of Stephanie’s who has also encountered the breast cancer scare, encouraged women not to allow themselves to be defined by the things they lacked or could not do, rather, they should focus on the positive things about themselves and never lose connection with God.
Most of the pieces of advice and exhortation, however, came through songs and spoken word. The emcee herself is a good singer and everyone admired how she sang the opening prayer for the event.
Sisters, they say, come in different flavours so Yaa Yaa, Sandra Huson, Irene Logan, Becca, Akosua Adjepong and Ofie Kodjoe all came on to sing with their unique touches.
Afia Schwarznegger did a comedy skit and spoken word artiste and motivational speaker, Cherlene Cecie Wilson from the United Kingdom, was also there with some poetry to pep everyone up and a little, uplifting insight into her life.
On the whole, it was a relaxing and rewarding period for all and as people parted, they wished Michelle McKinney-Hammond’s comment that more avenues would be created for women to meet regularly and encourage each other would materialise sooner than later.