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Be limited edition that you are

BY: Kobina Ansah's Shrine

IT costs a fortune to acquire the limited edition of any product. Such editions are not up for mass production so they get into the hands of only a selected few; only those who can afford them. A limited edition is the pure breed of that version of the product — very original.

You see, the original version of any product is more expensive than its duplicate. Products that are modelled after a parent product can never be as expensive as or even more expensive than that parent product. This is because every duplicate looks up to the original to take up its form and shape. No matter how identical twins are, each of them has his or her own unique features.

This is because there is only one of your kind. There can be only one of you just as there is only one of me. This means if you don’t live, the world will forever miss out on you.

We are the limited edition of ourselves. Only one of our kind was ever made and we should live with this in mind. The more we realise how much of a limited edition we are, the more we limit how much we desire to be like others. Every time people try to be like others, they deprive the world of themselves even though they are never able to become like their idols. Imagine Amakye Dede living all his life trying to sing and dance like Michael Jackson.

We would never have gotten the privilege to enjoy all that the maestro has blessed his world with. He, on the other hand, could never have been as good as the pop star. Being yourself affords the world the opportunity to have a taste of variety. If we try to be others, we only become their duplicate. Mind you, a duplicate is the cheaper version of an original.

People go in for duplicates when they cannot afford the original. Why be a duplicate when you can be the
original? Why play second fiddle to others when you can be the first of your kind? Duplication wastes all the potential inside of you. You live all your life looking for validation and endorsement from people because you are undervaluing the gift in your hands! People sometimes get excited about being referred to as another version of a person, especially if the latter is someone they literally adore.

It sometimes gets interesting when the former begins to talk and behave like the latter. I once visited a church where most of the pastors were dressing and mimicking the mannerisms of their founder. They even went to the extent of wearing his haircut, too. If you can be yourself, never try to be like another. You will make the world a boring place to be. The greater the diversity, the more exciting a world this place will be.

Whenever people want to walk in the shadow of others, they lose their own shadow. They get lost in life in their bid to be who they are not. Trying to be a duplicate of another.
 If we knew we were a limited edition of ourselves, aspiring to be a copy of another person would have been the last thing on our minds. We would never have been comfortable with being hailed as the next Sarkodie, Mike Tyson or Bill Gates. You can only be better than your predecessors if you are daring enough to carve your own niche. It takes a lot to be yourself because you are going to take an uncharted path and make it prominent.

It looks easier to follow an already existing path. However, remember that it is only those who create new paths that are remembered. Today, many are struggling to maximise their potential because they are struggling to walk in people’s shoes. They end up being a substandard version of those they so badly want to be like when they could have been the best of themselves if they had admitted their strengths and weaknesses and created a path along such. When everybody wants to be a copy of somebody, everybody becomes a copy of nobody.

If you understood what it meant to be a limited edition, you would have been yourself. It is priceless to own your space. When you stay true to yourself, you get to add another original copy to the world’s variety instead of being an imitator of others. If all you desire in this life is to be a copy of someone, you end up a loser because you can never be better than the original version. The only way to be better than an original copy is to be an original copy, too. You can never be another copy of Sarkodie and be better than him. He created the path you are tirelessly trying to chart.

Every moment people see you, the credit goes to him. No one recognises your efforts because the more effort you put into your craft, the more you sound like him. To be remembered, be intentional about being original. The day you become original is that day you will sound different from all the others. Originality brings out the best in us.

It challenges us to be creative. If you see a pack of thousand white wolves with one black wolf, you notice only the black one because it is different. The white wolves become normal and ordinary while that single black one becomes extraordinary. The day people choose to be the limited edition that they are, they become very noticeable because they stand out from the rest. No, I am not the next Tyler Perry. I am a limited edition — the first of my kind —Kobina Ansah!

The writer is a Ghanaian playwright and
Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.
scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm