Actress Lydia Forson has released her New Year message urging her fans to “believe in God’s timing”.
Read her full message here:
I think we can all agree that it’s been an interesting year be it positive or negative.
For many it’s been a complicated with several unprecedented events, but for me ,and I hope I don’t jinx it, it’s probably been one of my best years in recent history.
And this doesn’t mean it was perfect, trust me it was far from it, and I went through my own personal struggles and tragedies, but I embraced the process of growth it took me through and because of it I feel like a much better, stronger, appreciative and whole version of myself.
On the blog this year I’ve covered several topics ranging from women empowerment, femininity, politics, self-awareness, patriarchy, natural hair and a range of topics.
And through these writings and engagements with readers, the discussions people have had on my platform and those shared with me in confidence; I’ve come to learn a lot.
So here’s my 2016 in review thanks to lessons I’ve learned from my writings.
1. Women empowerment/ Femininity and the fight for Equality.
In 2016 I’ve learned to be less sentimental about the things I write. Granted It’s absolutely important as a writer to take advantage of your emotions,because they usually inspire your writings and opinions.
But in writing about women especially I came to realize how emotions can sometimes cloud your message leaving people to focus more on your anger than the pain in and message you’re sharing.
Let's get this straight, women are marginalized, oppressed and abused a lot in this country, it’s something a lot of men and even women want to pretend doesn’t exists but wishing it away doesn’t change it.
And for years we’ve taken it to the point where it’s become a way of life with young boys growing up and believing it to be the norm.
The ONLY thing that’s changed is that women now have a voice and are more confident enough to use it; so the anger you hear is years and years of frustration ,of being slapped on the butt without permission, of being raped and pretending it’s consensual- it’s a build up of emotions you can never comprehend.
But in writing on this and about popular figures like Hon. Ken Agyapong and Franklin Cudjoe who’ve sometimes been culprits of our degradation, I also came to understand why men feel all women and feminist are out to get them. And in a way they’re justified in their feelings, even if it’s not true.
For a lot of these men they’ve not known it any other way, they don’t understand why it’s suddenly unflattering to describe women in a certain manner when they’ve grown up in a society that hasn’t taught them any different. To them ,women are now asking not to be complimented or viewed sexually, because somewhere in their mind it’s flattering to say to a random woman that “I want to tap that ass”, especially one they believe is dressed provocatively; to them a woman expressing her sexuality means she’s open to men doing the same if not more.
It all sounds confusing I know.
So I’m learning that perhaps instead of attacking, we need to get men instead to understand our pain and where we’re coming from when we speak on the things that we do. I don’t know if this will work, but I’m willing to give it a try if it can make a difference.
I’ve never really seen myself as a political person, and I’ve always maintained I could never be a politician because my party would kick me out for not being loyal to them. Because I’m only loyal to the truth and the good I see and NEVER a political party. Being an election year meant emotions were high and people were even more passionate about their affiliations than usual. Perhaps my ONLY regret is not understanding that not everyone took things as lightly as I did, and not everyone understood that expressing diverse views meant just that, a different view and not an attack.
I wrote extensively about the elections and even made a bold statement based on my own perception; I chose my words carefully when I wrote about the opposition (now about to be ruling) party, because I already knew that if people didn’t read in detail what I was trying to convey it would be a sh** storm. But no amount of careful wording and use of the word MAY instead of WILL was going to change people’s reaction to my opinion. What was meant to be a cautionary piece suddenly became an anit- NPP movement, which led several members of the party and even people I’d called friends for years attack me personally instead of discussing the points I’d made.
I was vilified, threatened with death and I had to see my mother run to my room in the middle of the night in panic because she was sure she’d heard someone at our gate. Mind you she’d been attacked with a knife earlier on the street and not to say it was related to politics but her fears were justified.
I was torn between reporting to the police and having the news everywhere; which I was sure would only create more debate and conspiracy theories, as we heard about “others”, and remaining quiet, hoping it would all go away, I chose the latter.
But in that period I learned the most significant lesson of all, that people hardly ever stand for anything because it’s the right thing to do, they do so because it’s aligned with a cause they benefit from.
For instance people who defended me against being called a prostitute by members of the ruling party (now opposition) turned round to call me the same and even worse because of their own presumption that I was against them.
And others who’d applauded my writings and had on several occasions called to discuss something I’d written, now thought I was too known, fake, only knew big English(which I don’t) and wasn’t as intelligent. All the praise and admiration went out the window and with it came accusations, and preposterous claims; anything to discredit me. All because I was no longer (in their mind) playing for their side.(a side I’d never claimed to be on in the first place).
I came to realize how naive I’d been with a lot of relationships and how people’s political associations trumped their sense of reasoning.
I’ll keep this simple because it reiterates some points I’ve already made. In 2016 I came learn that for a lot of “activists” they’re more interested in the title than what they stand for. Sadly even in fighting for justice and equality we’re selective of who’s more deserving; a seemingly well put together woman goes way up the priority list than a “prostitute crying rape”.
So again it’s about how we feel about a person or a situation and not if it’s right or wrong.
But more than anything what I found amusing was how these same people who’d participated in public scrutiny of others, were the first to cry for help when the tables were turned.
They were quick to seek support from people like me , as if we were designated “fighters”.
So in 2017 I hope people realize that justice has no race, gender, class or color, it’s just doing what’s right regardless of how you feel about a person or situation. (Quote from my article Best in Me)
If someone were to attack Hon. Ken Agyapong or Franklin Cudjoe unfairly, it would be my duty to speak out against it regardless of my personal feelings towards them. (I have nothing against these men though, just things they’ve said).
We all have a voice, some louder than others but equally significant and in the new year I’d like to see others contribute in their own way to activism of any kind.
At the risk of sounding condescending I have to say that this year I realized the importance of comprehension and how dangerous it is to have people lacking this ability. I found myself having to,on several occasions, explain my writings to many people. And because of this too many articles gained ground not because of its content but because of how wrongly people, including a lot of media houses especially, understood and ran with it.
As trivial as this may sound, it’s exactly how we’re manipulated by politicians and media houses on a daily basis; some people even commented on my posts without reading the article in its entirety and only contributed based on misconceptions about me.
We all have to learn how to comprehend things people write and say, and when we don’t know there’s no shame in asking for explanation. Contrary to what you may think I’m not an “English Queen” I actually do a lot of asking and “googling” because you can never know too much.
I don’t know if this will make any sense to anyone, but I came to understand myself even more in 2016, and through this gained even confidence in who I am.
If you’re an ardent reader of my blog you’ll notice just how reflective I am, hence the “REFLECTIONS” category I created. At the end of each day I like to go over the day in my head and analysis decisions I’ve made, and through this blog and the more I wrote, I explored areas of my life I never knew existed.
I was forced to look in the mirror, confront my fears and own myself, flaws and all.
I realized just how much power I had over my own life when I owned it to the fullest and unapologetically.
And with this sense of “knowing”, I was more confident in the choices I made and the things I wrote.
Because I wasn’t writing for likes and comments, I was writing my truth knowing it would be misunderstood by many but appreciate that it was more for me and those who needed it than it was for them.
6. The Core.
Only #the Core will understand this. In 2016 I finally found a name for my fans, well not that it was a must but it’s something I really wanted to do. Thanks to my friend David (all credit given lol) I found a name that best describes my following and people who appreciate all I stand for. Because you’re either going to really like me or not, for those who do it’s only because they’re core fans who’ve been with me since the get go.
Fame can’t be forced and people are going to like you, good or bad, so I’m glad that stay true to myself and have people like the real me, flaws and all….
2016 has also been a great year for me by way of work, family, friends and even relationships that have gone soar have been a blessing.
I got two new nieces and nephews, both unexpected and such a blessing from God.
Work wise, even though none of my productions are out yet, I’m proud that I went out of my comfort zone and explored new ventures, even though they kept me out of Ghana for the most part I’m grateful for the experience.
I did a stage play, shoot 3 major productions – Isoken, Keteke and Industreets all coming out early next year (chaii next year is tomorrow).
I was also more active on my blog and created Kinkymatters on the blog which also focused on natural hair and skin care. I’m proud to say that it will be launching on its own very soon.
But more than anything this year I learned to trust God and allow him to guide my path.
My story is a long and complicated one, full of unbelievable turns; I’ve cried, kicked doors in anger and questioned God on so many occasions. But this year I came to believe in God’s timing; because it all finally came together.
And now more than ever I’m no longer fighting to make sense of it all, I’m just being and allowing God to light my path and show me the way.
Be grateful who everything you are today, even if it’s not what you want; because it’s a part of your journey and once you recognize this it will lead you straight to where you’re supposed to be. God doesn’t promise that it will be easy, nope, but he does promise that he will be with you every step of the way.
So I’m now leaving anything behind in 2016, I’m taking all of it with me to 2017 because it’s all a part of my journey and will help shape my 2017.
Cheers to a new year. #theCore